How the Juvenile System Forces Minors Into Unsafe Institutions
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Marshall Project
Posted: June 4th, 2023
A 2020 reform law was supposed to remake the way the California juvenile justice system looks. “De-escalation rooms” stocked with essential oils and weighted blankets are among the changes some county youth facilities have been pushed to install. It was all part of an effort to make the system less punitive and more therapeutic. But this air of change might be news to young people held in Los Angeles County, where this week, California Attorney General Rob Bonta asked a state judge to sanction local officials for what he called “illegal and unsafe conditions.” County officials across the state pushed back against the 2020 law — which phased out state-run juvenile facilities in favor of county-run ones. Tasked with rolling out the changes, local officials formed a multi-county non-profit organization — not subject to public information laws — to share resources and data. Some local advocates worry that this approach is creating a “shadow jury and justice system that operates outside of the public,” reports the Sacramento Bee. The way this has played out in California may be instructive to Texas, where some lawmakers are seeking a similar overhaul for a juvenile system long-plagued by abusive conditions and mismanagement. As in California, county juvenile justice officials in Texas oppose the changes. A recent report from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics found 1,762 confirmed incidents of young people being sexually harassed, abused, or assaulted in juvenile facilities between 2013 and 2018.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on prison system corruption from reliable major media sources.