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O.C. Grand Jury Urges Savings in Inmates' Transit

May 06, 2003|By a Times Staff Writer

Juvenile offenders in Orange County's two remote detention facilities must be transported long distances for emergency and routine medical needs, a method that is time-consuming and costly, according to an Orange County Grand Jury report released Monday.

Transportation absorbs much of the time of deputy probation counselors. For example, those at Los Pinos Conservation Camp travel 104 miles round trip to take offenders to Juvenile Hall in Orange for medical care.

Of the 366 reported medical emergencies during the study period -- September 2001 to August 2002 -- 83% occurred when a nurse was not on duty. About 40% were on weekends.

Nurses work at Joplin Youth Center in Trabuco Canyon and Los Pinos in the Cleveland National Forest from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. There are no nurses evenings and weekends.

Grand jurors recommended hiring a physician to routinely visit those facilities for an annual savings of $150,000.

Probation officials could not be reached for comment.

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