LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today approved a motion authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District, and co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Third District, on the feasibility study and plan for the future of Central Juvenile Hall.
Central Juvenile Hall, also known as Eastlake Juvenile Hall, constructed in 1912, was Los Angeles County’s first, permanent juvenile detention facility and is currently one of two open juvenile halls. For decades, Central Juvenile Hall, occupying almost 22 acres, has been used to incarcerate thousands of youth, boys and girls. Over its 110 years of existence, it has sustained criticisms and has been subjected to multiple lawsuits and consent decrees for poor living conditions and alarming treatment of the youth incarcerated in its cells.
“The closure of Central Juvenile Hall is very much part of the future of Los Angeles County,” said Supervisor Solis. “The solution isn’t to throw more money into it, put more coats of paint on its walls, or even continue with band-aid solutions, but a more permanent plan. Our youth deserve more and so does our staff. It’s time for us to look at Central Juvenile Hall through a feasibility study to see how we can shift it away from being used to incarcerate youth to turn it into a real asset to the residents of Los Angeles County.”
Over the years, the Board of Supervisors has closed and re-purposed several camps and halls such as:
- Camp Gonzalez which closed in 2017 to soon become a fire camp for formerly incarcerated youth.
- Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall which closed in 2019 after serious allegations of low staff morale and staff abusing incarcerated youth.
- Camp Challenger which closed in 2019 to be “converted into a pilot residential
vocational training center for young adults ages 18-25.”
Furthermore, the incarcerated youth population is at historic lows. As of March 10, 2022, there were 289 youth in the juvenile halls and 108 adjudicated youth in the camps. As a comparison, in 1998, the population in the halls alone was almost 2,000 youth.
“After recent inspections of Central Juvenile Hall, the state made it very clear that it is, plain and simple, unfit for young people,” said Supervisor Kuehl. “What better time to consider closing it altogether, and consolidating the custody of those awaiting placement in just one juvenile hall, since the number of young men and women in Probation’s care has dropped consistently for more than a decade.”
The motion approved today directs the County’s Probation Department and the Department of Public Works, in conjunction with the Courts, Union Partners, Chief Executive Office, County Counsel, Public Defender, Alternate Public Defender, District Attorney, and other relevant County Departments to conduct a Central Juvenile Hall Closure Feasibility Study and prepare a report back in writing to the Board within 120 days to include timelines, cost, and other relevant information for the successful closure and demolition of Central Juvenile Hall and to include:
To view the full motion, click here.