LBCC Juvenile Justice Problems Overcrowding and Psychological Issues Discussion

Hi Criminal Justice Group!  The topic area at the heart of your draft is a really interesting one.  I have a couple of recommendations:  1) be choosey with how you pick a client…so, who has the authority to DO something about juvenile detention in LA county?  is it the head of the Probation Department….someone else?  What entity can make new policies (and, who is in charge of the current status quo policies)?  2) depending on your answer to 1, you’ll want to then use our class readings to diagram the underlying problem.  You’ve got a lot of moving pieces:  mental health, overcrowding, long-term impacts on individuals, use of force, etc.  Some of these are focused on the system (overcrowding, lack of health/mental health care services), others on the workers (use of force), and others on the folks in detention (individual-level outcomes of health, safety, and then the longer term issues).  Those pieces can still be in your diagram, but if you’ve chosen a client with a particular jurisdiction, that will help you carefully narrow your lens to that area.  One possibility is to use the Thissen reading (the one with the airport diagram) to carefully lay this out.

incarcerated environment. Untreated mental health issues can result in higher rates of recidivism and cause avertible suffering for LA county youth. In order to better serve Los Angeles youth, and to reduce recidivism, an alternative model of juvenile justice should be adopted – one that focuses on meeting their mental health needs through community-based Problem: Los Angeles County Juvenile DetentionThe Los Angeles County Probation Department states its “Commitment to providing service excellence to achieve positive outcomes for healthy families and communities.” However, it falls short of this commitment with its treatment of youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. Los Angeles County currently has two juvenile detention centers that, in the first 6 months of 2021, had an average daily population of 269 young people combined, meaning that on any given day hundreds of youth are subject to harsh conditions of confinement, including staff use of force (averaging 89 incidents per month). Detaining youth is a harmful approach to addressing some of the mental and behavioral health issues that may be the root causes for their participation in crime. Despite nationwide efforts to decrease populations in juvenile detention facilities, there are still reports of harmful conditions and youth mistreatment as well as significant racial disparities in detained populations in Los Angeles County. Authorities have not sufficiently considered the long-term effects of detention on youth and subsequently have not invested enough in alternative interventions. The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated vulnerabilities that put youth at risk of committing delinquency. As such, there is an even greater need in coming months for support and care-based interventions, rather than punitive measures. Furthermore, nine out of ten youth involved in the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles have open mental health cases. Many of them suffer from untreated mental health issues resulting in aggressive and antisocial behavior, which is only further exacerbated in an support.

The Los Angeles County Probation Department states its “Commitment to providing service excellence to achieve positive outcomes for healthy families and communities.” However, it falls short of this commitment with its treatment of youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. Los Angeles County currently has two juvenile detention centers that, in the first 6 months of 2021, had an average daily population of 269 young people combined, meaning on any given day hundreds of youth are subject to harsh conditions of confinement, including staff use of force (averaging 89 incidents per month). 

Detaining youth is a harmful approach to addressing some of the mental and behavioral health issues that may be the root causes for their participation in criminal behavior. Despite nationwide efforts to decrease populations in juvenile detention facilities, there are still reports of harmful conditions and youth mistreatment as well as significant racial disparities in detained populations in Los Angeles County. Authorities have not sufficiently considered the long-term effects of detention on youth and subsequently have not invested enough in alternative interventions. The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated vulnerabilities that put youth at risk of committing delinquency. As such, there is an even greater need in coming months for support and care-based interventions, rather than punitive measures. 

Furthermore, nine out of ten youth involved in the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles have open mental health cases. Many of them suffer from untreated mental health issues resulting in aggressive and antisocial behavior, which is only further exacerbated in an incarcerated environment. Untreated mental health issues can result in higher rates of recidivism and cause avertible suffering for LA county youth. In order to better serve Los Angeles youth, and to reduce recidivism, an alternative model of juvenile justice should be adopted – one that focuses on meeting their mental health needs through community based support. Evidence-based practices and policies as a way of assuring that our best efforts are leading to desired outcomes.Resources (2019):Recidivism Report for Youth Released from the Division of Juvenile Justicehttps://dcfs.lacounty.gov/youth/juvenile-justice/Youth Justice Reimagined Report https://www.sentencingproject.org/issues/juvenile-… 

Problem Definition:Probation oversight commission District attorneyDept of corrections NonprofitTopic: Juvenile JusticeBefore the systemWhat laws are in place that allow youth to enter the system?Community resourcesLaw enforcement in schoolsDuringAge limitsSentencing and pretrial reformPretrial practices are unfairSentencing varies racially-no data in sentencing reports. Conditions of confinementHow does the system treat youth?After https://dcfs.lacounty.gov/youth/juvenile-justice/What barriers do youth with criminal records face?What opportunities do they have? Policies to prevent recidivism ?   Is this a problem or a condition OR is it just a symptom?Sentencing and pretrial conditions for LA county youth (18 and under) is too harsh leads to high rates of recidivism and overpopulated prisonsHarsh sentencing of youth is causing higher rates of suicide, poverty, mental ilness, preventing moving out of the system, causing anti-social behavior. Draft: BIPOC youth in Los Angeles County have been over policed and criminalized by law enforcement and the legal system.The lack of community based services and aEvidence-based practices and policies as a way of assuring that our best efforts are leading to desired outcomes.Resources (2019):Recidivism Report for Youth Released from the Division of Juvenile Justicehttps://dcfs.lacounty.gov/youth/juvenile-justice/Youth Justice Reimagined Report https://www.sentencingproject.org/issues/juvenile-… 

Problem Definition:Probation oversight commission District attorneyDept of corrections NonprofitTopic: Juvenile JusticeBefore the systemWhat laws are in place that allow youth to enter the system?Community resourcesLaw enforcement in schoolsDuringAge limitsSentencing and pretrial reformPretrial practices are unfairSentencing varies racially-no data in sentencing reports. Conditions of confinementHow does the system treat youth?After https://dcfs.lacounty.gov/youth/juvenile-justice/What barriers do youth with criminal records face?What opportunities do they have? Policies to prevent recidivism ?   Is this a problem or a condition OR is it just a symptom?Sentencing and pretrial conditions for LA county youth (18 and under) is too harsh leads to high rates of recidivism and overpopulated prisonsHarsh sentencing of youth is causing higher rates of suicide, poverty, mental ilness, preventing moving out of the system, causing anti-social behavior. Draft: BIPOC youth in Los Angeles County have been over policed and criminalized by law enforcement and the legal system.The lack of community based services and a

Evidence-based practices and policies as a way of assuring that our best efforts are leading to desired outcomes.Resources (2019):Recidivism Report for Youth Released from the Division of Juvenile Justicehttps://dcfs.lacounty.gov/youth/juvenile-justice/Youth Justice Reimagined Report https://www.sentencingproject.org/issues/juvenile-… 

Problem Definition:Probation oversight commission District attorneyDept of corrections NonprofitTopic: Juvenile JusticeBefore the systemWhat laws are in place that allow youth to enter the system?Community resourcesLaw enforcement in schoolsDuringAge limitsSentencing and pretrial reformPretrial practices are unfairSentencing varies racially-no data in sentencing reports. Conditions of confinementHow does the system treat youth?After https://dcfs.lacounty.gov/youth/juvenile-justice/What barriers do youth with criminal records face?What opportunities do they have? Policies to prevent recidivism ?   Is this a problem or a condition OR is it just a symptom?Sentencing and pretrial conditions for LA county youth (18 and under) is too harsh leads to high rates of recidivism and overpopulated prisonsHarsh sentencing of youth is causing higher rates of suicide, poverty, mental ilness, preventing moving out of the system, causing anti-social behavior. Draft: BIPOC youth in Los Angeles County have been over policed and criminalized by law enforcement and the legal system.The lack of community based services and ahistorical prioritization of building tools of mass incarceration has led to the over criminalization of young people.There needs to be more investment in criminal justice reform services or for criminal justice involved people. Show the population that needs servicesData on effectivenessLack of funding. Investment in criminal justice organizations. What the system is like now and what it could be like with increased funding. ?   Is there a deficit or an excess (a’la Bardach?…this only works for some types of problems) or at least some type of quantity involved?Too many youth interacting with the systemNot enough resources to avoid the systemBarriers to reentering society in a meaningful wayToo many issues resulting from interaction with the system. ?   Is this a public problem or a private problem?  Does it warrant a public solution??   Do enough of the public care about this problem??   Does the problem NOT imply a specific solution? ?   Are there alternative ways to mitigate the problem??   Is there a client who has control over the instruments need to do such mitigation??   Is the problem small enough to analyze in a semester??   Is it large enough to be relevant and interesting??   Is there a reason/prompt to do the analysis (i.e., some critical or focusing event)?There are too many youth in the system. Methods we currently have is insufficient for the needs of the population Outside orgs diversify options for youth who would otherwise be incarceratedReform policies and practices around sentencing and pretrial practice Community orgs serving at-risk youth.How much money gov currently givesHow much money orgs needHow effective orgs are 

Over Policing of youth populations is causing high rates of incarceration. 

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