Governor Brown Signs Toni Atkins’ Bill to Reestablish ‘Honorable Discharge’ Program for Youth Offenders

October 11, 2017

Gov. Jerry Brown today signed SB 625, legislation by Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) that will reestablish the “honorable discharge” program for juvenile offenders who have completed supervision and have demonstrated an ability to be successful.

“The best thing we can do for our young people is help them build a bright future for themselves, and that is especially true for youth exiting our criminal-justice system who want to head in a more positive direction,” Atkins said. “SB 625 will help a program participant get a job or qualify for an occupational license – and maybe become a cosmetologist or a counselor, just to name a couple of examples. I thank the Governor for his support for this important anti-recidivism tool.”

A previous honorable-discharge program was inadvertently lost with the passage of realignment. Even though juveniles are not technically convicted and need not disclose their offenses during the hiring process, their criminal history could come out during interviews or when references or records are checked. An award of honorable discharge will demonstrate rehabilitation.