Media Contact: Kerri Webb, Public Information Officer II
Kerri.Webb@probation.lacounty.gov, (562) 315-3388
For Immediate Release:
March 13, 2020
L.A. COUNTY PROBATION TEMPORARILY SUSPENDS VISITATIONS AT JUVENILE FACILITIES AS PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE FOR COVID-19 TRANSMISSION
LOS ANGELES—In response to the ongoing County and State efforts to control the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and 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 temporarily suspended visitations at those 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.
The Department values visitation as an essential part of family reunification. Youth in juvenile facilities will have 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’s role during the COVID-19 pandemic is to implement practices and procedures that limit the transmission of the virus. Although it has not identified any infected staff or youth in its facilities, Probation’s priority is to protect the health and wellness of all 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.
In addition to the suspension of visitation, The Los Angeles County Probation Department has implemented several measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 within its juvenile facilities including:
- Posting of Department of Public Health (DPH) signage outside each facility and inside the living units, restrooms, kitchen, staff sleeping quarters.
- Interagency Town Hall 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.
The Department continues to follow guidelines issued by DPH, 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.