Media Contact: Kerri Webb, Public Information Officer II
Kerri.Webb@probation.lacounty.gov, (562) 315-3388
For Immediate Release:
March 17, 2020
L.A. COUNTY PROBATION DEPARTMENT CLOSES FACILITIES TO PUBLIC AMID COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Probation Focusing on Safety of Clients, Staff and Community during Outbreak
LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles County Probation Department’s Mission to “Rebuild Lives and Provide for Healthier and Safer Communities,” also includes taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Currently, there is no suspicion of a COVID-19 infection at any Probation offices or juvenile facilities.
Following the guidance of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County Probation Department closed all offices to the public on Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice. Probation is working closely with its health, justice, public safety, education and community partners to facilitate best practices to safely supervise youth and adults under supervision.
Public safety is a priority and the Department will continue to maintain frequent contact with clients. Deputy Probation Officers are reaching out to their clients by phone, focusing on the highest-risk offenders. Probation is also asking clients to proactively reach out to their probation officer.
The Department is working with the courts and legal partners on methods to safely reduce the juvenile population housed at Probation facilities through strategies such as holding first time violations in abeyance. L.A. County Probation is increasing daily cleaning and sanitation at each facility in addition to posting and distributing COVID-19 related information to educate staff and youth about the virus and precautions that are being taken. The Department is also screening all youth admitted to facilities for risk of COVID-19 infection at the time of admission. Should it be required, Probation and Juvenile Court Health Services have identified appropriate space to isolate youth with medical issues.
Visitation at juvenile halls and residential treatment facilities remains temporarily suspended. These visits include after-court, special and weekend visits by family members and/or community-based organizations. Parents and guardians have been notified of the temporary suspension of visiting via phone calls and letters stating alternative forms of contact with their child in light of COVID-19. Required legal visits will be held as scheduled and all court ordered visits will be honored. This is solely a proactive measure developed in conjunction with Juvenile Court Health Services (JCHS) and the Board of State and Community Corrections. Youth in juvenile facilities have received extended phone privileges to maintain contact with family and loved ones and all internal programming within the facilities will continue. In addition, the Department will explore the feasibility of other options for families to communicate with their youth, such as video conferencing from various community locations.
The Department continues to follow guidelines issued by the Department of Public Health, including the General Containment and Control of Transmission Guidelines and the Guidance for Congregate Living Facilities, in its efforts to maintain a healthy living environment for youth in its care.
For general questions, please contact the Probation Information Center at 866-931-2222 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.