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As Newsom rethinks juvenile justice, California reconsiders prison for kids

June 14, 2019

Originally posted on CalMatters.org. 

As for most high school students, commencement day was big for Osvaldo Moreno. “This is a proud moment for me,” he beamed on a recent June weekend, and not just because he was the first to finish school among six—soon-to-be seven—children in his family.

Though it’s not on the parchment, Moreno, 21, earned his Johanna Boss High School diploma over the past two years at a state prison for juveniles in Stockton. And as one of fewer than 800 remaining youths in the custody of the soon-to-be-shuttered juvenile division of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, he said, that accomplishment—behind razor wire—was more than just a step toward a future job or a rite of passage.

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