The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously backed a plan to increase juvenile diversion packages that search to maintain youngsters out of the felony justice system.
Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Janice Hahn proposed the extra complete strategy.
“Whereas there are a selection of promising packages, entry to them and their accompanying providers, like mentoring and restorative justice, relies upon largely on the place a teenager lives and what regulation enforcement company is patrolling that area,” their movement says.
Felony protection lawyer and probation commissioner Cyn Yamashiro urged the board to consider reform as “delinquency prevention” quite than focusing extra narrowly on diversion, which assumes that the beneficiaries of any packages or providers are already within the felony justice system.
Many advocates of reform stated the system disproportionately impacts minorities.
“Nearly all of youngsters within the justice system are both black or brown,” stated Probation Chief Deputy Sheila Mitchell, who’s liable for managing the division’s juvenile halls and camps.
Ninety-5 % of these in county halls and camps are youth of shade, despite the fact that white and black youngsters commit minor offenses — like drug offenses, truancy, stealing property and preventing — at roughly the identical charges, in response to the movement.
That’s partly as a result of schoolyard skirmishes and minor situations of delinquency as soon as dealt with by academics at the moment are turned over to police in some communities, stated Dr. Robert Ross, CEO and president of The California Endowment, a nonprofit well being basis.
The result’s that youngsters that pose little danger to public security might find yourself being separated from their households or fail to complete faculty, main them to commit extra critical offenses and making a “faculty to jail pipeline,” Ross stated.
Los Angeles County has dramatically decreased the variety of minors housed in juvenile halls from greater than 1,800 — 15 years in the past — to only over 600 now, based on Mitchell. That shift is due partially to decrease crime charges, however can also be the results of diversion efforts.
Although the board agrees reforms are wanted, the supervisors don’t essentially see eye to eye on priorities at this level.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger stated she favored the “prevention element moderately than diversion element.”
Hahn stated she was “an enormous fan of GAP, gang various packages.”
Hahn stated she’d additionally wish to see the county create protected passage for teenagers strolling to high school via gang-ridden neighborhoods, a danger that always results in them becoming a member of gangs merely to garner safety.
Reforms might additionally save the county cash, with authorities estimating that it prices greater than $247,000 to deal with a toddler for a yr in a county probation camp.
The board directed CEO Sachi Hamai to rent a advisor and create a subcommittee of the Countywide Legal Justice Coordination Committee to think about the difficulty and report again in…