LA County Probation Uncategorized Youth Justice: Healing Not Punishment

Violence & vanishing supervisors at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

At 9:37 PM on the evening of Monday, April 11, 2022, a veteran staff member, who has worked with youth for more than a decade at Los Angeles County Probation, got a text from a friend who also works for probation and was, at the time, on duty at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall.

“BJNJH on lockdown,” the friend wrote. “5 unit disturbance. Minors on roof. DPO injured fell through the roof. Juveniles have taken over the facility. Armed units responding. What’re they going to do? Shoot them? It’s not looking good…”

Text from staff member at Barry J Nidorf Juvenile Hall, redacted to protect anonymity.

DPO stands for Deputy Probation Officer,* which are the staff members who work with kids in the county’s youth camps and treatment facilities.

Barry J. as is the facility in question is known, is located in Sylmar, CA, and is the only one of county’s three youth halls that still remains open.

The hall had been in a worsening state of chaos for weeks, and also suffering from critical staff shortages, so DPO’s were being assigned to the Sylmar facility on an emergent basis. But on Monday, April 11, matters went from bad to far worse for both youth and staff.

Members of the department’s Special Enforcement Operations Unit (SEO) otherwise known as the “armed units,” did indeed show up (as the staff member wrote in the above text). But, six of the members of the SEO people reportedly wound up getting injured themselves trying to get the youth under control.

There’s a lot more to this story. However, to better understand this new catastrophe we need to backtrack a bit.

The BSCC factor

In mid March of this year, in response to the looming threat that the state’s Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) might declare Central Juvenile Hall unfit for youth habitation if the county doesn’t make the proper corrections, LA County Probation Chief Adolfo Gonzales sent a notification to Central’s staff telling them that both kids and staff needed to be moved out of Central to Barry J Nidorf Juvenile Hall right away. The idea was that everyone would remain in Sylmar for 90 days while needed repairs were made at Central.

The BSCC sword hanging over probation’s head was a real one.

As readers may remember, last fall the BSCC voted unanimously to declare that LA County’s two juvenile halls — Barry J. and Central — were so far out of compliance when it came to multiple basic standards of care, the two lock-up for kids were declared “unsuitable for youth habitation.”)

Yet, sudden nature of the move, which was reportedly insisted upon by county officials, triggered at least two youth riots, as the Central kids and accompanying staff arrived at Barry J over the mid-March weekend.

Unfortunately, according to veteran probation staff members we interviewed, 90 days is not close to enough time to do the clean up, the repairs, and the other long delayed upgrades and maintenance needed if Central is going to become reasonably habitable for both kids and staff.

“I’d write up reports about things that needed to fixed,” said one of our sources, “and months would go by, and I’d check, and see that nothing happened. This happens over and over.”

Culture of favoritism

Probation sources we spoke with attributed many of the problems at both Central Juvenile Hall and Barry J, to poor management by many of those in charge at both facilities, up to the level of bureau chief, who they say have been promoted and kept in their positions based on favoritism instead of merit

Many praise Chief Gonzales, who came on the job in January 2021, as a reform-minded leader who intends to root out the culture of favoritism and corruption that has long-plagued LA County Probation. Yet, it has been not been an easy task, especially on the youth side of probation.

“Those are the people who undermined the last chief, and they’re doing their best to undermine this one,” said one probation veteran.

Nevertheless, Gonzales and his two top deputies, Chief Deputy Probation Officer Adam Bettino, and Chief Deputy Probation Officer Karen Fletcher, have reportedly been working to make the needed personnel changes among the supervisors at the two juvenile halls, along with those higher-up on the executive ladder who put those supervisors in place, and on whose watch troubling events have occurred.

The need for some kind of change at Barry J, was most recently demonstrated by the now notorious event of January 29, 2022, when a mystery intruder was able to waltz past two levels of security at the facility, then proceed to make his way into one or more youth living units, where reportedly still no one stopped the guy in a paper painter’s suit, and an orange baseball cap, as he pulled out implements and proceeded to swab possibly as many as 15 kids for the COVID virus.

All this brings us back to Monday, April 15

The phone and text blackout

Whether or not the mystery intruder was the last straw, Chief Gonzales and his administration have replaced the management of Barry J Nidorf Juvenile Hall with a hand-picked new group they reportedly hope will start to turn things around.

Sylmar’s new administration was scheduled to start on Monday, April 11.

But, rather than finding an appropriate way to pass the baton to the new slate of supervisors—including making the new people aware of any simmering problems—the old administration instead simply stopped coming to work on Thursday, April 7.

This meant that during the period from Thursday until the new group was to arrive on Monday, there was reportedly no higher level supervisors on site at all.

Furthermore, when problems began to heat up at Barry J, causing staff members reach out to their former bosses until the new group took over on Monday, they found that, from Thursday onward, the outgoing cabal refused to answer their phones, or to respond to texts.

And so it was that, by the time the new administration arrived on Monday morning, one or more units at Barry J had reached the powder keg status.

By Monday night the powder keg had blown, kids were on the roof of one of the facility’s tool shed, and a female staff member who’d followed the kid on to the roof. fell through and was injured. Armed units were called, and so on.

The situation has not been helped by the fact that a significant percentage of the staff assigned to the the Sylmar-located facility are simply not going to work due to the volatile conditions. Instead, they “call out” sick.

“We don’t have the programs we need for the kids, we need more health officers, and the minors are assaulting staff, and don’t feel like they’re going to face any consequences for their actions,” said a probation source. “This has to change.”

The Pizza cure

So, the problems continue. In the evening of Saturday, April 17, three kids reportedly tried to escape the facility, and one of the kids fell off a roof during the attempted getaway and was, said sources, badly injured.

There was, however, one bright spot that occurred earlier on that same day when, in an effort to reward the majority of the kids at Barry J who are not taking part in the riots, escape attempts, and violence, some justice advocates brought over 100 pepperoni pizzas for the youth, and for the staff members assigned to keep them safe.

“The truth is,” said a staff member, “nobody feels safe.”

Further illustrating the issue, on Sunday afternoon just before 5 p.m., Local 685, the rank and file union for LA County probation officers, sent out the following “E-Gram” message to its members:

The Department is experiencing a crisis at BJN and, as professional peace officers, we are asking all members to consider reporting for duty. You can work OT in incremental shifts that work for you and your family: 2 hours, 4 hours, 6 hours, etc. Any availability is accepted. Just call and give the times you can work.

We need to try to avoid the Department declaring a non-Covid emergency, which will lead to another round of deployment. 

“We must assist this effort. This is a high alert.”

More as we know it.

*Correction: We initially wrongly defined a “DPO,” which is a deputy probation officer, as a “DSO,” or a detention service officer. DPO’s generally work in the county’s youth camps and treatment facilities, whereas DSOs work in the juvenile halls. Due to dangerous staff shortages, however, some DPOs are being asked to work at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall on a temporary basis. At WitnessLA we promise we really do know the difference between the two designations, but did not initially catch the error until two commenters kindly brought it to our attention. (Correction made at 9:56 a.m., 4-18-2022.)


  • There is so much more to this, Celeste, and you need to keep digging. The details about the management team is completely factual. The left us to get beaten and injured. Call after call was ignored. The new team showed up Sunday because it was so bad and some didn’t even have keys yet because they weren’t supposed to start until Monday. By noon on Monday they had gotten SEO deployed to help. They didn’t respond to the kids on the roof, they were already here. And they kept reporting all week. It is the safest we have felt in months. But the big question is how to regain control. Some of us keep coming back over and over again. We have 30-40 callouts A SHIFT and there are no consequences. They just keep, getting paid. We get held over to work 16-24 hours straight. We are hanging on by a thread. Our unions are of no help. The chief has no plan. Some one is going to get killed.

  • It’s crazy how this article is not accurate on so many levels but can be represented as the truth. Whoever the source is, did a terrible job in delivering the information. This is why so-called credible sources should not be used especially when things as simple as what DPO stands for, is incorrect. This article is full of inaccuracies. But people will read it and think it’s fact…smh

  • DSO stands for Detention Services Officers who are assigned to work the juvenile halls
    DPO stands for Deputy Probation Officers who work the camps and Treatment facilities…
    DPO2 are the probation Officers assigned to the field, courts, area offices, armed and gang units etc…
    DPO2 are being forced to being deployed back to juvenile hall because of the current problems going on in juvenile hall

  • EVERY TIME this lady writes a story there are so many inaccurate accounts. No one seems to care about the fact that on a daily basis officers are being assaulted with ZERO consequences to these young criminals because of people like this “journalist “ and Thong!
    It’s just sad that our community can’t share a
    concern for both our officers and youth!

    Hey Celeste, DPO does not stand for Detention Probation Officer. No such title exists. GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT. Unfortunately you never will!

  • Editor’s note:

    Dear Anonymous and Eric W. Thank you for the kind correction. That was an embarrassing mistake on my part. Yes, we know the difference between a DSO and a DPO and yet stared straight at our glaring error multiple times and failed to catch that the person who reportedly fell through the roof was likely someone from the camps who was being asked to work at the halls on an emergent basis because of the staffing shortages due to the call outs. Thank you again. The error is corrected now.

  • Line staff are much to blame for for this. What happened to providing basic structure and instruction? How did that just dissappear? What happened to verbally correcting kids? Tuck in your shirts, pull up your pants, stop talking, go to your room, use the restroom. If you can’t get compliance with the most basic instruction, you need to look for a new job. None of this is happening, you are allowing the minors to dictate. You don’t need management, board of supervisors, etc to get simple compliance in your unit. You don’t need lockup to get compliance in your unit. Be creative, it’s called mental jiu-jitsu. You are the adult. Those kids will follow any and all instructions, as long as it’s coming from a respectable person with a respectable approach. In short, don’t be scared, correct them!!

  • This problem has been brewing for at least 14 years. The core of the problem is generations of Board of Supervisors that pander to the CBO’s CEO’s and implement dangerous policy’s that put staff life’s at risk. For example, taking pepper spray away and temporary isolation practices. It’s like needing to smog a car and never servicing it but only washing it to look good in pictures.

  • Article as often Insulting to staff and misleading. Response to comment No one is assaulting the minors! Staff are entitled to a safe and secure working environment. As human beings we are entitled to a good quality of live. Staff are not receiving either. No breaks and constant assaults on staff. Why didn’t you mention the Board of Supervisors who will not allow the Chief to hire Staff. Etc. This article doesn’t depict the true picture.

  • The major problems are with staff not reporting to work. Management can’t force people to report to work. These conditions are unsafe because staff are leaving their teammates behind! Staff hide behind FMLA to avoid consequences for poor attendance. This prevents management from discipline for those staff.
    If staff reported to work, the buildings would create continuity and safety for the youth and the staff!
    These anonymous staff are not reporting the full truth. SEO is an armed unit but they did not enter the facility armed.

  • I’m going to keep this very simple. These are the people to blame for the unsafe and toxic working environment. 1.The worker’s union( they are useless) 2. The entire LA County Probation upper management including all the chiefs 3. Child advocates 4. LA County of Board of supervisors. The Department lost institutional control because of corruption and the power structure.

  • I was just curious if witness LA could go back and research how many minors received any additional charges or time for their violent behavior. I hear people outside say that the minors are neglected or abused by staff on a regular basis, but do not see or hear of any minor that is given any consequence to their violent behavior. Working in Law Enforcement shouldn’t mean that consequences work only one way. If so then have a line outside of volunteers to take at least one minor in their home and care for them without charges being brought when that minor assaults, steals or damages their person or home.

  • Editor’s note:

    Dear Chris, very good question. Thanks for asking. We’d like to know too. Any parent knows that kids need boundaries, and those boundaries need to be firm. If there are no consequences for straight up assaults, that’s a problem for everyone concerned. I’ll see what I can find in the next week or so. That issue is worth its own story.

    Thanks again.


  • Maybe it is a result of “woke” policies as well? Being soft on crime and not punishing criminals?

  • What measures are in place to protect staff from some of these juvenile delinquents? No phones, pepper spray or anything?

  • 33 years as a deputy, beginning in 1969…The department was Camelot for the majority of my duty years. Our Department was the shining star of Juvenile Correction for the entire Nation. Our Dept. partnered with LACO Fire Dept, Parks and Rec, and other entities, creating programming that gave kids job skills, and showed them an alternative to gang activity, drug sales, and robbery. The slippery slope began with the “de professionalizing” of the juvenile halls, wherein, a four year degree was no longer necessary to work at juvenile hall. Thus began the DSO series, as a cost cutting measure. Up to that point, a full college degree was required to set foot in a juvenile hall. During those first 15-20 years of my career, the care and treatment component was dominated by male officers in camps and halls, because it was still potentially dangerous work. As women were traditionally under-represented, the Dept. began fast tracking them to administrative positions, and discontinued job training programs at the same time. As the complexion and mind set of administration morphed from “You can’t teach them anything until you can get their attention” to a more nurturing, now referred to as a “Hug a Thug” mentality, line staff found themselves in the crosshairs of administrative discipline, for using techniques and tools, previously sanctioned for over 40 years. I found a 1966 copy of the LA Times, in an attic at one of the camps, wherein with pride, the journalist attributed our department’s success to a “paramilitary” modality…..just a little backstory…..and so it goes.

  • As Chris mentioned above, we have to talk about the assaults on staff. When did this become a regular occurrence? Why is there no consequences? Many staff that are out on injury within the last year are out because they have been assaulted by a youth. Some so bad that they had to be taken by ambulance. Some of these officers are women. The department doesn’t even check on you once your out from being a victim of assault. . Youth spit on officers all the time. We can’t do anything about it. It’s considered a “controlled “ situation. No new charge. No added time to sentence. No isolation. I mean it’s unreal. Nowhere in the real world can you spit on someone, physically assault them and not be charged. We are told not to call the sheriffs and to handle things in house. Which really means, nothing will be done. You will continue to have to work in the same unit as the youth that abused you. That’s not teaching a child accountability. Now, the camp kids have their friends come and throw drugs over the walls. Very dangerous. Our union is no help. They are terrible about protecting the officers. They just try to save face while collecting dues and keeping politicians in their pocket. Of course every department has bad seeds, but for the most part, I have seen co workers that care about these kids. Go out of their way to help them. Talk to them when they are in crisis. Teach them about life and really preach to them about changing their lives and giving them resources. We need to bring back real programming. Officers need to be given tools to manage and succeed at work. Every staff isn’t a martial arts fighter. They can’t even defend themselves when being brutally assaulted. All they do is take tools away. Without replacing them wit anything but hugs. That does not work when u have a situation like Barry j. There is so much to do. So much to say. They need to move all the juvenile upper management and replace. Recycling bad managers does nothing for the problem.

  • Why doesn’t the Board of Supervisors ever come in to to units with these youth and see how it really is? These are not your typical rebellious teens. These are GANG MEMBERS who are violent and DO NOT hesitate to assault and kill people. These youth have seen for years there are no consequences for their behavior (due to the Board of Supervisors) and this is why things are so out of control now! Yes there are issues with management and favoritism, but the lack of consequences for these youth is the biggest problem here.

  • Celeste you need to do better with your facts. I have not read one article of yours that doesn’t have misinformation. Once maybe twice of this happening might be ok but for years everyone of your articles is not 100% true.
    Some advice do better research! Write an article about how we are treated, how the BOS and politicians can care less if we are hurt simply because we work with youth. You are one sided. Not good journalism at all!!!

  • Why are people who have never stepped foot into these institutions and never dealt with these types of youth making decisions about how to run the institutions? You should have firsthand experience and knowledge of everything that goes on in there before you tell people how it should be ran. And you should have firsthand experience and knowledge of everything that really goes on in there before you send out misinformation. There are actually a lot of really good employees who work in these places and really care about these youth but nobody seems to care about that.

  • What a shame. This journalist stood corrected for giving the wrong meaning behind the acronyms DSO and DPO, yet she still can’t get the narrative correct. It wasn’t a camp staff that fell through the roof, it was a dedicated BJNJH staff who responded to wayward youth who waited for opportunity to create chaos and confusion. I assume you’re an educated woman, so please ensure that you use reliable sources (primary and secondary) and not from disgruntled staff and ex detainees who are still struggle to get their life together. And for the person who suggests get creative, staff spend their own hard earned money on games, writing materials, personal hygiene products, etc for the youth to make them feel better about themselves while detained. There is only so much you can do for kids who are deeply entrenched in a mindset of crime and mischief. The halls are in desperate need for enriched programming from outside organizations that focuses on helping youth to reach their full potential. This population of youth gets bored quickly and the so called pizza therapy doesn’t work. Tired of people making suggestions about what needs to be done. Stop with the fallacies and stop trolling.

  • All these problems you write about are because of the new reforms, policies and the ridiculous hug a thug theories, that have been put in place by the board of supervisors who have an agenda to destroy our dept. They have been paid very well under the table to make these changes, so that the child advocates can come in and say we have no control of these poor innocent children. Many of them are waiting in line to get their hands on the money that the Probation Dept received from the government. By implementing programs such as juvenile reimagine and group homes. All in an effort to keep these criminals out of jail and in the streets terrorizing more innocent victims. All our camps and halls are disappearing one by one by this agenda, 15-20 yrs ago Our camps were the best models of reform, they implemented boot camp programs and were successful by structure and accountability that made the kids more responsible for their actions. The kids loved the structure and military minded programs and they thrived in society by these types of programs . Now there is no accountability for their actions. How will these at risk children survive in society when they never had any proper training. This is all very sad for the youths in our care.

  • As a non-probation staff who works with the kids at the facility, I must stand by my probation friends/family. The kids have ZERO consequences, thus, creating absolute mayhem. The kids can fight, nothing happens. The kids can engage in vandalism, nothing happens. The kids can assault staff, nothing happens. What are we teaching these kids?!?!?! It is frowned upon for probation staff to use pepper spray, it is frowned upon for probation staff to restrain kids…..what are probation stuff supposed to do?! Nothing will be done until a probation staff is seriously injured or killed. The environment is beyond unsafe.

  • Celeste, your creative article is just that “creative”! I wish you can actually speak with the staff to find out the truth. The downfall of BJN JH is when DOJ and the child advocates got involved. They took ALL the resources away from staff like a modified program, when a minor/youth got into an alteration with another minor or attack staff (which was rear) the aggressor was sent to BSHU. There WAS consequences especially when the minors were being charged with a crime inside JH. Pepper spray is slowly being pushed out however, the youth are destroying county property, physically harming staff, kicking the unit doors to ran away JH, tagging on county property. These behaviors are now considered the daily norm. I blame the county board of supervisors, LA county district attorney gascon, BCSS, Upper management and of course our Govenor newsom. The staffs morale is so low that they have to pick each other up. Your readers will never understand in till they actually work inside JH. These people need to stop running their mouth, especially, when you have the facts wrong in this article. It was 2 male staff along with one minor who fell through a shed not a female. However female staff are being attacked physically. But hey, these are kids, right!

  • This article is insulting and scary because the ignorant will read it and believe your every word. LACO Probation has always had to prove to the outside what we do. When will it end!!! I’m so sick of training outsiders on what Probation provides to the community and our clients and getting it used against us. I’ve worked all levels within this department and can say, WE ARE THE EXPERTS! No matter how CBOs, advocates, or therapist feel that they can do it better, THEY CANNOT! It’s very disheartening to hear why my colleagues are not reporting to work but who can blame them. They have a right to live and not be threatened, assaulted, or even killed. Please, Ms. Author, understand that what you write is now history and will (by many) be considered facts. So do me and my department a favor and “report/write” how you would want YOUR story told.

  • Celeste, your article is very informative! It is not based on facts. I wish you can sit down and talk to staff who report to work on a daily basis, to hear how staff are being verbally and/or physically assaulted, there is absolutely no control of these youths. I blame the board of supervisors, BCSS, DOJ, LA district attorney gascon, governor newsom, Upper management and child advocates. All these people I just named do not understand the stress of these staff. The tools that were in place, but are no longer there, were: Modified programs, pepper spray, BSHU, charging them for crimes that are committed inside jh like destroying county property, assaults, drugs, gassing etc. With these tools that were taken away, is the reason why jh is where it’s at today. The staff needs to get control back and not be afraid of losing their jobs by simply doing their job.

  • Editor’s note:

    Dear Lisa,

    I’d welcome such a conversation. Right now it sounds like many of probation’s most dedicated staff members are placed in an impossible position in the halls, particularly in Sylmar. Frankly, most of our best sources are skilled, bright, and dedicated people that probation is very lucky to have. But, I stand by our criticism of some of the longtime members of upper management. In any case, if you ever would be willing to have a conversation, on or off the record, please let me know. As I said above, I’d welcome it. And thanks for your honest comments.

    PS: “WE ARE THE EXPERTS” and others, the same offer is open. You are indeed the experts. We need your voices.

  • This article is misleading and has so much inaccurate information. I want to see you “Celeste” and all the child advocate including BOS put on our uniform and run a safe and secure facility with what we are working with. You guys won’t last 4 hours!!! THESE CHILDS ARENT ANGELS! They are criminals and you guys aren’t helping these youth, you guys are setting them up to fail! This needs to stop!

  • Celeste, why don’t you report to the board of supervisors that they are welcome to come work in these institutions and try out these practices that they think are going to reform these youth and see how it goes. It really is sad that they pretend they care so much about these youth but won’t come anywhere near them. All the board of supervisors care about is MONEY!!!

  • You staff that are spreading lies and misinformation, are the problem. You other disgruntled and lazy folks that refuse to show up to work, you are also the problem. BOS scum that care about the next election and how much money goes in their pocket, you are the problem. CBOs and child advocate groups who think you know better, majority of you are chasing that bag $$ and only that. Voters in CA, you made your bed, now rot in that sucker.

  • As a former manager with Probation, reading this is heart breaking. Kids used to love the quasi military style halls and camps. Yes, some struggled initially but they wound up appreciating the teamwork, learning about real leadership and the rewards they earned (emphasis on earned). Their level of exercise was such that they burned off a lot of energy and felt good. That may not sound like much – but for some that was a new experience. They looked sharp, spoke politely and felt part of something. For the most part, they behaved in school and clearly understood that staff were running the facility.

    As the oft sited, “Hug A Thug” theories moved in, group punishment was deemed abusive, having a kid do ten push ups as a sanction was deemed inappropriate. The quasi military structure was also deemed ineffective and replaced with sanctions that meant nothing to the kids. Imagine if your own kids battered someone and you punished them by having them write a brief essay, which they had their little brother write. What did they learn? Basically, that you’re an idiot.

    As the parade of Consultants and experts continued to remove sanctions meaningful to the kids, camps and halls steadily declined. Everything that I had seen work was gone. Managers had to essentially fight superiors to return a kid to court for violating probation because essentially the attitude was “get ’em in and get ’em out” – no matter the youth’s behavior. I won’t belabor the motivations behind that here but the process was so cumbersome to return a deserving candidate to court, that many people just stopped trying. During this decline, a young man in camp came up to me and asked if they could get uniforms back; sadly, the answer to that was no. Strip search policies were so impractical that drugs began to flood the facilities, with kids smoking weed in the facilities.

    I truly support rehabilitation but you must have consequences for dealing with misconduct that are meaningful to the youth involved. You must allow staff to hold small groups accountable; properly administered, group punishment does work. You must return youth to court to add time to their camp stay or new charges as needed for those that are defiant and violent.

    The Department has been going downhill for well over a decade now – at the expense of staff and the youth in it’s care. Let’s add that the unsafe conditions also spread to the classrooms and medical staff. Chief after Chief after Chief has been brought in to no avail. That will never be the answer.

    This incident is horrific and it’s far from the only one. I end my rant by saying that if youth feel unsafe because staff feel helpless, the strongest gangsters will call the shots – and to protect themselves from consequences after release, that’s who the kids will listen to. There are fingers to point in all directions here but the biggest disappointments rest with the Board and the upper management that have not stood up to fight for what is right. Look at the mess now….There will be many more if the reality of these institutions continue to be ignored – and change will not come from a consultant or a UCLA study. Let experienced, respected institutional managers create standards and programming that truly works.

  • At Disgusted ,

    The “hug a thug” mantra is Celeste’s middle name. To Celeste every gang member is a victim of society who needs to be understood.

    Gentrification of many parts of Los Angeles helped lower gang problems by forcing them to move to cheaper areas like Palmdale, San Bernardino and etc.

    The liberal policies in Los Angeles has turned LA into the mess it is right now. Their social experimentation is failing but they will never admit it.

  • Very unfortunate to hear what is going on at Barry J. As an ex DSO, I can attest that these kids (the same ones who would tell me “just watch when I catch you outside”) receive 0 consequences for their violent behavior towards staff. Instead they get rewarded with pizza. That alone is quite a slap in the face for all officers attempting to regain order & control in their units. These days it seems like the kids have more rights than the staff, and that alone lets the kids know they can get away with anything. And believe me, these kids are smart, they know all the ropes on how to get staff in trouble, even when staff have done nothing.

  • Offenders whether adult and juveniles know it’s open season and feel they can get away everything.
    It’s very sad that California politicians created the this and it trickled down to now watered-down court system; especially juvenile. Law enforcement don’t want to arrest anymore because they know it doesn’t make a difference and criminals will be released as soon as they get to the station, judges don’t want to do their jobs and follow the letter of the law and that’s why communities are unsafe more than ever.
    Probation management is scared to implement anything punitive because we cant mistreat these hardcore juvenile hardened criminals that don’t give a F about anything. It’s a bag of mixed offenders in there, but it’s literally camp snoopy on there and there are no ramifications for infractions. A system has to be implemented work efficiently for both staff and offenders.
    Celeste, if only you can read some of the juvenile probation files with the complete arrest history. Not all offenders are a product of abuse or neglect. It just feels that all your posts are one sided. So many times in the past, I’ve told my self, this kid is prison bound. And sure enough, a few years later he is either dead, on adult probation, on parole, or in prison doing life. Heck a few times, some of our probationers have made headlines in the 10 o’clock news.
    You really have to be impartial and look at both sides of the spectrum.
    Going back to my original statement, the justice system is flawed, and things will continue be out of control in the facilities if our legal justice system continues to remain the same.

  • Where’s the new article to talk about all the improvements over the last 2 months and how BJN is out of the BSCC CAP? There isn’t one cuz positive stories don’t sell.

  • As someone who has worked both in halls, camps and then went to work for the star program with lasd, seeing the issues first hand is the lack of proper training. The types of individuals we are dealing with now is very different then when I first started almost 20’years ago. These are youth that are extremely damaged with severe mental health issues. Until people are willing to accept that and willing to learn how to work with individuals with sever mental health issue and those that are severely emotionally disturbed you will continue having these issues. The department needs to clean house and get people that understand the populations they are working with. Maybe get off your cell phone, maybe work on your fitness. I have never in my 17 years seen so many unfit DSOs as I have seen as of late when I go in and meet with youth. Things have changed, people need to learn how to adapt to these changes, if you are unwilling to do so, look into a new career. This isn’t for everyone, the goal is to guide the youth and teach them about consequences, not being punitive, not being degrading, so many of you have these power trips it blinds you. It’s seriously pathetic, if you can’t deal with these types of kids maybe this just for you anymore. It’s is what it is.

  • This place has always been corrupted by the staff. They are the ones who create chaos. Children housed there are tired of the mistreatment. These kids get treated worse than adults in prison. I know for a fact. The state keeps using up the money to give raises to their employees instead of providing better health, suitable conditions for these children who a lot of them have been in the system all their lives. It’s so sad. Very sad. I was housed there when I was a teenager. Back in the 2000s. I can speak from my own experience. You get beat by the staff and when visitation comes, you are force to lied to your relatives. Facts.

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