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Los Angeles Times on 3/21/2023 by Rebecca Ellis
Los Angeles County supervisors were in agreement Tuesday: The Probation Department is failing.
Many officers say they’re too traumatized to come to work. Living quarters for youths are decrepit and programming is sparse. The board just ousted the most recent department head — the ninth probation leader to come and go in two decades.
In a matter of months, a department beset by crisis could face its biggest one yet: a state-ordered shutdown of its juvenile halls by the California Board of State and Community Corrections. The unprecedented decision by state regulators could see the halls closed and the youths moved to juvenile detention facilities in other counties.
With a few months left for a dramatic course correction, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed three motions Tuesday aimed at overhauling the troubled department. The motions aim to diminish the number of teens in the department’s care, find suitable places to house young offenders arriving in the county from the state’s youth prisons, and strengthen the Department of Youth Development — a new, rehabilitation-focused agency that supervisors are eager to see one day replace the Probation Department.