The Honorable Assembly Member California State Assembly State Capitol Sacramento, CA SUPPORT FOR SENATE BILL 260. Dear Assembly Member:

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1 SUPPORT FOR SENATE BILL 260 I support Senate Bill 260. Our laws should recognize that young people are especially capable of turning their lives around, and require them to work towards rehabilitation. Recent scientific research concludes that the adolescent brain is not fully formed until well into early adulthood, and that young people do not have adult levels of judgment, impulse control, or ability to assess risks. In fact, the vast majority of youth grow out of the type of behavior that leads to crime. Senate Bill 260 would require careful examination of these cases, and only those that merit it would have the opportunity for parole. SB 260 would give the parole board the ability to evaluate whether someone who committed a crime while a teen had matured, grown and can show that they should have a lower sentence than one meant for an adult. By focusing our resources on the cases that are a threat to public safety, passage of SB 260 would save millions of dollars for California. California should find ways to give young people a second chance, even if they committed a serious crime. This bill provides a way to save the state money and make our laws more just, too. I ask that you please support this important legislation.

2 RE: SB 260 I support SB 260. In California, children under the age of 18 years old are sentenced to adult prison sentences. While these sentences may be an appropriate law for adults, I believe that it is wrong to sentence teenagers to terms meant for adults. Young people are different from adults, and our laws should treat them differently, even if the underlying crime is very serious. Senate Bill 260 provides review of these cases after a youth offender has served a substantial amount of time in prison. It is an important piece of legislation because it protects public safety while at the same time recognizing that youth are different from adults. SB 260 holds youth accountable but also provides a chance for young offenders to prove they have changed. Please support of this important legislation.

3 RE: Support for SB 260 I am a concerned citizen of California. I am writing to tell you that I support SB 260. Young people are different from adults and deserve a chance to prove themselves. SB 260 would make sure that youth who have been convicted of crimes are punished, but also give them the opportunity to show that they have grown up and become someone who deserves a second chance. I believe many of these young people have important things to offer our communities. Senate Bill 260 is also fiscally sound legislation. Every youth sent to adult prison costs the state more than $45,000 per year of incarceration. Senate Bill 260 would require careful examination of these cases, and those people who deserve it would have the chance to have their sentence reconsidered. It would establish a new parole process to reevaluate the necessity of incarcerating young offenders with an adult prison sentence. By focusing our resources on the cases that are a threat to public safety, passage of SB 260 would save millions of dollars for California. SB 260 is smart legislation, and it is the right time for California to support this kind of change. I respectfully ask that you support it.

4 RE: SB 260 I support passage of SB 260. I believe that what we know now about teenagers is different from what we knew when laws were changed to allowing sentencing people under the age of 18 as adults. We know now that teens and young adults are still maturing. What this means is that they have a very strong ability to change and be rehabilitated. It s just wrong to take someone who committed a crime when they were 14, 15, 16, or 17 years old, lock them up, and throw away the key. SB 260 would allow these cases to be reviewed. Many of them may still end up serving their original sentence, but those who have chosen a good path and done things improve their lives will get a chance to prove it to the parole board. It is the right thing to do in the case of people who were not yet adults when they committed their crimes. Please support SB 260.

5 RE: Please support Senate Bill 260 I support SB 260. Our laws should recognize that young people are especially capable of rehabilitation. SB 260 would give people who were 17 years old or younger at the time of a crime and sentenced to adult prison sentences a choice: work towards rehabilitation, or you will serve a very long sentence. Most kids grow out of the type of behavior that leads to crime. Many people who committed crimes turn their lives around and contribute to the community. We should have a process, as SB 260 would create, to review these cases once someone has grown and proven who they are as an adult. This bill also makes sense on a financial level. For each youth sentenced to adult prison it costs around $45,000 a year to keep them incarcerated. SB 260 would require careful examination of these cases, and make it possible for some of these people to be released. By focusing our resources on the cases that are a threat to public safety, passage of SB 260 would save millions of dollars for California. I urge you to vote yes for this important bill when it comes before you. Very truly yours,

6 RE: FAIR SENTENCING FOR YOUTH SB 260 I am writing in support of Senate Bill 260. This bill would give young people a second chance. I think our laws should reflect scientific findings, recognize that young people are especially capable of redemption, and require them to work towards rehabilitation. We know that the adolescent brain is not fully formed until well into early adulthood, and that young people do not have adult levels of judgment, impulse control, or ability to assess risks. Senate Bill 260 holds youth offenders responsible for their actions. It would give them the chance to prove they deserve resentencing only after serving many years in prison. The bill requires the offender to prove that he or she has chosen a different path in life and is worthy of a second chance. I urge you to support SB 260.

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