BSCC Finds LA Juvenile Halls “Unsuitable” in Historic First

The Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), found Los Angeles juvenile halls unsuitable to house young people at its September 16, 2021 meeting.  In a unanimous vote, the Board gave the county 60 days from October 1, 2021, to either remediate the violations or remove young people from the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar and Central Juvenile Hall in Boyle Heights. PJDC submitted extensive written comments calling for the finding of unsuitability and gave public comment at the hearing.  This was the first time in the history of the agency that the Board issued a finding of unsuitability.

This followed inspection findings in February that the halls were out of compliance with state regulations. In August, BSCC placed the county on notice that it would make a finding on suitability at the September meeting, after finding that some of the noncompliance issues persisted. While the probation department subsequently addressed some of the issues, others persisted even in a follow-up inspection conducted 3 days before the BSCC meeting. Under state law, if a facility is out of compliance with even one regulation, a finding on suitability must be made at the next scheduled BSCC meeting.  The noncompliance issues include failure to provide policies and implementation of health care requirements, and insufficient documentation to determine whether the county was justified in placing youths in solitary confinement or restraints within the facility. The halls are simultaneously subject to a 2021 settlement agreement with the California Department of Justice, for an even broader series of problems than were identified in the BSCC inspection.  PJDC called for the Board to inspect the facilities anew in the earliest possible inspection cycle to consider those issues, as well.

PJDC’s letter to the Board can be found at this link

News articles on the BSSC action can be found at the links below:

In startling & historic vote, state board finds LA County’s two juvenile halls “unsuitable for youth habitation.”