Los Angeles County will as soon as once more have to determine the place to put over 300 younger individuals in its custody — except probation officers can pull off dramatic enhancements at their long-troubled services within the subsequent two months.

State regulators on Thursday voted to search out each Los Padrinos Juvenile Corridor in Downey and Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Corridor in Sylmar “unsuitable” after the county repeatedly didn’t correct problems inside, together with paltry staffing and meager programming choices.

It’s the most recent embarrassment for the county in a years-long back-and-forth between the Board of State and Community Corrections, which has the facility to examine and shut down harmful correctional services, and the county, whose juvenile halls have been plagued with violence and staffing points for many years.

The vote units the clock: The county has two months to both repair all the problems highlighted by regulators or get everybody out. Los Padrinos at present homes round 280 youths whereas Nidorf has about 50, in keeping with the county’s Probation Oversight Fee.

The vote was a shock to many advocates, who’ve criticized the board for being reluctant to crack down, and a few within the county, who hoped the board would delay a vote.

As an alternative, high county officers, who had arrived in Sacramento to argue that the division had made nice strides for the reason that final inspection, have been met with exasperation and disbelief.

“I’m actually confused,” stated Board Chair Linda Penner, noting a “chasm” between the county’s optimistic replace and the grim image painted by her personal employees.

“Let me aid you out right here, L.A.,” she continued. “If I’ve to be the decider of reality between the 2 of you, I’m going to lean closely in the direction of what our company is available in with.”

All 9 board members current voted to search out the services unsuitable to accommodate younger individuals. Two board members — Scott Budnick and Angeles Zaragoza — had recused themselves.

The county’s Probation Division didn’t instantly reply to an inquiry about subsequent steps.

9 months in the past, state inspectors ordered all youths out of Central Juvenile Corridor in Boyle Heights and most youths out of Nidorf after the county had repeatedly didn’t convey the halls into compliance with a protracted listing of state laws. The youths at Nidorf who have been accused of extra severe crimes stayed put as a result of the state didn’t have jurisdiction over them on the time. The governor not too long ago modified that coverage in his price range.

The choice final 12 months to vacate the 2 halls left the county scrambling to determine the place to place the 300 younger individuals in its care. Officers determined to reopen Los Padrinos, a juvenile corridor that had been closed in 2019 amid dwindling inhabitants and mounting security considerations.

Because it opened, there have been fights, overdoses and an escape try. The division not too long ago positioned eight officers on leave after they allegedly stood by whereas a gaggle of youths beat up one other teen contained in the corridor.

The division’s ongoing staffing disaster persevered on the new facility. Deputy Probation Chief Kimberly Epps stated Thursday that greater than 1,400 probation staffers are on some type of protected go away — which means they’re both not working or on mild obligation — out of three,800 sworn personnel.

She stated a whole bunch of staff merely don’t present up. Two individuals by no means confirmed up for his or her shift on Tremendous Bowl Sunday, she stated.

Sheila Williams, a senior supervisor with the county’s chief govt workplace, emphasised the county has been cracking down on no-shows, amongst different enchancment efforts. She stated greater than 590 “notices of self-discipline” have been issued since October, 2022, to employees who have been skipping shifts.

Supervisor Janice Hahn stated in a press release after the assembly that she felt the division’s high brass was making “excuses” relatively than “proudly owning as much as the unacceptable circumstances.”

“I’m involved about the way forward for the Probation Division and whether or not they’re able to the reform that everyone knows must occur,” wrote Hahn, whose district consists of Los Padrinos.

Supervisor Hilda Solis blamed the issues on long-term Probation Division leaders who’ve “abused their authority, turned a blind eye, and who created a tradition that has enabled rank-and-file employees to function with impunity.”

The 5 county supervisors had picked Chief Probation Officer Guillermo Viera Rosa, a former member of the Board of State and Neighborhood Corrections, for the job final 12 months, partly with the hope that he may assist convey the county again into the regulatory board’s good graces.

As an alternative, he’s squarely of their cross-hairs. A plea he made to postpone the listening to was ignored and his argument that the company was combating conflicting mandates made by the Division of Justice and the state regulatory board drew little help.

“If I have been in his footwear, I’d select to adjust to each, and I’d determine it out,” stated board member Brian Richart, the chief probation officer for El Dorado County.

Eduardo Mundo, chair of the county’s Probation Oversight Fee, stated he wasn’t clear the place the youth will go if the county can’t repair the issues within the two services within the subsequent 60 days.

Mundo emphasised he was not talking on behalf of the fee.

“I do have blended feelings. The place can we go from right here? Everybody desires them to shut down, however what’s the choice?” stated Mundo, noting the county’s long-term plan to cease confining youths in juvenile halls had not but been applied. “What do you do with these children?”


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