Barger Counters Plan to House Youth Offenders at Camp Scott

In response to a motion recommending that Camp Joseph Scott in Santa Clarita be used to permanently house youth formerly under the supervision of the Division of Juvenile Justice, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger submitted a competing motion that instead designates Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar to serve as a Secure Youth Treatment Facility for this population.

“I strongly oppose Camp Scott permanently housing youth who were formerly supervised by the state,” said Supervisor Barger. “It doesn’t make sense. Our county’s own Probation Department — which is staffed by the professionals and subject matter experts who are tasked with overseeing these youth — recommended that Nidorf Juvenile Hall serve as a Secure Youth Treatment Facility. Their proposal clearly articulates a rationale for why Nidorf is a sound option. It’s the right choice, which is why I’m placing this alternative motion on the table.”

Barger’s comments about the Los Angeles County Probation Department’s recommendations reference a proposal, dated February 8, 2022, in which the Department presented a plan to reimagine Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall as a state-of-the-art Secure Youth Treatment Facility where trauma-informed services, therapy and programs would be anchored to help offenders prepare for a successful re-entry to society.

The proposal articulated a series of benefits in favor of the Nidorf site, noting that it has plenty of available space to accommodate the projected population of 150 male offenders and could be reconfigured without impacting services to the youth it currently serves. The proposal also noted that Nidorf is centrally located and thereby ideal for visiting families, community-based providers and partner agencies.

A copy of the report can be found here.

“There are renderings of reimagined spaces where therapeutic, educational and secure quarters would be located,” said Barger, in reference to designs of interior and exterior spaces at Nidorf contained in a presentation that accompanied the proposal. “If the County is serious about its commitment to reimagining how juvenile offenders will be helped, we can start by approving Nidorf. This will enable us to leverage the work that’s already been done to get a County facility ready as quickly as possible. We cannot afford to pass up this opportunity.”

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