Pacific Juvenile Defender Center

California's youth prisons will close by 2023.


Sound Off: California’s Youth Prison Closures

Juvenile justice advocates sound off on California's plan to close youth prisons and develop the Office of Youth and Community Restoration.


Report: As California Closes Juvenile Lockups, Counties Fail to Support Intended Rehabilitation

Ventura County Juvenile Facilities Complex. Photo courtesy of Ventura County Probation Department
As California prepares for a major shake-up of its juvenile justice system, a new report suggests that counties are increasingly relying on jail-like juvenile halls to hold youth for long periods of time on indeterminate sentences.


California Counties Empty Juvenile Halls to Combat COVID-19

The exterior wall of the El Dorado County Juvenile Hall in Placerville, California. Photo: Max Whittaker, Prime Collective
Seeking to avoid outbreaks of coronavirus, within a matter of months, county officials across California have dramatically reduced the numbers of youth locked in juvenile detention facilities – a decrease that justice advocates long decrying the over-incarceration of the nation’s young people might once have dreamed of.


California’s State Juvenile Justice Agency Freezes New Detention Commitments

Late Tuesday afternoon, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) suspended new entries into the state’s juvenile and adult prison systems, part of an effort to protect incarcerated individuals and staff from the spread of the coronavirus.


Preventing California from Overcharging Youths into Adult Court

California has taken dramatic steps over the past several years to reduce the transfer of juveniles into adult court system, ensuring that more young people accused of crimes can benefit from rehabilitation in the juvenile system.


New Underwear Is Just One Way California’s Juvenile Detention System Could Live Up to National Standards

For the past nine months, advocates have been mounting a campaign to improve the living conditions of youth incarcerated in California’s juvenile halls, camps and ranches. Changes up for approval include requirements that correctional staff respect the gender identity of youth, and that incarcerated youth are granted visits from their children.