Who We Are
Sections 225 through 331 of the California State Welfare and Institutions Code mandates the existence of a Juvenile Justice Commission in each county throughout the state. The Juvenile Justice Commission is composed of seven to fifteen community volunteers, appointed to four-year terms by the Presiding Judge of the Sonoma County Superior Court. Up to two youth members are eligible and encouraged to apply for membership.
Duties and responsibilities as mandated by state law
Inspections of all local institutions and facilities housing juveniles. Inspection results and Recommendations are reported in writing and sent to the Juvenile Court and the Board of Corrections.
What We Do
Inspect Juvenile Hall and all other public facilities housing minors (including jails that house juveniles.) Inspect group homes housing youth in Sonoma County to ensure that residents are treated with dignity and respect, are safe and treated in a humane and just manner and that their educational, social and recreational needs are met. We support and encourage agencies, organizations and individuals in the community who are providing services that help prevent juvenile delinquency and that recognize positive contributions youth are making to Sonoma County.
Annual Youth Essay Contest
The Juvenile Justice Commission invites youth housed in any public facility or students of alternative schools for dependent youth to submit essays on relevant subjects to a panel of three judges selected by the commission. Monetary rewards and certificates are given to winning essays and certificates of appreciation are presented to every youth submitting an essay at a special awards ceremony presided over by a Juvenile Court Judge. In 2012, over 200 young people submitted essays and were honored by the community.
Recognition of Youth’s Educational Progress
The Juvenile Justice Commission supports the efforts of youth in the Juvenile System by presenting each young person who has earned a GED or high school diploma with a modest financial gift.
Telephone Grievance Line
The Commission posts in every public facility housing youth a document that states “If you have a complaint involving the health and safety of a minor in this facility call (707) 865-8164. Leave a message stating your name, phone number, and name of the facility.” A commissioner will investigate the grievance within a reasonable time.