The Los Angeles County Probation Department continues to be committed to community safety and is dedicated to the protection of everyone who lives, works in, and visits the Department’s juvenile facilities and area offices. During this unprecedented time, the Department has implemented several new protocols in facilities and area offices, following the Department of Public Health guidelines to limit or prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst staff and youth.
Probation has implemented several precautions to keep youth and staff safe. In facilities, masks are available to all staff and youth and social distancing measures have been implemented. Probation has also increased daily cleaning at each facility and is increasing the hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations available. Additionally, the Department has implemented mandatory verbal screening for every person entering a juvenile detention facility.
Area offices remain closed to the public. Deputy Probation Officers continue to maintain contact with probation clients by phone, email, and videoconference. Clients are encouraged to reach out to their assigned probation officer as well. The Department continues to conduct field visits and is prioritizing cases where there are vulnerable victims, sex offenders, and any other circumstances that are considered high risk or require special attention. In addition to conducting safety checks, officers are providing COVID-19 Public Health information and resources.
Probation is continuously assessing all new measures that are being implemented and is adjusting or suspending required conditions as necessary that are consistent with this emergent situation while placing public safety at the forefront of our decisions.
While our communities are in a declared state of emergency, Probation staff stands ready to fulfill our duties to the juvenile and adult clients we serve.
A priority of Juvenile Institutions is to ensure the safety and security of staff, youth, public and probation facilities. We encourage everyone to follow the General Containment and Control of Transmission Guidelines provided by The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. To minimize the risk of COVID-19 within our institutions, the Residential Treatment and Detention Bureaus have implemented the following precautions:
- Posting of Department of Public Health (DPH) signage outside each facility and inside the living units, restrooms, kitchen, staff sleeping quarters.
- Interagency townhall meetings with Juvenile Court Health Services (JCHS) nurses to address concerns, answer questions and provide a plan.
- Probation and JCHS continue to complete a screening that includes asking questions related to infectious diseases which continue to be part of the Initial Intake Questionnaire. If any symptoms that are associated with the COVID-19 are observed or if the youth has traveled to an area previously identified as a COVID-19 area of concern, JCHS is immediately notified.
- Participation in frequent conference calls hosted by Probation Emergency Management to share information and obtain COVID-19 updates from partner agencies.
- COVID-19 information flyers for parents and community.
- Identification of space to isolate infectious youth.
- Probation’s Management Services Bureau is instructing janitorial services at facilities to ensure all bathrooms and staff quarters (where applicable) are cleaned daily and have readily available hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper, hand sanitizers and disinfectant.
- Bringing in additional staff to clean and disinfect common touch areas twice per shift.
To protect the health and safety of youth who are currently housed within the County’s juvenile halls and residential treatment facilities, the Los Angeles County Probation Department has suspended visitations at facilities until further notice. These visits include after-court, special and weekend visits by family members and/or community-based organizations. Required legal visits will be held as scheduled and all court ordered visits will be honored. Youth in facilities will have extended phone privileges to maintain contact with family and loved ones and all internal programming within the facilities will continue. The Department is also exploring the feasibility of other options for families to communicate with their youth, such as video conferencing. Probation’s priority is to protect the health and wellness of staff and youth. This is solely a proactive measure developed in conjunction with Juvenile Court Health Services (JCHS) and the Board of State and Community Corrections. At this time Los Angeles County Probation Department has not identified any infected staff or youth in its facilities.
Yes, the facility and JCHS will contact a parent or guardian.
The Department is taking proactive measures to protect employees and program participants. At this time, the Probation Adult Alternative Work Services (PAAWS) and the Juvenile Alternative Work Services (JAWS) also known as the Work Crew Services Program has been temporarily suspended. Participants will be notified when program activity resumes.
Beware of scams, false news and hoaxes surrounding novel coronavirus. Accurate information, including announcements of new cases in Los Angeles County, will always be distributed by Public Health through press releases, social media, and their website. The Los Angeles County Public Health website has more information on COVID-19.
Social media: @lapublichealth
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Access Center 24/7 Helpline: (800) 854-7771.
Other reliable sources of information about novel coronavirus are:
California Department of Public Health (CDPH, State)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, National)
World Health Organization (WHO, International)
If you have questions and would like to speak to someone, call 2-1-1 which is available 24 hours a day
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