BSCC Finds LA Central Unsuitable
SACRAMENTO (June 9, 2022) – The Board of State and Community Corrections found the Los Angeles County Central Juvenile Hall unsuitable for the confinement of youth, a vote that requires the county to either remediate violations of the Board’s regulations or, after receiving a 60-day notice from the Board, remove the young people from the facilities.
Last month BSCC inspectors found that probation officers were not regularly completing safety checks to ensure that young people confined to cells were checked on every 15 minutes. While safety check records were filled out indicating these checks were done, a review of video showed that they were not.
The most recent finding comes after more than 16 months of problems inspectors have uncovered at the facility. In February 2021, the juvenile halls were found to be out of compliance with several of the Board’s regulations, which required the Probation Department to develop a corrective action plan. Although the department remediated many of the violations, it continued to be out of compliance with several health and safety regulations, including not providing physical exams within 96 hours of admission and incorrectly documenting the use of psychotropic medications. For those violations, the Board found the facility unsuitable and directed BSCC staff to issue a 60-day notice to remediate the violations and reinspect the facility for compliance.
During reinspection, BSCC staff identified additional items of noncompliance; the Los Angeles County Probation Department submitted a Corrective Action Plan, and BSCC staff planned to conduct a reinspection for a determination of suitability in March, 2022.
On March 10, 2022, prior to reinspection, the BSCC was notified by the Los Angeles County Probation Department that they intended to suspend operations at the Central Juvenile Hall for 90 days and transfer youth from the facility to the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall to “assist in facilitating leadership changes, training for staff and needed repairs to the facility.” The BSCC reinspection for the items of noncompliance was scheduled to begin on March 14, 2022. On March 14, 2022, the BSCC was informed that there were no longer youth housed in the facility, which the BSCC confirmed when BSCC staff conducted a site visit at the Central Juvenile Hall on March 17, 2022. BSCC notified the Probation Department that reinspection would commence when youth returned to the facility.
On May 16, 2022, having learned that Los Angeles County Probation Department intended to return youth to Central Juvenile Hall on May 18, 2022, the BSCC notified the department that it would reinspect the facility for the outstanding issues of noncompliance. The final group of youth returned on May 25, 2022. BSCC staff were onsite on May 20, May 23, and May 25, 2022; the final reinspection was conducted on June 1, 2022.
The Probation Department’s Corrective Action Plan indicated that it would have managers conduct random reviews of video and in-person safety checks, documenting their findings on the Video and In-Person Observation Logs and providing immediate correction and instruction when they observed noncompliance. The BSCC found that those checks were not being properly conducted.
At the June 9, 2022 BSCC Board Meeting, the BSCC Board voted to find the Central Juvenile Hall out of compliance with Title 15, Section 1327, Safety Checks and declared the facility unsuitable for the detention of minors pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 209 (d)(4).
The finding of suitability requires the Los Angeles Probation Department to remove youth from the facility within 60 days of this finding which is August 7, 2022. However, the Board directed BSCC staff to reinspect the facility within 60 days to determine if the items of noncompliance have been remedied. The Board has directed BSCC staff to reinspect the facility prior to July 28, 2022 and will convene upon the call of the Chair to determine if the items have been remedied.
For more information please contact Deputy Director Allison Ganter at Allison.Ganter@bscc.ca.gov