Drug overdose. Violence. Lack of healthcare and a quality, consistent education due to staff shortages.
These are just some of the ongoing issues that young people have faced inside Los Angeles County’s juvenile halls.
LA County given 60 days to move kids out of juvenile halls
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California regulators voted yesterday for the county to quickly move nearly 300 children out of two troubled detention facilities — Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar and Central Juvenile Hall in Boyle Heights. In my colleague Robert Garrova’s latest story, he reported about why the California Board of State and Community Corrections moved to shut down these sites, citing noncompliance, failing conditions and staffing shortages.
The L.A. County Probation Department has 60 days to move kids to another facility: the Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey, which also closed down because of numerous issues.
Here’s the background:
Just last year in April 2022, the probation department moved 135 kids from the Central Juvenile Hall to the Barry J. Nidorf facility so that state inspectors could evaluate conditions there. But then Nidorf became overcrowded, and there weren’t enough staff members to provide the education and health care for all children there.
There have been other issues as well.
In May, an 18-year-old male died of an apparent overdose inside Nidorf. And last year a probation watchdog group found these juvenile facilities were using pepper spray on kids even though they were ordered not to four years before.
The L.A. County Board Of Supervisors has taken a series of steps in recent years to overhaul the probation department and reduce its oversight of teens. The goal is to direct supervision to a new Department of Youth Development (DYD), but advocates say progress has been slow.
Read Robert’s story for more details on this unfolding story.
Stay safe out there, L.A. There’s more news below — just keep reading.
(After you stop hitting snooze)
- Despite some pushback from the community and fellow council members, the Los Angeles City Council in a split vote approved the donation of a $278,000 robot dog to the LAPD. Facing concern over how the technology would be used, department officials said previously it would be used by SWAT officers in life-threatening situations and to de-escalate.
- Robert Pletka, Superintendent of the Fullerton School District, decided to remove Nazi symbols from an elementary school performance of The Sound of Music. The decision drew criticism from some parents who are concerned about the “watering down” of history.
- Brandon Tsay, the man who disarmed the Monterey Park shooter who killed 11 people at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in January, hosted a weekend-long celebration at the Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio in Alhambra. It was a time of healing, community and resilience for those in the Asian American Pacific Islander community.
- The debate surrounding whether college athletes should get paid has been around for years. Chris Holden, a state assemblymember from Pasadena, is proposing a new bill that could allow college athletes to make up to $25,000 a year from their departments’ earnings. But there’s a catch: Not every college athlete would have access to the profits.
- Gov. Gavin Newsom has reversed course and now wants to distribute $4 billion he originally put on hold for affordable student housing. CalMatters’ Mikhail Zinshteyn has more on what the original plans were for the money, what’s new and what still needs to be addressed.
- Even though California lawmakers devoted more than $1 billion to combat opioid overdoses, it’s only getting worse. Fentanyl is the largest culprit as it kills more than twice as many people as car accidents. KFF Health News’ Don Thompson reported on how we got here and what the state is doing about it.
- Young adult Californians are having less sex than older generations at the same age. Researchers say some of the reasons have to do with delaying major life events, increasing computer use and income.
- New stock images featuring people who have physical disabilities were released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. NPR’s Rachel Treisman has more on why choosing the right scenarios and models was important, and what the CPSC is looking to improve in the future.
- Parents just don’t understand. Even though it’s been 35 years since Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff came out with that Grammy-award winning song, parents still have a hard time understanding the minds of teens. Now, according to NPR, it’s time for them to spruce up their knowledge on synaptic pruning, dopamine and puberty in teen development.
*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding!
Wait! One More Thing….
One Of The World’s Architectural Post Office Beauties Is In LA
There’s something nostalgic about taking a trip to the post office to send a postcard or a gift to someone you love. There’s a lot of history behind some of these buildings, too. This month Architectural Digest has a list of the 11 most beautiful POs around the world and the Hollywood post office, near Sunset Boulevard, made the cut.
Back in 1937, the Works Progress Administration commissioned Art Deco architect Claud Beelman to design the renowned building. It is so iconic that the post office is on the National Register of Historic Places.
So the next time you have to mail a postcard or gift to a loved one, make sure you check out the post office in Hollywood. As Architectural Digest notes, it’s been largely unchanged in almost 90 years!