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California moves to phase out its state-run youth prisons

California Juvenile Prisons
Posted at 12:31 PM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 15:31:00-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is phasing out its state-run youth prisons and shifting the burden to counties. The three state-run lockups will stop admissions Thursday and close in 2023.

The state also is moving oversight from the corrections department to the Health and Human Services Agency.

Advocates say the move reflects their belief that children who commit crimes can be reformed and are better served closer to home. Prosecutors want to know where youths who commit the most egregious crimes will be held and how they will be helped.

There is concern that it could be difficult for smaller counties to provide specialized programs, such as for youths who commit sex crimes.