Investments made in juvenile detention may have California Counties in a better position to handle a realignment of services. According to the San Francisco-based Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, nearly a half of a billion dollars have been spent in the last 15 years to modernize juvenile detention facilities, and they have the capacity to absorb the offenders in state custody.

Under Governor Brown’s plan, the state’s juvenile detention centers will be phased out. In 2013, the state will accept no further juvenile detainees, and in 2014 the centers will be closed completely. That will leave the counties responsible for the underage offenders.

Already, the number of incarcerated youths has dropped by nearly 90 percent. In the 1990s, the state housed nearly 10,000 juveniles. Now that number is loser to 1,100.

From the California Watch:

County governments have invested nearly a half-billion dollars over the past 15 years to modernize juvenile lockups and now have the capacity to absorb offenders currently housed in the state’s youth prisons, if those facilities are closed, a new study contends.

The report [PDF] by the San Francisco-based Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice offers fresh data in support of Gov. Jerry Brown’s renewed push to shutter the state’s three remaining youth prisons as part of a historic realignment of California’s criminal justice system.

A total of $455,779,103 was allocated to renovate county facilities, according to the report, with 96 percent going to new maximum-security juvenile halls in 41 jurisdictions.

Read the full article here.