The U.S. Department of Justice will continue for at least another year to oversee reforms at Los Angeles County's 14 juvenile probation camps, under an agreement announced Thursday.
In 2008, the county's Probation Department accepted federal monitoring after being threatened with a takeover unless it did more to prevent youth suicides, stop employees from harming juvenile delinquents and improve rehabilitative services. The oversight was set to expire this month.
The Probation Department was required to fulfill 41 reforms in its juvenile justice system, including improving staffing levels, decreasing violence and reducing the number of use-of-force incidents.
Although the county made progress on most items, Justice Department officials said it fell short on four, including improving staff training and expanding drug rehabilitation programs, and will have to bring those into compliance within a year.
Federal officials suggested that all reforms should be complete by 2014, but Probation Chief Jerry Powers said he wanted to be finished before then.
"We're hopeful that we can get into compliance in the next 90 to 120 days," he said.
The agreement also calls for the Probation Department to open two more centers where youths can report for programs during the day and to find other ways to divert juveniles away from the 14 overnight probation camps, including rehabilitating them at home, according to federal officials.