The Los Angeles County Probation Department continues to ensure community safety and is dedicated to the protection of everyone who lives, works in, and visits the Department’s juvenile facilities and area offices.
During this unprecedented time, the department has implemented several new protocols in facilities and area offices, following guidelines from the Departments of Public Health and Health Services to limit or prevent the spread of COVID-19 among staff and youth.
There are a number of resources on the department’s website to keep the public informed about Probation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The department has begun posting weekly updates and will soon add daily updates listing the population of juvenile facilities, numbers of youth testing positive for the virus and under quarantine due to possible exposure to another individual testing positive, numbers of staff testing positive in juvenile facilities, and any emerging issues.
Please visit https://probation.lacounty.gov/coronavirus/ for more information.
Probation has implemented several precautions to keep the youth and our staff safe. In facilities, masks are now available to all staff and youth and social distancing measures have been implemented. Probation has also increased daily cleaning at each facility and is increasing the hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations available. Additionally, the Department has implemented mandatory verbal health screening for every person entering a juvenile detention facility.
To date, no youth in our facilities have tested positive for COVID-19.
There are a total of 16 Probation staff that have tested positive for COVID-19. Eight of those staff members work in Juvenile facilities although two of the staff members had been on leave and were not at work when they tested positive.
Currently, there are 37 youth at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall who are being isolated from the rest of the camp due to possible exposure. The youth are doing well and not showing any symptoms.
The department has medical professionals from Juvenile Court Health Services and Department of Mental Health who are continually monitoring the health and well-being of youth.
The Department is collaborating with justice partners, and Probation has screened hundreds of cases in residential treatment centers (camps) to consider early release and recently submitted over 50 cases to the Court asking for release where appropriate. Since March 1, the population in the County’s juvenile halls has dropped from 535 to 371 on April 16, an over 30% decline. The population in juvenile camps has dropped from 284 to 219 over the same period, an over 20% decline.
Area offices remain closed to the public. Deputy probation officers continue to maintain contact with probation clients by phone, email, and video conference. Clients are encouraged to reach out to their assigned probation officer as well. The Department continues to conduct field visits and is prioritizing cases where there are vulnerable victims, sex offenders, and any other circumstances that are considered high risk or require special attention. In addition to conducting safety checks, officers are providing COVID-19 Public Health information and resources.
Adult Field Services is working with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to facilitate the release of inmates back to Los Angeles County and is collaborating with the Sheriff’s Department to assist in clearing the inmates for possible release. Probation is working with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to process these individuals and assist with appropriate orientation, addressing housing and other emergent needs.
This is an emergent and developing situation and Probation is continuously assessing all new measures that are being implemented and adjusting practices as necessary. Throughout this process, the safety and well-being of our youth and the general public remain at the forefront of our decisions.
While our communities are in a declared state of emergency, they can be confident that Probation staff stands ready to fulfill our duties to the juvenile and adult clients we serve.