HOW DO WE KEEP LAWBREAKING KIDS FROM RETURNING TO LOCK-UP? LA COUNTY SUP MARK RIDLEY-THOMAS AND CHILDREN’S DEFENSE FUND HEAD MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN…HAVE A 10-PT PLAN
The 10-step plan is part of a 65-page report on juvenile reentry commissioned by Ridley-Thomas and prepared by Children Defense Fund staffers, Michelle Newell and Angelica Salazar, who did much of their research when they were at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
While the report is not definitive, it’s smarter than the County’s purported professionals were able to turn out earlier this year, and features many good moments of analysis plus that list of sensible suggestions.
It is also an excellent place to start a conversation.
Here’s a snippet from its executive summary:
With the largest juvenile justice system in the country, LA County has high rates of youth incarceration. For most juvenile offenders, this incarceration will take place in one of the 19 County probation camps, or residential facilities, and these youth will be released after less than a year and face the challenge of reentering their communities.
Reentry is challenging regardless of the population, but for juvenile offenders it is particularly complicated given the range of developmental changes these youth are experiencing. In Los Angeles, these youth are burdened by high rates of mental illness and substance abuse, low rates of educational attainment and alarmingly high levels of gang involvement. Given these barriers, it is perhaps not surprising that juveniles are currently not successful in reentering their communities. Re-offending rates are high, and while the County Probation Department does not collect much outcome data, available evidence indicates youth outcomes are grim…
Ridley-Thomas and Edelman will be holding a press conference at 1:30 pm Thursday to introduce the report and the 10-step plan. The presser will be held in Ridley-Thomas’s office, in the Hall of Administration, 500 W. Temple Street, LA.
A NEW VOLLEY IN THE BATTLE OVER HIRING MORE LAPD OFFICERS
LA Police Protective League president, Paul Weber, has an op ed in Thursday’s LA Times that explains a bit more about why the union is fighting the mayor’s and Chief Charlie Beck’s collective promise to hire more police officers.
Weber says the department should first use its existing officers more wisely. Here’s a clip.
When the City Council voted to raise trash fees in 2006, the action came with a promise to Angelenos that the money would be put toward expanding the Los Angeles police force to more than 10,000 officers. But even as we’ve moved closer to meeting that goal on paper, the number of officers on the street is being eroded.
Because of attrition, early retirement incentives and mandatory furloughs, the number of police officers doing actual police work is gradually declining, and the problem is becoming more acute.
One huge reason is that the city is no longer paying officers for overtime. There is no way to avoid overtime in police work: An officer making an arrest, say, can’t simply let a suspect go because a work shift has ended….
PS: For the record, I think the department should keep hiring, but let’s not use cops for jobs that non-sworn folks could do cheaper (and just as well).
WWBD? WHAT WOULD BILL DO?
By sheer coincidence, former LAPD chief Bill Bratton indirectly addressed the issue when he was in London consulting with the Brits on policing and gave an interview to some local press:
“In terms of creating safer communities, cops count and policing does matter. But successful policing is not only about making the right investments in law enforcement. You cannot spend your way to a safer community and it isn’t about how much money you spend, or how many staff you have on the payroll.
“It’s about what you do with your most valuable asset - the sworn officer….
LA’S LIGHT RAIL FIASCO
The LA Weekly’s Gene Maddaus has written a terrific article in Thursday’s edition of the paper that shows LA’s light rail project to be both horribly over budget and a projected 2 years over its deadline for completion.
Oh, yeah, the project’s CEO, Rick Thorpe, lives in Utah, not LA, and is collecting a salary of $334,000. As Maddaus points out, Thorpe, who oversees a staff of 16, makes more than the CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, who is responsible for 8,000 employees (!!!)
A PORTRAIT OF A TWICE ARRESTED STUDENT PROTESTER
Neon Tommy’s Callie Schweitzer writes about 21-year-old University of California, Berkeley senior Ricardo Gomez, who has been arrested twice for protesting in what is “part of a growing student movement fighting tuition increases in the 10-campus system.”
Read the rest here.
9TH CIRCUIT JUDGE THINKS CALIFORNIA MAY BE
ABOUT TO EXECUTE AN INNOCENT MAN
The details are in an unsettling LA Times Op Ed by Alan Dershowitz and David Rivkin Jr.
COLUMNIST/WRITER/MOM MEGHAN DAUM COMES BACK FROM THE BRINK AND TELLS US ABOUT THE VIEW
(A lot of us are just very glad she’s okay. We didn’t like that tubed up and skating-the-edge thingy one bit.)
Photo by TIMOTHY NORRIS