Lieber: Dismantle state's youth prisons
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, announced Wednesday she has proposed legislation that would dismantle the Department of Juvenile Justice -- closing all youth prisons in the state -- and turn over responsibility for juvenile offenders to local counties.
“The DJJ has failed in its mission to rehabilitate its wards and protect communities,” Lieber said. “Instead, these facilities serve as training grounds for adult prison life.'”
The bill, AB 1655, proposes that juvenile offenders in the state's youth prison would be transferred to smaller facilities controlled by counties.
The Department of Juvenile Justice is what was formerly known as the California Youth Authority, until a reorganization in 2005. There are eight youth prisons in the state that house approximately 2,600 wards -- a number that has dropped dramatically since 1999.