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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional

Home for Nonviolent Juvenile Offenders Opens

May 26, 2000

CAMARILLO — With construction of a new juvenile detention center still years away, Ventura County probation officials cut the ribbon on a new home for nonviolent offenders at the Camarillo Airport Thursday, one they hope will ease overcrowding in the county's tight quarters.

"We see this as a stopgap measure," said Cal Remington, chief probation officer for the county. "It's not going to stop the problem of overcrowding. What we need is the large juvenile justice complex."

The $2-million renovation, in the works for three years, transfers the county's work program for youth offenders from its home in Ventura to a new 40-bed facility and also expands counseling and vocational services.

The first group of young offenders will arrive at the new facility next week. The renovated building was formerly used by an adult work furlough program and has been empty for some time.

In Ventura, the juvenile program had room for only 24 offenders, which included girls. Teenage girls who are currently serving their time will continue to do so at Colston Youth Center in Ventura.

The program gives nonviolent male offenders--typically those who have pleaded guilty to property crimes and were sentenced to spend up to four months in detention--a chance to work for a paycheck, 80% of which goes to paying back their victims.

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