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Thousands Of Officers Ordered To Work Monthly Shifts In Juvenile Jails To Ease Staffing ‘Emergency’

A brick wall with barbed wire on a hilly place and with a blue, cloudy sky on the background.
Barbed wire on the fence enclosing Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall.
(Emily Elena Dugdale/LAist)
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Citing a staffing shortage “emergency,” Interim Probation Chief Guillermo Viera Rosa is immediately requiring some 3,000 sworn peace officers within the L.A. County Probation Department to work at least one shift a month in the juvenile halls.

The backstory: The state board that oversees juvenile detention centers voted unanimously Tuesday to give Los Angeles County 60 days to close the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar and Central Juvenile Hall in Lincoln Heights as a result of their lack of compliance with a number of state requirements.

A report from the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) states that the two facilities continue to be noncompliant on regular searches, programming, safety checks and several other requirements.

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Why it matters: According to the BSCC, some youths reported that they were not let out of their rooms at night and had to “urinate in a receptacle.” Earlier this month, 18-year-old Bryan Diaz died of an apparent drug overdose at Nidorf.

What’s next: The Probation Department says county construction crews will be working two shifts a day to get a now-shuttered facility in Downey called Los Padrinos ready to accept some 275 youth from Nidorf and Central.

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