The legislation, introduced by Assemblymember Mike Gipson, would benefit more than 50,000 youth in foster care and more than 20,000 youth in secure facilities.
It would require county juvenile halls to provide supervised access to computers and the Internet for educational purposes. The bill also allows for, but does not require, Internet access for youth to stay in touch with their families. Detention officials would still have the ability to restrict Internet access on a case-by-case basis to address legitimate safety concerns. Kids in foster care would also receive reasonable access to the Internet for social and extracurricular activities.
If our society is already able to arrange for astronauts to use social media from the International Space Station, there is no question that California can make sure online computer resources are available to youth in state custody.
Send an email to Gov. Brown today, urging his signature on A.B. 2448. California should lead the country in leveraging new technologies to enhance the lives and prospects of this vulnerable youth population.