(Sacramento)–Governor Jerry Brown signed Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer’s (D – South Los Angeles) Assembly Bill (AB) 2944, legislation that creates a permanent contribution-based funding source to end the school-to-prison pipeline.

“As the Chair of the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, I want to personally thank Governor Jerry Brown for signing AB 2944,” said Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer. “California is now taking a national leadership role in ending the school-to-prison pipeline. Millions of taxpaying Californians can invest in programs that divert our at-promise youth from the criminal justice system.”

With a population of nearly 40 million Californians, AB 2944 allows those taxpayers to donate a portion of their income tax return to the “Schools Not Prisons” voluntary tax contribution fund. These contributions will be awarded through competitive grants administered by the Department of Education to programs that target students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Programs being funded will be dedicated to advancing youth leadership, community organizing, life skills, workforce readiness and mentorship for our state’s youth.“In some communities in California, it is more common to go to jail after high school than college,” said Michael Lynch from Improve Your Tomorrow (IYT).

“Today it costs the state of California nearly $300,000 annually to incarcerate one at-promise youth in a juvenile facility. AB 2944 will provide funding to organizations working to divert youth to less expensive alternatives like college, job training and other outcomes that benefit the state.

AB 2944 will become law January 1, 2019.