Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Morning Brief: Overcrowded Juvenile Hall, Adobe Punk, And The Rooftop Cinema Club

Circles of barbed wire ring the top of tall cement and steel walls painted tepid gray and yellow. A hazy sky is in the background.
An entryway into Central Juvenile Hall.
(Chava Sanchez
Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Good morning, L.A. It’s April 5.

Los Angeles County operates two juvenile halls: Central Juvenile Hall just east of downtown, and Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar. In March, all incarcerated young people were moved to Nidorf so Central could be assessed by inspectors.

But since that move, staff say that conditions at the Sylmar facility are “a mess.”

My colleague Emily Elena Dugdale reports that the children at Nidorf aren’t receiving proper medical care, education or recreation. The result is chaos, including inadequate medication dispensation, fights and vandalism.

Support for LAist comes from

“The way our kids deal with stuff, change and anxiety and whatnot a lot of times is by acting out,” said a staff member who asked to remain anonymous.

The reason things have gone south so quickly is mainly due to inadequate staffing. The building is large enough to accommodate the children physically, but without enough employees, kids are languishing with not enough activities, structure and guidance.

About How to LA Newsletter
  • This is the web version of our How To LA newsletter. Sign up here to get this newsletter sent to your inbox each weekday morning

One staff member told Emily that some children have received classroom instruction for just two days in the past three weeks. Others have had trouble getting in touch with their attorneys and family members.

The two detention centers have been under scrutiny recently, starting with a report in September that found both facilities were “not suitable for the confinement of minors.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go ... This Week's Event Pick: Rooftop Cinema Club

A neon sign reads, "Greetings from Rooftop Cinema Club, surrounded by a wall of pink flowers and palm branches.
Rooftop Cinema Club reopens its downtown L.A. location this week.
(Courtesy of Rooftop Cinema Club)
Support for LAist comes from

The downtown location of the Rooftop Cinema Club reopens for the spring season this week with screenings of La La Land and West Side Story. Snacks are available, and of-age guests can bring adult libations.

Not in the movie mood? You could: Watch a group of all-star musicians pay tribute to Paul Simon’s music. Take in the magic of the Alvin Ailey dancers. Catch H.E.R. in concert. Laugh along to comics at the Popular Kids Club. And more.

Help Us Cover Your Community
  • Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything.

  • Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know.

Most Read