The state’s youth prison system may not be shuttering yet, as Governor Brown has decided to back away from a plan to dissolve the once troubled facilities.
The change of heart came after a public and private outcry from probation and corrections officers from across the state. They have already been tasked with handling the state’s prisoners under realignment. If the youth prisons were closed they would be forced to deal with some of the most troubled offenders in the youth system.
District attorneys threatened that turning all youth offenders over to the counties would require them to pursue adult charges more frequently, meaning that teenagers would serve their prison terms in general population or around career criminals. Additionally, these facilities lack the resources and capabilities to provide the intensive therapy required to rehabilitate the youths, and the educational opportunities are extremely limited.
Never the less, the state will continue operating the three youth prisons, which house less than a thousand inmates.
From the Mercury News:
Responding to pressure from probation chiefs, district attorneys and prison guards, Gov. Jerry Brown has done an about-face on a revolutionary plan to shutter California’s youth prison system that was once the nation’s largest — and arguably the most notorious.
Just four months ago, a small section buried in the governor’s belt-tightening budget caused a massive stir in the juvenile justice world. With annual costs per inmate at about $200,000 and its population down 90 percent from peak years, the youth prison system should stop accepting serious and violent youthful offenders beginning next year, the Brown administration concluded.
Read the full article here.