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Monday, March 27, 2023

La Verne, Santa Clarita residents criticize plans to relocate young offenders

Residents of La Verne and the Santa Clarita Valley blasted a potential plan to house Los Angeles County’s most serious juvenile offenders in their communities on Wednesday night, Jan.

In La Verne, Camp Joseph Pipage and Clinton B. Efflerbaugh is on a short list of county sites for placing these youths. Camp Scott in Santa Clarita is also on that list, while Camp Kilpatrick in Malibu is an option as an interim site, officials said Wednesday.

Camp Glen Rocky in San Dimas was previously considered as an alternative site.

Under Senate Bill 823, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September 2020, juveniles under the age of 12 — some of whom remain in custody until the age of 25 — are in the state for rehabilitation if convicted of murder, arson and other crimes. from prisons to county facilities. Young people close to their homes. The bill aims to place youth in the “least restrictive appropriate environment”.

In response, the LA County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council established a working group, the Juvenile Justice Realignment Block Grant Subcommittee, to implement the bill.

If chosen, each La Verne camp can house up to 50 high-level criminals, previously supervised by the state’s Juvenile Justice Department. Camps Aflerbaugh and Paige currently contain mostly low-level juvenile delinquents and it is unknown where the new population will be housed if the county chooses the La Verne sites.

LA County Probation Chief deputy and subcommittee member Adam Bettino told a town hall meeting on Wednesday that facilities would have adequate security. This may include anti-climbing fencing, additional barriers, security cameras and additional security measures around the perimeter.

According to the La County Probation Oversight Commission, in La Verne, a fence will be erected between the two camps and the nearby fire department’s staging area to improve security.

Camp Marshall on North Stephens Ranch Road is a mile from homes and a 10-minute drive from the 210 Freeway in the foothills around Canyon. Camp Scott is in the middle of a residential area in Santa Clarita.

The county’s probationary department is considering reducing the need for shuttle service and some parking for visitors. Currently, the Barry J. There are 14 youth convicted of serious crimes awaiting appointment to the Niedorf Juvenile Hall.

For weeks, community members and city officials have objected to moving more violent criminals to La Verne facilities. The cities of San Dimas, Glendora, Clermont and the San Gabriel Valley Council of Government all sent letters to the county opposing the relocation of teenage youth.

Many who spoke at the meeting reiterated their stance that another site in the county should take youth. Speakers included the entire La Verne city council, who spoke individually each Wednesday.

Mayor Tim Hepburn said, “We are a very liberal community and have been for many years and I think the commission needs to adjust its views and place these young people in facilities” where many of their families live.

Santa Clarita Intergovernmental Affairs Analyst Masis Hagobian expressed concern about the relocation of violent youth to the city and called Camp Kilpatrick the best option.

Betino said any site working toward a goal would see an increase in 1 to 4 staffing ratios and services for young people, which also include educational and business avenues.

Earlier youths under the state’s Juvenile Justice Department spoke out in favor of the county’s plan.

Ezekiel Nishiyama, a member of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition working to end mass confinement in the state, said comments from many residents were misleading.

“I recently came home two years ago after four years of service in some of these facilities,” Nishiyama said. “These youngsters are more than serious teenagers and I’m here today only to speak to the fact that they are not what they were made of.”

County Probation Oversight Commission member Samuel Lewis said he was saddened after finding himself in prison as a youth that so many people say they support rehabilitation, but say “not in my backyard.”

“If it were your son or your daughter who would have found yourself in these circumstances, would you have abandoned them and said, ‘I don’t want them near me?’ Lewis asked.

The next virtual town hall on juvenile prison reorganization in LA County is scheduled for Thursday, January 13 at 9 a.m. The public is asked to register in advance at probation.lacounty.gov.

The LA County Board of Supervisors is expected to announce a final location to hold young offenders in mid-January or February based on the recommendations of the Juvenile Justice Subcommittee.

World Nation News Desk
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