The Youth Justice Coalition disrupted the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting this morning, demanding immediate action regarding the state of emergency inside L.A County Youth probation halls and camps, that has led to a human rights crisis for incarcerated youth.
The experiences of Los Angeles Youth incarcerated in jails, L.A County Juvenile Halls, and camps are reaching endemic proportions, with at least nine overdoses and several reports of physical abuse by probation staff since the tragic death of Brian Diaz on May 26th, 2023.
The demands put forth by Youth Justice Coalition and its partners include cutting the 247 vacant Probation Department positions from the budget, fully funding Youth Justice Reimagined and the Department of Youth Development, releasing all young people from probation custody by 2025 as promised under Youth Justice Reimagined, and fully funding Care First Community Investment along with the closure of Men’s Central Jail.
Key data and context provided by the coalition reveal that the Board of Supervisors is spending $117 million to reopen Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall for incarcerating young people, with 247 vacant positions from Juvenile Probation still being paid and budgeted. Juvenile Probation has received an additional $6.6 million to increase their salaries, and it costs $833,600 per year to incarcerate one young person. Currently, there are 274 youth in Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall, facing denial of access to essential facilities and services.
Jahzara Halliday, Youth Justice Coalition Youth Organizer, shares her personal experience, stating:
“Probation never did anything for me but cause more pain and trauma. L.A. County is wasting over $833,000 per year to incarcerate one young person – we need the Board to keep its promise and invest in Youth Justice Reimagined and the Department of Youth Development instead of funding $416 million for Probation to lock up young people like myself.”
Lupita Carballo, Youth Organizer at Youth Justice Coalition, emphasizes the importance of diversion to keep youth away from the system of injustice and incarceration. She stresses the need to provide young people with developmental resources to prevent them from becoming ensnared in a deadly system.
The Youth Justice Coalition (YJC) is leading an abolitionist youth, family, and incarcerated people’s movement to end mass incarceration, deportation, and police terror, based in South Central Los Angeles.
The coalition was joined by various sponsoring organizations for the Youth and Community Resource Fair, following YJC’s demonstration at the Board of Supervisors meeting. The resource fair which was scheduled for 1:00 PM in front of the Board Meeting building, brought together community organizations, healers, and service providers to promote healing and support for those affected by the crisis.
Those organizations included the L.A. Youth Uprising Coalition, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition, Justice LA, Reimagine LA, La Defensx, National Juvenile Justice Network, L.A. Students Deserve, The Tree Yoga Cooperative, Youthbuild Charter School, and Children’s Defense Fund of CA.
Read More: https://youthjusticela.org/history/