CSAC Bulletin Article

CSAC Convenes Juvenile Hall Utilization Work Group

July 11, 2019

CSAC has created a Juvenile Hall Utilization Work Group to discuss the use of local juvenile detention facility beds throughout California, as juvenile justice has undergone a variety of reforms in the past decade. 

The CSAC working group is comprised of County Supervisors, County Administrative/Executive Officers and Chief Probation Officers that represent rural, suburban and urban counties. Members of the group, in consultation with juvenile justice experts, have met monthly since March to discuss topics including policy trends in juvenile justice, the juvenile court process, juvenile hall regulatory requirements and the implications of state juvenile bond funding.

County probation departments throughout California have focused on rehabilitation efforts aimed at keeping youth out of local juvenile detention facilities. These efforts have led to a drastically lower juvenile offender population and an increase in the number of vacant beds in local juvenile detention facilities. In fact, according to data provided to the Board of State and Community Corrections, in August 2018 there were over 5,000 vacant juvenile hall beds across the state. These vacancies have led a number of counties to contemplate different uses for these beds.

The working group members will continue to meet monthly and will be presenting a report and a tool-kit to the Administration of Justice Policy Committee during the CSAC annual conference. This report will include comprehensive information about the history of California’s juvenile justice system, legislative changes that have impacted the juvenile offender population, and juvenile justice programming, as well as options for how counties can move forward in this area.

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