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News items related to Farrell

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October News: New reports, a tour of DJJ & a youth client's success

Two new reports focus on the future of youth justice in California, CJCJ staff tour California's northern youth correctional facilities, and we congratulate a youth client who is now a full-time student. 

The Lessons of California for Juvenile Justice Reform

CJCJ's executive director pens an op-ed for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) on the lessons to be learned from the failures of California's state youth corrections system.

Reports Cites Mental Health Treatment Gaps at California’s DJJ Facilities

The Chronicle of Social Change highlights a new CJCJ study on conditions at California's state youth correctional facilties. 

KQED: Violence and Gang Activity Still Plague California's Juvenile Corrections Facilities

CJCJ's Erica Webster describes conditions at California's state youth correctional facilities on KQED's The California Report.

Failure After Farrell: Violence and Inadequate Mental Health Care in California's Division of Juvenile Justice

CJCJ's new report finds, in California's state youth corrections system, violence has increased, gang culture is pervasive, and mental health treatment is at times nonexistent.

California Reforms Creating County-Based Systems for 21st Century

CJCJ Executive Director Daniel Macallair writes an op-ed in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) on how California's plummeting youth crime rates creates an opportunity for more substantive reform

Farrell’s End Gives True Juvenile Justice Reform a Chance

After the 2002 lawsuit against DJJ was dismissed on February 25, 2016, CJCJ urges youth California to avoid repeating mistakes of the past.

Update to CJCJ's Farrell Litigation Timeline

CJCJ has updated it's Farrell Litigation Timeline to include relevant events from 2013 - 2015. 

DJF Update: Need for authentic, integrated reform

California’s youth correctional system, the Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF), commonly referred to as DJJ, is entering its tenth year under a consent decree to reform its practices to provide safe and rehabilitative environment. In October 2013, the latest and 27th Report of the Special Master was filed with the court.

California's Division of Juvenile Facilities: Nine Years After Farrell

This publication reviews the progress DJF has made in implementing Court-ordered reforms, using qualitative and quantitative data from the court-appointed expert in safety and welfare, the Special Master who oversees all Farrell reforms, and the CDCR. 

Institutional setting continues to hinder DJF staff reform efforts

Age-old practices have slowly begun to shift at California’s Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF) as staff experiment with common-sense reforms, such as positive reinforcement, limiting use of isolation, and providing access to outdoor recreational space.  However, barriers towards sustainable reform will exist as long as youth are housed in outdated institutions.

DJF's reform efforts, sounding like a broken record
The purpose of the juvenilejustice system  is to rehabilitate youth, a concept California's Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF) continues to struggle with. Progress in reform efforts through the Farrell lawsuit, now entering its second decade, have begun to sound like a broken record.   In October 2012, the most recent Report of the Special Master  released to the court commends DJF on certain improvements; however, areas crucial to the reform process have yet to meet compliance.  Key areas…
Perceived improvements to confinement
It's all relative, as the saying goes.  It is true that there have been recent improvements to California's youth correctional facilities, Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF).  Youth are no longer being fed blender meals and are no longer being educated in cages as they were just a less than a decade ago. However, the recently touted successes include meeting provisionary goals as outlined in the 21st Special Master Report  of the Farrell lawsuit, such as developing implementation plans and…
DJF culture shift absent as lawsuit continues
As of January 2012, three of California's Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF) remain, O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility (OHCYCF), N.A. Chaderjian (NACYCF) in Stockton, CA and Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (VYCF) in Ventura, California.  The Southern Reception Center closed down at the end of the 2011, transferring the remaining youth and 77 staff to VYCF, now the only DJF facility in southern California.  Already plagued with abuses and strained past capacity, VYCF continues to…
DJF: No special treatment for youth with special needs
The 19th report of the Special Master , in the ongoing Farrell v. Cate lawsuit to reform California's Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF) was released early September.  A major theme I discovered was the lack of DJF's ability to provide for those individuals with special needs, particularly in the areas of special education, mental health, and wards with physical and mental disabilities.   While these populations may be more challenging to serve than the general population, the presence of…
Farrell Update: Motion Granted
Last week, in response to the July 7th Farrell hearing , Judge Tigar enforced the Prison Law Office's (representing Farrell )  motion to hold California's state-run juvenile correctional facilities (DJF) accountable, specifically for unmet educational and programmatic requirements. DJF remains in violation of a 2005 court order to meet the 4-hour minimum requirement per youth per day for educational programming.  In July 2011, DJF said they needed at least 90 days to hire adequate staff to…
New report, same problems: DJF's prolonged progress
Last week, just prior to the Farrell hearing, the Office of the Special Master released the 18th report documenting DJF's efforts to comply with the remedial plans' minimum standards of care.  It covers the following: "¢ Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (VYCF) audit "¢ Sexual Behavior Treatment Program (SBTP ) update "¢ Integrated Behavioral Treatment Model (IBTM) "¢ 'Use-of-force' report "¢ Closure of Preston Youth Correctional Facility In her report, Special Master Campbell…
Unmet promises subject DJF wards to unconstitutional conditions
Thursday morning's Farrell hearing did not reach a decision.   The purpose of the hearing was to consider the Prison Law Office's (plaintiff) motion to hold DJF (defendant) in contempt of court for the unconstitutional levels of care provided to youth at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (VYCF).  The allegations against DJF are strong, as cited in previous CJCJ blogs , and after continued failure to comply with the court orders, the Prison Law Office decided to pursue a more forceful…
Exposing the Truth about Ventura's treatment of youth
The Department of Juvenile Facilities (DJF) has responded to the Prison Law Office's allegations stating that Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (VYCF) is in fact providing adequate educational and therapeutic services and proper out-of-cell time to the youth detained in their facilities.  The state agency's explanation of remedies appears to be insufficient in order to create a therapeutic and rehabilitative environment for youth in their care and custody.  This is the latest action from the…
Farrell Litigation Timeline
Farrell Litigation Timeline
Farrell Litigation Introductory Video
Flawed programming for DJF youth needing sexual behavior treatment
The most recent evidence of California's Division of Juvenile Facilities' (DJF) continued failure is documented in a report highlighting the State's inability to provide sufficient programming to youth in need of sexual behavior treatment (SBTP).  Audits of the three facilities with SBTP programs occurred September 2010 through February 2011.  As a result, SBTP expert, Barbara Schwartz, found serious deficiencies in core aspects of the program, despite improvement in many compliance items…
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…
"Dehumanizing" treatment of wards at DJF facilities continues
After eight years of ongoing attempts to bring California's Department of Juvenile Facilities (DJF) up to constitutional requirements, the "DJJ continues to deprive youth of fundamental rights guaranteed them by State law and this Court's orders."  The most recent document from the Farrell Litigation emphasizes that there are no longer viable excuses as to why these reforms have still not occurred.   The Prison Law Office is set to hold the defendant [Matthew Cate, CDCR Secretary] in contempt…
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…

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