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Faith in the Valley participatory defense team and attorney stop juvenile transfers to Adult Court, preventing two youth from facing life sentences

Participatory Defense Team, Attorney Stop Juvenile Transfers to Adult Court, Preventing Youth from Facing Life Sentences

Last December, our participatory defense team began working with the teen in detention, his family and Ashok. The team, composed of Faith in the Valley grassroots leaders and congregations, works to accompany individuals facing criminal charges and their families. To support this young person, the team created a “socio-bio packet” highlighting the stories gained from talking to him and his community. When submitted, the packet provided the court with a more humanizing picture of his life and circumstances.
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What do Fresno’s neglected and unhealthy spaces have to do with gun and gang violence?

What Do Fresno’s Neglected and Unhealthy Spaces Have to Do with Gun and Gang Violence?

The most recent youth shootings involved a 15-year-old in southeast Fresno on Nov. 15, and a 13-year-old boy from central Fresno on Nov. 24 — two areas highly impacted by gun violence. The city has seen a steep climb in gun violence this year with 63 homicides. Marcel Woodruff, lead organizer with Faith in the Valley, said the most active pockets of town are known to have some of the worst air quality in Fresno.
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Fresno police chief says ‘irresponsible decisions’ by state behind crime surge. Some disagree

Fresno Police Chief Says ‘Irresponsible Decisions’ by State Behind Crime Surge. Some Disagree

Andy Levine, deputy director of Faith in the Valley, said he was troubled by Hall’s claim that movement to re-imagine funding for the police is causing an uptick in violent crime. “That is just unprofessional,” Levine said. “The truth is the reason why violence occurs in our community is because we have funded so heavily the police departments in our city and our country at the expense of other, more pro-active things, in our community.”
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