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More Calls For Release Of Youth Detainees in LA County

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A coalition of youth justice advocates on Friday called on Los Angeles County probation chiefs to immediately release eligible, low-risk juvenile detainees in the county’s juvenile halls and camps to protect them from the spread of COVID-19.

During a Friday morning press conference, Kim McGill, an organizer with Youth Justice Coalition, said:

"Both the attorney general and the governor have issued orders that both probation chiefs and sheriffs have increased powers under the COVID-19 pandemic to release people."

California law gives the state’s probation officers and sheriffs greater authority during emergencies to release or move to a safer place of confinement any juvenile detainee or adult inmates without need of a court order.
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In making their demands, juvenile justice advocates cited conditions inside the juvenile facilities that LAist first reported on April 3. Among the main concerns is that social distancing recommended for slowing the virus spread is not happening inside the youth facilities, where youngsters live, eat and sleep in close quarters.

A group of attorneys and child advocates filed a petition with the California Supreme Court on April 14 seeking the immediate release of eligible, low-risk detainees. You can read about it here.