For the last three years, the Los Angeles probation department has been trying to improve its system, come into compliance with a report issued by the federal government, and do a better job rehabilitating youths. But after much effort, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the county’s youth ranches are still deficient in 11 of the 41 areas highlighted for reform.
However, the 30 or so improvements that have been made are substantial. They include reducing the number of suicides and use of force on the juveniles. By the time some additional is brought forward, county officials expect that overall compliance with the federal report will be above 90 percent.
A former staffer of the Probation Department said that the rate of compliance would have been greater had the county given the Department the resources it needed. One of the consistent shortcomings was staffing, and maintaining the mandated ration of staff to juveniles.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Despite making “great strides” to improve parts of its juvenile justice system, the Los Angeles County Probation Department has failed to achieve almost a quarter of the 41 youth camp reforms ordered in 2008 by federal officials, according to a draft report obtained by The Times.
The department oversees 14 camps designed to house and rehabilitate about 2,200 of the area’s most troubled youths and has been under U.S. Department of Justice oversight for nearly 10 years. As part of an agreement reached three years ago, the department was threatened with a federal takeover unless it did more to prevent youth suicides, stop employees from harming juvenile delinquents and reduce use-of-force incidents.
Read the full article here.