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Juvenile Justice

January 5, 2008 | From the Associated Press
The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will close two of the state's eight juvenile prisons by July. The department said Friday that the Dewitt Nelson Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton and El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility in Paso Robles would close. Together they house about 400 inmates and employ about 800 workers. A declining juvenile prison population and a new state law that aims to keep less serious offenders in their communities prompted the closures.
December 2, 2007 | Sharon Cohen, Associated Press
A generation after America decided to get tough on kids who commit crimes -- sometimes locking them up for life -- the tide may be turning. States are rethinking and, in some cases, retooling juvenile sentencing laws. They're responding to new research on the adolescent brain, and studies indicating that teens sent to adult court end up worse off than those who aren't: They get in trouble more often, they do it faster and the offenses are more serious.
October 14, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Seven former juvenile boot camp guards and a nurse had barely processed a jury's decision to acquit them in a teenager's death before federal authorities announced they would review the case. Federal prosecutors would probably have to try another tactic, such as seeking an indictment alleging obstruction of justice, legal experts said. "It's too early to say that the final chapter has been written with respect to the criminal justice system in this case," said Kendall Coffey, a former U.S.
May 20, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The agency that runs the state's juvenile prison system said it would release 226 inmates after a review found their sentences were improperly extended. The review is one of many ongoing reforms to the state's juvenile system after the disclosure of allegations of sexual abuse of inmates by staff. Advocates for Texas Youth Commission inmates and their families have complained that sentences are often extended inconsistently or in retaliation for filing grievances.
May 9, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
To comply with federal Justice Department requirements, the county Probation Department will hire an independent investigator to review possible incidents of child abuse in juvenile halls, the Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday. Robert Spierer, a retired head of the Sheriff's Department's Internal Affairs Division, will contract with the county for at least one year starting June 1 at a salary of $150,000.
April 17, 2007 | Jack Leonard and Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writers
Spurred by the last year's increases in home prices, rising property tax revenues will help fund a boost in public safety spending in the coming fiscal year as Los Angeles County seeks to refurbish its aging and dangerous jail system, put more sheriff's deputies on the streets and target gang crime, officials said Monday.
December 24, 2006
Re "Reform bid fades away amid hems and haws," column, Dec. 20 The dismal lack of action by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors when it comes to the juvenile justice system is a plan, not an error. The board has carefully avoided the situation for two reasons: Ignore it long enough and someone else will have to pick up the ball, such as the state or federal justice systems. Putting criminals on the streets who are better trained by being in the L.A. County juvenile facilities provides more work for the county Sheriff's Department, which means we'll need more deputies, which means the board then has the need to ask for more money from us to create the new positions.
July 1, 2006 | Gregory W. Griggs, Times Staff Writer
Ventura County's elected leaders were divided Friday over a state proposal to replace female teens incarcerated at a youth correctional facility in Camarillo, possibly with boys or low-risk adult male prisoners. Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) last week amended her bill, which seeks to move female offenders in the juvenile justice system to less expensive community programs where they can receive education and rehabilitation programs.
June 22, 2006 | Jenifer Warren, Times Staff Writer
Young parolees accused of violating terms of their release are being jailed for months while awaiting hearings to determine their fates, a practice that violates their constitutional right of due process, according to a federal lawsuit filed here Wednesday. The youths -- some of whom are accused of "technical" violations, such as drinking alcohol -- are also routinely denied the right to call witnesses or have an attorney at their parole revocation hearings, the class-action lawsuit says.
June 21, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
County probation officers Saturday night recaptured the last of four gang members whose March escape from Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar exposed multiple lapses in the county's juvenile detention system. A department official said the 17-year-old was arrested at an Inglewood motel. Authorities are also investigating whether he participated in a drive-by shooting since his escape, the official said.
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