Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall Will Close in July In response to the decreasing num- ber of youth in its juvenile halls, L.A. County Probation has announced that Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall (LPJH) will officially close its doors on July 27, 2019. Los Padrinos’ closure will move the Department closer to our goal of making the remaining facilities true centers of excellence for juvenile reha- bilitation, ultimately employing the L.A. Model’s trauma-informed, child- centered approach,” said Shelia Mitchell, Chief Deputy for Juvenile Services. The average populations in juvenile halls and camps have recently reached historic lows. CJH will undergo major renovations in the future to update its aging facilities. Probation, the County, and the court system have worked in concert to allow young people with the lowest-level needs and lowest risk to be supervised in alternative ways. This initia- tive placed L.A. County Probation at the leading edge of the movement to reduce the negative influences of incarceration while still providing public safety. As youth numbers have declined, the cost to maintain multiple facilities with lower populations has increased. It is neither cost-effective nor a good use of public funds to operate a juve- nile detention hall with low populations. Spreading resources over multiple facil- ities also challenges Probation staff. Central Juvenile Hall (CJH) and Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall will both remain open. Central Juvenile Hall is close to the County’s population centers and acts as a hub for medical services provided through the relationship with the University of Southern California; CJH will undergo major renovations in the future to update its aging facilities. Barry J. Nidorf’s location also benefits County residents by serving the north- western parts of the County. Probation plans no layoffs as a result of the closure of LPJH. The Probation Department, working closely with labor partners and Human Resources, will ensure that LPJH employees have access to training and transfer options to ensure everyone has new job opportunities. “I recognize the exemplary work the staff has done at Los Padrinos over the decades, and this closure is in no way a reflection on their dedication to assisting the youth in our care to become healthy, productive members of our society,” Chief Probation officer Terri McDonald said. “The downsizing of the juvenile detention system in Los Angeles demonstrates a commitment to keeping youth out of the criminal justice system. This closure, while understand- ably difficult for our employees, should be celebrated as us continuing to move in the right direction.” “Los Padrinos’ closure will move us closer to our goal of making the remaining facilities true centers of excellence for juvenile rehabilitation, ultimately employing the L.A. Model’s trauma-informed, child-centered approach.” – Shelia Mitchell Chief Deputy for Juvenile Services dedicated $14 million to community- based diversion programs in 2018. The Obama Foundation has noticed this innovative program and expressed interest in using the partnership as a model for a nationwide roll-out. “We are proud of this new partnership with Liberty Hill and the California Community Foundation because of our shared objective to improve the outcomes of youth in our communities,” said Chief Deputy for Juvenile Services Sheila Mitchell. “This strengthens our goal of partnering with community-based organizations that have proven track records for proactively providing critical programs for our youth.” Community organizations interested in learning more about this partnership and how to join may send an inquiry to youthdevelopment@calfund.org. continued from page 1 Camp McNair Wins 2019 Academic Bowl Camp Youth Reach for the Stars Challenger Camp McNair youth took home the first-place trophy at the L.A. County Office of Education (LACOE) 2019 Academic Bowl finals held at the Autry National Center in January. The Academic Bowl offers a unique opportunity for youth in Probation’s camps to show off their scholastic skills and compete amongst themselves in a positive light. The McNair team competed against four other academic juvenile system teams during a Countywide competition. The academic contest included a Jeopardy-style quiz that focused on historical events occurring between 1919-1941. Forweeksleadinguptothecompe- tition, the Camp McNair boys practiced and studied diligently every day with the help of their dedicated LACOE teachers, academic coaches and the Camp McNair Probation Officers. Probation’s Educational Services Director Jesus Corral explained that the annual Academic Bowl allows Probation to celebrate the residents’ talent and potential in a world that all too often negatively stigmatizes them. The youth feel the support from their teachers and Probation officers and hear cheering during the event by many of their parents and siblings. “Students get to go to a beautiful theater, interact with peers and be the center of attention in a positive way,” Corral explained. “The Academic Bowl motivates and allows probation youth to focus on academics, encourages them to work as a team, and allows them to see their potential.” Seven young men from Camp Afflerbaugh learned about the origins of the universe at L.A.’s iconic Griffith Observatory, as part of the Probation Department’s continuing commitment to provide innovative educational expe- riences to youth under supervision. Probation’s juvenile rehabilitation program focuses on providing oppor- tunities that engage their minds, build communication skills and expose them to new thoughts and ideas. Many of the youth in Probation camps have had little opportunity to experience the County’s local resources. “Being here is a totally new experi- ence for me,” said one of the young men on the tour. “It’s like seeing a whole new world. I don’t know what to think.” Youth chosen for the tour must have met key requirements and excelled in the camp’s programs and school- ing. They visited the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, a meteorite collection, the Apollo moon rock, and the Big Picture observing telescopes. “For most of them, this is their first time outside of their neighborhood,” said Deputy Probation Officer Alvin Johnson, Jr. “Today’s experience opened their minds as well as their eyes.” The highlight of the tour was “Centered in the Universe,” a stun- ning, full-dome planetarium theatre presentation about our place in the universe. The program transported the youth back in time from the Library of Alexandria to the world’s most power- ful telescopes in a quest for answers among the stars. “The youth on this trip enjoyed the exhibits, the planetarium and the amaz- ing views that this center offers. But, most importantly, the experience seems to have broadened the perspectives of the students,” said Senior Director of Education Services Jesus Corral. One youth described his experi- ence on the tour like this: “Today was mind-blowing. Before I came here, I didn’t believe there was life outside of Earth, but now I’m convinced there has to be.” “Being here is a totally new experience for me,” said one of the young men on the tour. “It’s like seeing a whole new world.” JUVENILE SERVICES JUVENILE SERVICES The Probation Department The Probation Department 6 7