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News items related to CYA

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Senior Research Fellow Randall Shelden reflects on historic training schools as many bodies are found at Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Florida.

Realignment targets adults, but youth system also in flux

“Youth crime in California is at a 40-year low. Looking at the statistics you could argue this is the best-behaved generation on record. Now why that is, we don’t know,” said Daniel Macallair

Developing Leaders [guest video blog]
CJCJ's guest video blog by Will Roy, discusses challenges to re-entry from the state's youth correctional facilities and what he thinks should be the way forward for juvenile justice in California.   Will Roy is currently a psychology student at the City College of San Francisco.  He was made a ward of the California Youth Authority (now the Division of Juvenile Facilities) in 1997, as a first time offender at the age of 15, and remained a ward until 2003. During his six year CYA…
Delancey Street Foundation celebrates its 40th Anniversary
I recently read an article in Yes Magazine's "Beyond Prisons " issue entitled, "Recipes for Recovery," highlighting San Francisco's own Delancey Street Foundation .  Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Delancey Street is a program unlike any other-- a reentry center for ex-prisoners and addicts, where the residents run the day-to-day, from housing, therapy sessions, businesses, such as their moving company and restaurant. I first learned about Delancey Street four years ago, when I…
Goodbye Preston
In 1894, the Preston School of Industry opened its doors and begun a 119-year legacy of maltreatment.  Located in Ione, Amador County, this archaic institution was built based on a 19th Century model of congregate reform schools.  It soon developed a reputation for appalling physical conditions and extreme brutality by staff members.  By 1895, allegations arose of ill-treatment, malnourishment and overworking of youth.  In the early-1900's, several newspapers reported foul and degrading…
DJF Review: Six years later...
The Sixteenth Special Master Report, filed November 22, 2010, summarized the past and present status of DJF's progress to implement Farrell reforms.   Since 2004, when DJF signed the consent decree, it has made progress toward improving the previously atrocious care of its juvenile wards.  For example, it no longer administers out-of-date undocumented medicine to its wards and it no longer uses cages to provide education, therapy, or exercise.  The Special Master identifies several obstacles…
Small but costly juvenile prison program awaits fate
Small but costly juvenile prison program awaits fate California Watch, October 27, 2010.
The Importance of an IBTM
DJF has begun to implement some cognitive-behavioral evidence-based treatment programs in their facilities.  These model programs include Aggression Replacement Training (ART) and CounterPoint.  Both programs are designed in a similar format with the goal of skill acquisition: first the facilitators teach and model relevant skills, then the youths role-play these skills, and eventually the youths are required to practice the skills in their natural setting.  The aim is that youths internalize…
Meaningful treatment cannot happen behind razor wire.
On September 14, 2010, CJCJ staff visited the O.H. Close and N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facilities operated by CDCR's Division of Juvenile Facilities.  Our party of six was accompanied through the facilities by over fifteen DJF staff members comprising all levels of DJF personnel.  This presented us with a unique opportunity to examine DJF's progress in providing rehabilitative treatment and care at various levels of the institutional system.  We are deeply grateful for the opportunity…
DJF Mental Health Experts Resign
On August 2, 2010, the court in the Farrell litigation concluded that Dr. Eric Trupin and Dr. Terry Lee have resigned from their positions as Mental Health experts in the case.   This is compelling news for followers of DJF reform efforts. Almost seven years ago, Dr. Eric Trupin conducted the original investigation of DJF's mental health care, noting "In general we have grave concerns relative to the competence of the psychiatric staff, historical lack of leadership... and the lack of any…
Ventura: Overcrowded and Understaffed
Current information available on the DJF creates concern in regard to the level of rehabilitative care provided in Ventura Youth Correctional Facility.  In the Fifteenth Special Master Report, filed July 13, 2010, experts identified that DJF is experiencing several obstacles to reform resulting from the State's fiscal crisis, including a hiring freeze, lay-off plans, and travel bans.  Moreover, the closure of the Heman G. Stark facility in February of this year required DJF to swiftly transfer…
DJF promotes 85% compliance, but let's not forget the past...
Recently, the Department of Juvenile Facilities (formerly known as the California Youth Authority) claimed to be in 85% compliance with the consent decree under the Farrell litigation.  This percentage cultivates a skewed perception of the state youth correctional facility's progress towards reforming into a rehabilitative environment.  In April 2010, CJCJ's Executive Director Daniel Macallair highlighted this issue in the California Progress Report .  As DJF touts its progress it is important…
Public Relations and the California Youth Corrections System
Daniel Macallair, MPA, Executive Director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, article titled "Wasting Tax Dollars: Public Relations and the California Youth Corrections System " was recently featured in the California Progress Report. Mr. Macallair discusses that despite the class action law suit (Farrell v Cate) against the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the state is not in full compliance with reforming the State's youth correctional facilities. Further, the article exposes…
The end of an era?
A story in the Los Angeles Times caught my eye.  The title tells most of the story: "California to close its largest juvenile prison ." The institution is the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility in Chino.  They will convert it to an adult prison and eventually transfer the young offenders to other programs in the state, mostly in county facilities closer to their families. Stark has been part of what most experts consider one of the "dinosaurs" of juvenile institutions, the California…
Time to Close the old California Youth Authority
The recent news from Sacramento that the state is confronting another round of midyear budget cuts that could amount to a stunning 7 billion dollars provides further reason to close the old California Youth Authority (CYA). Closing the CYA (now the Division of Juvenile Facilities) would save the state nearly $500 million and bring an end to a sad chapter in the history of California's juvenile justice system. The current California youth corrections system is built on a 19th century training…
Troubles in the CYA Nothing New
Troubles in the CYA Nothing New

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