Campus Kilpatrick

LA County Probation Wins Award for Its Trauma-Informed LA Model

Taylor Walker
Written by Taylor Walker

The National Association of Counties (NACo) has awarded Los Angeles County Probation an Achievement Award for its LA Model Juvenile Rehabilitation program at Campus Kilpatrick, a $58 million facility opened last July in the hills above Malibu, that provides treatment and healing for kids in residence.

These Achievement Awards “honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents,” according to NACo, which called the LA Model a “ground-breaking, holistic approach to juvenile justice.”

The National Association of Counties hands out 18 awards in various categories, recognizing counties running programs that address health, criminal justice, youth issues, civic engagement, and more.

The innovatively therapeutic, research-guided youth facility replaced a rundown juvenile probation camp plagued by decades of neglect and outdated practices in the nation’s largest juvenile justice system.

The LA Model is comprehensive. It includes training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), for example, which has been demonstrated to help incarcerated young people better understand, reframe, and redirect their emotions and impulses. DBT also appears to successfully address staff burnout, which is common in both adult and youth lockups.

The facility aspires to “bring LA’s juvenile justice system into the 21st century.”

The ultimate goal, according to LA County Probation leadership, is for the LA Model to eventually be “implemented at every Los Angeles County [juvenile] facility.”

“The L.A. Model Juvenile Rehabilitative Program at Campus Kilpatrick and the Passive Alert Canine Program are just two of the ground-breaking and first-class programs that L.A. County Probation embarks upon on a regular basis,” said L.A. County Chief Probation Officer Terri L. McDonald. “We thank NACo for this honor and the recognition of the thousands of probation employees, canines included, who work tirelessly to make this Department an effective and integral part of our communities.”

LA County Probation also received an award for its Passive Alert Canine Detection Program, which the department launched last November. The program’s three dogs, a Labrador retriever named Penny, who detects firearms and ammunition, and two springer spaniels, Chloe and Lola, who detect narcotics, accompany probation officers on probation compliance checks. Last month, the dogs were named “Southern California Everyday Heroes” by NBC4. During a ridealong NBC4 took with the team, Penny uncovered a loaded AR-17 magazine, as well as guns in a safe.

Honorees, including LA County Probation, will receive their awards at a NACo conference in July.

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