INYO COUNTY PROBATION DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES OPPOSITION TO AB 505
Department Joins Growing Coalition of Probation Departments, Counties, and Organizations Opposed to Bill Which Will Put Vulnerable Young Adults and Communities at Risk
INYO COUNTY, CA, SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 – Chief Probation Officer Jeff Thomson has announced that the Inyo County Probation Department stands in opposition to Assembly Bill 505 (Ting). Inyo County Board of Supervisors has also taken an oppose position and has sent a letter to the Legislature in opposition of the bill.
The bill poses significant threats to the well-being of 18- to 25-year-old young adults and the communities where they live. AB 505 creates new resource and funding barriers for counties to be successful with developing the rehabilitation programming and adequate housing for the youth and young adults they are now responsible for under the enactment of SB 823 and the closure of DJJ as of June 30, 2023, which was a direct result of the state failing to provide adequate resources for these vulnerable, high-risk young adults.
AB 505 is heavily focused on creating new bureaucratic procedures and obstacles that counties must meet in order to receive the required funding to support these vulnerable, high-risk youth. Inyo County Board of Supervisors and Inyo County Probation Department join numerous organizations, counties, and other probation departments in opposition to this bill that will continue California on its disastrous path of failing juveniles and young adults.
Specifically, AB 505 will put California communities and vulnerable youth and young adults in danger by:
- Failing to Match Good Intentions with Good Planning and Adequate Investments: AB 505 impacts 18- to 25-year-olds who often suffer from trauma, have high needs, and are sometimes violent. The specialized treatment they require has already been disrupted by the premature closure of DJJ. Counties have consistently voiced their concerns about inadequate resources to serve this population, and AB 505 exacerbates this shortfall by allowing state bureaucrats to withhold or shift funds with no accountability.
- Removing Local Control: Under AB 505, the state will take authority away from the counties that are directly responsible for and currently working with these 18- to 25-year-olds. As a result, locals will no longer be able to make decisions about the care of these young adults without approval from a state bureaucracy that has no accountability for its decisions or actions.
- Lack of Transparency: AB 505 will remove transparency by shifting local authority to state bureaucracy that will make decisions behind closed doors without accountability or any requirements of justification or appeal processes.
- Litigation First; Direct Services Last Model: Rather than directing funding to the youth and young adults who need it most, AB 505 expands state bureaucracy, hampers approvals for direct services, and sets the stage for endless litigation. This goes against the spirit of SB 823, which recognized that state bureaucracy does not heal people but rather direct and trained public service providers do.
“AB 505, as it stands, threatens the very foundations of local expertise, transparency, and accountability that are essential for our mission. We stand united in our opposition to this dangerous legislation, not out of resistance to change, but out of a sincere commitment to finding a better way to serve our youth and protect our neighborhoods,” said Inyo County Probation Chief Jeff Thomson. “We urge the Legislature to Vote No on AB 505 and recognize that the proposed changes will only harm the very individuals it aims to support.”