By Daniel Heimpel
On Feb. 12, California Attorney General Kamala Harris held a press conference in Los Angeles to announce the creation of a Bureau of Children’s Justice. Its goals range from reducing truancy and combatting childhood trauma, to improving the foster care and juvenile justice systems.
While the mandate Harris outlined was broad, members of the bureau’s new staff said that this was by design. Aside from a handful of specific issues, the office is currently in reconnaissance mode, gathering ideas on improvements to education, juvenile justice and child welfare that it can champion.
“We aim to work with a wide range of stakeholders to find accountability and enforcement gaps,” said Jill Habig, a special assistant attorney general leading the bureau, “which is why we invited over 150 stakeholders to convenings held across the state following the launch of the bureau.”