• Home
  • Posts
  • Must Read
  • Three Remaining Youth Prisons in California Will Close by July 2023

Three Remaining Youth Prisons in California Will Close by July 2023

| lafocus |

Dianne Lugo

Youth prisons in California are closing.

For eighty years, California has used controversial facilities to incarcerate teenagers. Only three Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) prisons remain after longtime reform efforts were successful. Those three prisons will stop taking new prisoners in July as the dismantling of the DJJ moves forward. All three will fully close in July of 2023.

The closures come after a new state law passed in 2020 and after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a budget directive in January, explained the Los Angeles Times.

In 2019, the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice released a report once again calling for the dismantling and closing of youth prisons criticizing the system for legitimizing institutional gangs, “[reinforcing] racial and ethnic conflicts,” and remaining an example of “repeated cycles of neglect, violence and abuse.”

“DJJ leaves youth traumatized, disconnected, and poorly prepared for life after release. Today, as it has for more than 100 years, the state system is failing youth, their families, and their communities and is neglecting its most basic obligation: to rehabilitate young people and keep them safe,” said the report.

In December of 2020, the same nonprofit group released another report that revealed DJJ’s inability to control COVID-19 in the state’s youth prisons. By December 15, 119 youth prisoners had tested positive for the virus amounting to 15% of the youth population.

The imminent closures coincide with the criminal justice reform movement to turn to rehabilitation, not confinement and punishment.

In Los Angeles, District Attorney George Gascon promised to stop trying juveniles as adults. It is part of his proposed policies to reform the youth justice system, outlined in July.

“A couple decades ago, I felt that if you committed an adult crime, you should pay adult consequences,” Gascón told The Imprint. “I don’t believe that anymore. I would hope that we would actually get to a point where we outlaw the practice entirely.”

“For decades, criminal justice experts have known that Los Angeles’ approach to prosecuting youth has been mired in a “punish first” mindset, anchored in the failed prosecution policies of the 1990s. This antiquated approach has only served to make our communities less safe while simultaneously increasing racial disparities in the juvenile justice system,” he wrote on his website.


| lafocus |

More Coverage

Hundreds of Compton Residents Chosen for Guaranteed Income Program

Dianne Lugo Compton has joined in participating in a successful program to grant some of its residents a guaranteed i…

Pastor Tyron Robinson Named to Succeed Bishop Paul Morton

Staff Last year, nationally renowned pastor and gospel singer Bishop Paul S. Morton announced he would step down as s…

New Fund Will Grant $10,000 to Struggling Local Business Owners

Staff More relief for local Los Angeles small business owners is on the way. A new fund, the LA Regional COVID Fund, …

Probe Into Prison Deaths Ends Up Uncovering $8 Billion in Untracked State Money

Aldon Thomas Stiles | California Black Media What started out as an investigation into inmate deaths in some of Calif…

Despite Massively Successful Fundraising Efforts, Community Group Fails to Purchase Crenshaw Mall

Dianne Lugo The saga of the historic Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza ownership continues with local Black community orga…

Hollywood Blvd Business Owners Will File Criminal Charges Against Protesters for Property Damage During Breonna Taylor Demonstration

By Stephen Oduntan Shattered glass dotted the pavement. Evidence of vandalism after violent confrontations between Lo…

A Call to Stop Hate: Asian Americans & Allies Held Vigil Demanding an End to Violence & Racism

By Stephen Oduntan A Black Lives Matter – South Pasadena activist came together with the San Gabriel Valley community…

Los Angeles County Announces Emergency COVID-19 Rental Relief Program

Staff The one-year anniversary of Los Angeles’ COVID-19 shutdown has come and gone, and for many, the ensuing financi…

Latest Politics

“Police Reform and Personal Responsibility”

One Down, Three to Go: How Will Chauvin Verdict Factor in Trials of Three Remaining Officers Charged in Death of George Floyd

California Elected Officials, Civic Leaders React to George Floyd Verdict

Derek Chauvin Chooses Not to Testify in His Defense [Video]

Judge Throws Out Joe Collins Lawsuit Against Maxine Waters

© Copyright 2021 - LA Focus Newspaper