LA County Probation

“Enough is Enough!” LA County’s Probation Staff Say Youth Camps & Halls Are No Longer Safe & Plead With Supes To Take “Immediate Action”

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

On Tuesday, May 21, a large group of Los Angeles County probation officers who work in the county’s juvenile halls and youth camps, plus representatives from their three unions, showed up at the board of supervisors meeting and spoke to the board with the intent of delivering a single message.

Enough is Enough. It is past time for you to keep us safe at work!

Some speakers actually used those exact words, but everyone conveyed the message.

Both staff and kids were getting hurt, they said.  People were exhausted by repeatedly working double shifts because those who were supposed to relieve them were too fearful, or discouraged to come to work, so they were “calling out sick.”  Kids weren’t getting the programs they needed because the facilities were simply not safe.

It’s been bad before, at times, but never this bad, speaker after speaker told the board.

Deborah Lares of probation union AFSME local 1967 speaks to LA County Board of Supervisors, photo courtesy of Theodore Cha

“More than 33 years ago, I joined the LA County Probation Department because I really wanted to make a difference,” said Deborah Lares, who represented AFSCME Local 1967, the managers union, and was one of those who spoke at the board meeting.

“My sister was in and out of juvenile hall as a kid, and I really wanted to work with at-risk youth who are having problems,” Lares said.

But after those 33 plus years, she was to the point that she was ready to just “pack it up.

Lares described the majority of the staff as being terrified to use even the most minor or appropriate kind of discipline when a kid’s behavior veers out of control.

They are “terrified of getting fired. Just plain terrified.”

The kids in the facilities were “in crisis… and so is the staff,” Lares said,  describing the youth and those who work with them as traumatized by what has been occurring.

Staff were getting hurt, and so were kids. Officers “go home and can’t sleep.”

Then the next day when officers are expected to show up at work, many of them just don’t.

Some kids in the county’s juvenile halls were dangerous, Lares said, “but most are just very vulnerable.”

Yet, with present conditions, the staff in the juvenile facilities feel unable to protect anybody.

Chaos and damage at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall, April 23, courtesy of Probation Commission President Joe Gardner

Jim Schoengarth, president of SEIU Local 721, which represents the supervising officers working at probation, conveyed a similar message.  On Monday, he said,  one the supervisors working in a girls’ unit at one of the halls, “was taken out on a stretcher after girls in the unit “intentionally spilled soap on the floor, causing the supervisor to slip and seriously injure her hip.”

Mental health staff members are freaked for “fear of being assaulted,” Schoengarth, who is not generally known to be extreme in his perspectives.

Teachers and medical staff are also fearful because of the uncontrolled behavior on the part of some of the youth, he said.

Property damage in some of the facilities is extensive, said Schoengart.

Windows are shattered, doors kicked in, computers and phones completely destroyed, ceiling and wall tiles punched inward, or torn out of their frames, bathrooms completely flooded, competing gang graffiti is scrawled across walls and other surfaces.

“Whether you have children or not,” Schoengarth concluded, “you know that we would never allow this behavior in our homes. So why are we allowing this behavior in our facilities?”

Chaos and damage at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall, April 23, courtesy of Probation Commission President Joe Gardner

One after the other, those who spoke seemed to be drawing a collective line in the sand.

“Thirteen years ago, after being a school bus driver for 23 years, I made a decision to help kids change themselves and applied for a job with the LA County Probation Department,” said Stacy Ford, Camps Vice Present for AFSCME Local 685. “I am currently assigned to Camp Scott in Santa Clarita, helping young women achieve a second chance in life.”

But it 13 years, Ford said, he’d never seen a situation like he is seeing now. “It is a disaster.”

As to who was to blame, several months ago, unhappy probation staff members seemed to feel their needs were misunderstood by nearly everyone else, most notably the county’s youth advocates, the probation commission, and the Probation Reform and Implementation Team—or PRIT-–the ad hoc panel that had been created by the board of supervisors to generate a general design for reform, and a civilian oversight commission that would serve as the watchdog for the nation’s largest probation department.

Yet, within the last month or so, the usversus-them adversarial divide seemed mostly to have vanished.

“The probation commission gets it,”  several staff members told us.

It also helped that the PRIT’s recent report, which featured a plan for the phase-out of pepper spray in the county’s youth facilities, made a point of emphasizing the need for officer safety,  along with the safety and well being of the kids in the county’s care—which was, appropriately, the PRIT’s first priority.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, it was probation’s leadership that was now the primary object of the speakers’ frustration and anger.

Hitting a breaking point

The crisis that was expressed to the board of supervisors has been building for more than a year,  yet on Sunday, April 22—around a month to the day before Tuesday’s meeting—everything seemed to hit a breaking point.

Chaos and damage at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall, April 23, courtesy of Probation Commission President Joe Gardner

That was the day that an experienced Detention Service Officer working at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar called Probation Chief Terri McDonald early in the morning and, not reaching her, left an emotional message asking that the Probation Commissioners——specifically the probation commission’s president, Joe Gardner—come to visit “Barry J” as it is known, “to see the chaos that is going on at the hall.”

The kids are out of control, the very upset DSO said in her message, according to an internal email sent later, by McDonald’s assistant, which WitnessLA has obtained.

Staff members were “calling out sick” and quitting, in large numbers.

“The commissioners need to see what is really going on over here!” said the caller.

The DSO also said there would be “a massive employee walk-out” if no one showed up forthwith to see what was what.

Chaos at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall, April 23, courtesy of Probation Commission President Joe Gardner

McDonald’s assistant passed on the message from the upset DSO to Chief Deputy Sheila Mitchell, who then passed the message to Gardner.

Gardner went to Barry J two days later, on Tuesday, April 23.

His subsequent report to Chief McDonald was alarming.

(WitnessLA acquired Gardner’s report shortly after it was sent.)

“As you may recall,” wrote Gardner to the chief, “we sent you a previous notification about conditions at [Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall] on October 8, 2018. Members of the Probation Commission advised you that the conditions in the hall were extremely unsafe both for the youth housed there and the staff. Since then, it would appear conditions have worsened.”

Gardner went on to describe the out of control and drastically understaffed situation at the hall in three pages of single-spaced detail, accompanied by another 19 pages of disturbing photos.

The email included photos of a kicked-in fire extinguisher case, windows and wall panels that are now boarded up with sheets of plywood, several rooms featuring floors littered with the kind of recently broken debris that could easily be turned into shanks—and more of that nature.

Gardner also told how he had learned that 77 kids had arrived at Barry J in the last month from Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall.  (Los Padrinos is soon to be shut down.)

Yet, no staff, Gardner said he had learned, had been sent from Los Padrinos to assist with the supervision of the newly transferred 77 kids.

Gardner also learned that about 85 members of Barry J’s staff were on “injured on duty” status, meaning there were critical staff shortages even before the extra 77 kids arrived.

With the worsening of the staffing crisis, one of the supervisors told Gardner that she has had to “hold over” 25 staff in the last several days, meaning those officers would have to work two back-to-back shifts.

These over-tired staff members worked knowing that, if a fight broke out, any emergency call they put out, may or may not get answered, wrote Gardner. And even if the emergency calls were answered, there would be a delay.

Meanwhile, Gardner wrote, there appeared to be a lot of fear and confusion “about when to apply use-of-force,” no matter how extreme the situation.

As a consequence, Gardner reported, in a recent incident in which a kid escaped from a building and “climbed” onto a goalpost in the yard, “then refused to come down,” staff simply kept a safety watch on the kid for multiple hours, but did nothing to actually get the boy down from the top of the goal post.

Exhausted staff

Stories we hear from probation sources about the high number of staff members working double shifts have been steadily increasing over the last year, at all three of the juvenile halls.

Stacy Ford of AFSCME Local 685,  told us about several recent occasions when he has delivered boxes of pizza to tired and hungry staff members asked to stay over, giving them no time to eat.

On Tuesday, he told one of those stories to the supervisors. “On Sunday morning, May 5,” he said, “I was home and received at least five phone calls from DSOs on 18-22 hour shifts pleading with me to get them out.”

On his own day off, Ford drove to the particular facility. In one unit, he said, he was met by a Detention Service Officer “who looked like he was going to fall asleep.” Ford asked him how many hours had he worked?

“Sir, I’m on 22 hours,” the man told Ford, who took over his position “for the duration of his shift.”

A probation source told us a similar story about how, on a recent weekend, the source was unable to take a bathroom break until the first eight-hour shift was over. Then after the bathroom break, the source had to return right away for another shift, because—once again—too many people had called to say they were staying home.

“We can’t take a break for lunch, so we bring snacks in the pockets of our pants,” our source told us.

“People are working 18 hours, 20 hours. What else are we supposed to do?”

One of the most painful stories the board heard on Tuesday had to do with an email sent recently to the union by a female supervisor.

“My shift is 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.,” the supervisor wrote. “I have been watching a Level 3 juvenile all night. It is now 7:42 a.m. and I am writing this email.”

She explained that level 3 kids are considered to be the most high risk of those supervised in the halls, and “typically” on suicide watch.

“I am still supervising the same Level 3,” she continued, “even though the directive states that staff are not to do two shifts on the same Level 3.” (Instead, regulations say that the staff member must move to another position for the safety and security of the kid.)

No one bothered to tell her she was being held over, she wrote. When she called the unit that is known as movement and control to find out what was going on, she said she was told “they are working on getting some relief for me,” she said.

“Because I am now held over, I guess against my will,” the DSO continued, “I am unable to take my medication. Last week the same thing happened to me; I did not leave the facility until 4:30 pm. It was too late for me to drive home in Friday traffic, so I got something to eat and slept in my car until my 10 p.m. shift.

To make matters far worse, she has a 9-year-old son,  the officer continued. “When I am kept like this, my son misses school. I have had to sit down with the principal on many different occasions to talk about why my son is so late to school and missing so many days.”

The problems are not reserved for the three juvenile halls.

The county’s model facility,  Campus Kilpatrick, is now reportedly having its own daunting list of problems, including a “significant” increase in violence, Ford told us.

We heard from other department sources that even the Department of Mental Health has had difficulty with suddenly “out of control” Kilpatrick probationers.  And last week  probation staff “could not get kids back from the gym.”

(Kilpatrick’s kids are not, by the way, living at Campus Kilpatrick, but have been moved to another vacant camp in Lancaster since they were forced to evacuate the facility in November 2018 as the Woolsey fire approached. )

“Without safety, the youth in our care cannot benefit from the services that are provided by our community-based organizations, our mental health professionals, teachers, and medical staff,” said Ford on Tuesday, gazing grimly at the board. Even religious services often have to be canceled, he said.

“We are asking that this board take immediate action.”

Main photo officers at the board of supervisors meeting by Cookie Lommel, of LA County Deputy Probation Officers’ Union Local 685


  • There is zero excuse for these conditions. These employees have been sharing this information for a long time. The Probation Chief and the Board should be ashamed that their institutions have deteriorated to this point. Stop worrying so much about consultants, committees, commissions and the latest, greatest study and use some common sense.

    The Chief should be replaced immediately with someone that is firm but also reasonable and that has the strength of character to vigorously defend the needs of those detained and staff, as opposed to choosing whatever side is politically correct.

  • After 34 years with LASD I feel we should take over the Juvenile system and Probation just handle Adult’s. I’ve only spent about 3 years in delinquency court/EJC , the Sheriff’s department should take over juvenile supervision based on the fact that LACO Probation DSO’s consitently look so unprofessional, the juveniles don’t respect them, baggy, sagging pants, un-laced boot’s, hoodies, beanies, trying to be a homie it is horrible. Will anyone dispute this fact? BJN has not produced any school for the the kid’s for a while.
    I feel that our trained LASD C/A’s/Deputies could present more of a professional image with a Deputy Supervisor overseeing them to defuse and provide more resources to them, we have a lot including VIDA . Go ahead hit me Folk’s!

  • Super Duty, not a bad idea. Hell send the new boots there and if they can handle the kids. Then after 2 years they might be ready to handle the real jail. Use it as a probationary place for the new deputies.

  • Superduty if the sheriffs go in to these halls with the same restrictions we have then the same thing will happen to them. But at least they will be dressed good when they are assaulted. It doesn’t matter how we look, it’s the fact these kids can do what they want and get away with it. By the way the sheriffs had a chance to take over they didn’t want it, I wonder why?

  • Kudos to LA Co probation for going to the board with their concerns. Now their concerns regarding the county knowlingly allowing them to work for in an unsafe work environment is on the record.

    This same environment has and continues in the LA County jails but those employees aren’t afforded any work place protections it seems.

    I’m sure CF would argue these employees are just whining with their big fat pensions and should get another job if they don’t like it. He of course fails to recognize or acknowledge, folks do jobs in the halls or in law enforcement because they care about people and want to make the world a safe place for people to live in. He misses the boat entirely by ignoring the fact hey and their families too, live in the world at large and not in a bubble.

  • I agree with Superduty to an extent. Yeah, probation does have issues with professionalism. The saggy pants, hoodies, and occassional ghetto attitude. But, the problem lies with upper management. Middle management has always been mostly garbage in the halls/camps. It seems like they all want to be “yes” people and need to be spoon-fed instructions when shit goes sideways. Upper management has created a hyper-punitive environment for the line officers. If they spray a “kid”, or use force, they investigated and walked out. It seems like uses of force have to be handled textbook style. Upper management is the problem. All this nonsense is happening on the chief’s watch. That doesn’t look good for her.

  • Superduty…..34yrs sure, a real LEO would not trash another agency without knowledge of what goes on within that agency and what their job entails. You sound just as bad as these minors trying to pit officer against officer because they’re from a different agency. I’ve been a Deputy and I’ve been a DSO, the job done by each officer is completely different and takes a special kind of person to work each job. No matter what kind of officer you place in the halls/camp they would not be able to get it under control with all the restrictions DSOs/GSNs face. How would your “trained” deputies handle these out of control minors. If a deputy is spat on or assulted what would he/she do? How would that said deputy feel if the DA and department refused to charge that minor with assult on an officer? Does your “trained” deputy know how to run a dayroom and actually talk to minors? It’s not like the jails, you do not just let them out of the cells and proceed with dayroom on their own. You do not just walk through and conduct hourly checks of each unit, you are in the dayroom with these minors. It is one officer or deputy overseeing 10+ minors with no back up.

  • Disregard what the SuperSheriff is talking about. You won’t hv the same tools you have as in Men’s Centeal sir, u won’t be able to beat up these kids & get away with it like u do with the adults in ur custody sir. Or better yet, u guys take over so u can have ur Sheriffs gang “the Vikings” come & go up against the kids.. ya we really want u guys to terrorize these kids.. NOT! us baggy pants guys are here to help these kids & keep em safe. So u just stay in ur lane Viking..

  • I agree with this assessment to a point:

    The sad truth of this matter is that many of the “veteran staff” were hired back in the day (Pre-2006) when there was NO background check and NO polygraph. Many of these employees were themselves gangsters. I can recall on numerous occasions as a young DSO, kids telling me “that staff is cool, he’s from the hood” and can also remember times when these employees “dissed” kids gangs because they were from a rival gang. I remember my peers came to work dressed in jerseys and gang colors, as one of the few who wore and took pride in my uniform, I was called a “square” and “wannabe cop”, when I would try to check a kid who was out of line, the “big homie” “veteran staff” would tell the kid not to listen to me. Probation in the early 2000’s had many of these “gangster” staff that were protected by “gangster” supervisors. The system ran along just like this, where kids were physically abused, Officers ignored policy and abused their peers who did things by the book as “weak staff” and swept it all under the rug. Then the day of reckoning came and through DOJ, news reports and investigations, the truth came to light: finally people were seeing what was going on and the bad apples were being held accountable and many of these “gangster staff” were fired. Great right? Not so much.

    Now here comes the bad news:
    Many of these “gangster staff” are still hiding out and have not been fired. Where you might ask? Well, many of them are on fake medical disability now, sucking up county funding and resources, sitting at home or at a desk collecting a paycheck with no responsibilities: Because they know that they cannot do the job by the book and would rather just game the system. Many of the “gangster” Supervisors who supported the old regime were able to retire once they saw the writing on the wall, these were truly the worst offenders, running the facilities like tyrants, allowing this to go on, yet now they sit at home collecting a nice fat pension, not having to clean up the mess they created.

    And now I’m going to hit you with the sad part:
    Most of the Officers now working the halls today had nothing to do with any of the above. They were hired after 2012 and went through full background checks and are scared and working their asses off to keep things together. They are suffering from a lack of backup because half of our hall employees are on medical disability and suffering from a lack of leadership because there are no good supervisors around to tell how to do their jobs correctly. The system as it was 15 years ago would have worked fine if we all did the job honestly and did what was right instead of acting like gangsters. The DSOs of today and paying for the sins of those who came before and who have hidden themselves from consequences.

    Ultimately this is what needs to happen to fix Probation, though this is not what the PRIT committee is all about nor is it what they will recommend. We need to “Professionalize” the organization (notice the capital P?). We need to the Officers to act and dress like Officers like the man said above. We need the supervisors to dress like Officers. We need to dress and carry ourselves with the respect we demand from the wards and refer to each other as Deputy or Officer. (Even our written policies refer to us as “staff”, how sad is that? Do we work at placement homes?) We need to get rid of all “gangster staff” and “gangster” supervisors. We need to conduct ourselves to the same professional standards displayed by LASD and CDCR. Take a look at any random group of 5 Probation employees at any hall and you will see mismatched uniforms, ragged shirts, earrings, hoodies, eccentric hairstyles, etc. (see how other people are noticing?). You cannot keep pushing this LA Model of kid-friendly, first name calling, casual environment, this is one that the “gangster staff” will thrive in and ruin. Get people back to work, do your job the way it is written and carry yourself like an Officer and not a dirtbag. The cure to chaos is not more chaos and freedom, it is ORDER. Plain and simple.

    Any of the “vets” who read this know this is true, I don’t need to put my name out there and be praised as a whistleblower, I’m just calling it as I see it. If you don’t agree with the picture I painted, you were probably part of the problem.

  • Just to add:
    We had did have order back when we had regimentation which was a fantastic program and beloved by all, I still run into adults who were in camp back in the 90’s and early 00’s who reflect that it was one of the best experiences of their lives. Unfortunately, like all good things, it was ruined by “gangster staff” who took the control granted to them as an opportunity to abuse kids under the color of authority and run the camps and halls like gangsters and tyrants. The programs of the past worked great, however they must be run by the right kind of people who won’t utilize their power in irresponsible ways.

  • Superduty, as your agency has also experienced, there is a great deal more to professionalism than a uniform and appearances but I hear you and don’t like that inconsistency either. For many reasons, I’ve reached the point that I agree with LASD taking over juvenile institutions.

    I think there are many good personnel on the Probation Department that would welcome training as CA’s from LASD so they could actually perform their jobs and have a sense of structure, a safer environment and support when appropriate from their superiors.

    It would be interesting to read an article here about the DSO resignation rate over the last ten years versus that of Custody Assistants. I would expect the DSO numbers to be comparatively very high.

    The other issue is the Probation Chief is appointed by the Board and they have not done the agency any favors with some of their selections. The Chief lives or dies (along with the agency’s budget) behind their approval. As a result, making the right choice for the right reasons is lost behind the need to curry political favor with the Board and special interest groups in many directions. While certainly a political figure that works with the Board, as an elected official the Sheriff can afford to perform his duties with a bit more independently.

    From antiquated, poorly designed facilities, to a myriad of other administrative issues the challenges Probation faces have gone on for so long that I don’t think there is any fixing them now. Sad.

  • Why So Negative: You’re out of line. He never once said the uniform was the cure all. He never once advocated for Big Red. You would be hard pressed to find anyone from LASD who has something good to say about her.

    A professional uniform is vital, no matter the agency. It’s the first impression of Command Presence. Then the the training and experience comes into play. LASD is far from perfect, but the resources could prove invaluable.

    Superduty could be on to something. The VIDA program has served many at risk juveniles pretty well. Restructure that around the incarcerated youth and good things could happen.

    And I’m shocked that ANYONE could get a job working with at risk/incarcerated youth without passing a background or polygraph. Absolutely insane!!!!

  • John Holmes: You just educated us all on what the problem is.

    Thank you for that.

    Mystery Solved

  • This person seem like he or she has an ax to grind. I have been working at Los Padrinos for the last 13 years and this has not been my experience. True there has been a few gangster staff but for the most part I see good people who were able to develop good healthy relationships with minors. They were strong and disciplined and unafraid.

  • You you see the big red flames of a fire pass through, what is left behind is nothing but disaster and waste. Just like big red passing through every department she has worked for, leaving nothing but disaster and waste after her outstanding leadership and problem solving. I sure the staff loves creating numerous useless reports and charts to make her feel good.

  • Super duty, I agree with you somewhat. Im currently with LASD and have been stuck at men’s central jail for the past 4 years. Before coming to LASD I was a detention service officer at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall. I agree that a lot of probation officers do not take pride in the way they dress or how they keep up a unit but it’s not all. I worked with a few military officers who always were wrinkled free with the spit shined boots. The problem is the probation academy is a joke, if it was anything like LASD’s academy you would lose half of the probation workforce. Right not with LASD we are not prepared to take on these type of kids under the current BOS rules. I’m not sure how the MCJ was when you were there but now we can’t even get an inmate to take his hands out of his pockets without contacting a Sergeant.

  • I’ve been working at Barry j for 2 years and they have been the worst 2 years of my life. I have no choice but to go to work because I have 2 kids and bills to pay. I come home with fake smiles to my kids everyday. Something needs to be done. This job is slowly killing each and every officer day by day.

  • Once upon a time, long, long ago, you had to have a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college/University to be a probation officer.

    Now, you’ve got to be a homie.


  • Superduty, surely you jest. I’ve heard the LASD’s history with jail facilities leaves much to be desired. You risk getting a few more LASD deputies thrown in federal prison. Why don’t you clean your house first and then volunteer to clean someone else’s.

    Cognistator, I think you are nostalgic for a time that never was. You may mean that back them most probation officers were white. And, back them the state funding was more generous, on a per capita basis. Reminds me of the housing projects. When the government initially built them, they housed white people and white people worked them. Once they had to allow black folks to live and work in them, they decreased funding and deferred maintenance and repairs, let alone capital improvement, to the point were some were a mess, and they they claimed black people ruined them. Now that you have to allow, as you call them, “homies” to work as probation officers and the state has decreased funding, you now blame the “homies.”

  • Cognistator – You still have to have a college degree to be a Deputy Probation Officer (assigned to camps and field positions).

    Contrary to what has previously been reported on this site (and others), Deputy Probation Officers are not assigned to supervise kids in juvenile hall.

    Some years ago, the Board thought it wise to remove them and have Detention Services Officers (two years of college) supervise kids in the halls. At that time, there was massive hiring. With all due respect to a prior poster, there were backgrounds done but how some people that were hired passed is open for debate.

  • There was a background and always has been, although it has purportedly tightened up over the last few years. The big question is how some folks passed it…

    Vida is a fine program – matter of fact, it includes a lot of what we used to do in camp and it did work for a lot of kids. We would get guys calling us back saying thank you, grateful parents, etc. Sadly, rather than improve and update what worked, the Dept blew it up.

  • I appreciate all the comment’s unfortunately LASD got rid of Big Red to LACo Probation, she did no help to LASD or your department. She came from CDC which has no Idea how things work in LA Co. this is typically what happens.
    I sure wish I could be on a committee to assimilate LA Co Prob to LASD training to try to help employees that want to do the right thing. As a last note at Sylmar, LP or Eastlake Court, when was the last time a Juvenile and a Deputy had a issue within one of their courtrooms? Any input?

  • Regarding that video footage, I’m sure there’s a back story to the incident that was selectively ignored. Were any deputies assaulted prior to these measures being taken or did the leadership and staff come in that day and collectively decide to cause chaos in the jail?

    Also, anytime you have to resort to the use of any physical force to make someone comply with your orders, it is not going to be neat, tidy and pretty. Spanking a child, not beating them, does not look pretty as it usually results in tears and cries of discomfort. If a police officer has to use deadly force in order to stop a threat, it is not going to be aesthetically pleasing either.

    One way to avoid scenes like this is for law enforcement to just put their hands in their pockets and just talk away in response to situations such as this.

  • John Holmes:

    Where’s the 3 hours of video taken before the extractions took place? You know, where the supervisors were pleading with the inmates to leave their cells peacefully.

    As far as the extractions, they were a thing of beauty with Tactical Excellence. We train endlessly so they go that smoothly.

    And did you hear the deputy warn his partners that the one inmate was “armed with porcelain”????????


  • Unfortunately the line officers in the facilities, and the minors in our care, are reaping what the liberal social justice warriors have sown. Almost every behavior modification tool/ technique has been taken away from us. As a result we are in a nightmare that we have yet to wake up from. I’m not going to debate the various treatment modalities that the deposit is trying to use. Before any program can work the minors have to feel safe. The officers and support staff have to feel safe. It is imossible to counsel and mentor if you are under a constant threat of physical violence. It is impossible to listen to and process counseling if you are in constant danger of being attacked and threatened by predatory minors.

  • Good Afternoon!

    I left the department back in 2006. I was with CAI-Ascot at the time, out of the criminal courts building. Since my departure, I have moved around the country and have furthered my education. I never forgot my brothers and sisters in probation and remained concerned over their working conditions. I am about to complete my Doctorate in Strategic Leadership with a concentration in Strategic Foresight and am working on my dissertation.

    The reason I am writing to you is that I understand you are currently undergoing a transition to a new Chief. From what I have gathered, the department is still adhering to old hierarchical practices where the voices of the frontline staff go unheard. I find that that is where the systematic breakdown begins.

    My dissertation is titled: The Systematic Breakdown of the County of Los Angeles Probation Department. If at all possible, could you make my information known to the staff or to whomever you would trust? I promise anonymity. I will not be using names. I would prefer if specific details were changed to ensure that they are protected.

    Please have them reach out to me at I would really like to help.

    Raquel Y. Solorio-Quinn, M.A.,
    Doctoral Candidate
    Regent University School of Business and Leadership

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