Probation Chiefs Respond to Newly Released BSCC Data Showing Significant Decreases in Juvenile Detention Populations & Bookings
Juvenile Hall Population Decreased by Nearly One-Third Since February 23; Statewide Bookings Decreased by Nearly 55%
Sacramento, CA, April 27, 2020 – Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) released new data tracking the significant decrease in statewide bookings of juveniles and average daily population inside juvenile halls. Beginning February 23, 2020 through April 12, 2020, the data revealed a drop of 29.67% of the juvenile hall population and a drop of 54.56% of statewide bookings.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, county probation departments have taken critical health safety measures aligned with state and county public health officials. This included assessing detained youth who could be safely released into a stable, safe environment for themselves and others. The data in the BSCC report reflect releases of juveniles from detention halls for purposes that include: increasing social distancing space, increasing options for necessary quarantine, transfers for hospital care, inability to transfer to other detention facilities, or unavailability of court proceedings.
“Our priority is the safety of juveniles in our care. During these extraordinary times, we have instituted health protocols consistent with county and state health officials’ guidelines and have released youth who could be safely placed in safe and stable environments with the supervision of our trained and trauma-informed officers,” said El Dorado County Chief Brian Richart, President of the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC). “Prior to this pandemic, up to 90% of the youth under our supervision were safely supervised in the community. We continue to use evidence-based practices and individualized care to support youth onto a healthy pathway, ending the cycle of crime, and keeping our communities safe.”
BSCC Estimated Release Data:
- Statewide Average Daily Population decreased by 29.67% since February 23, 2020 (as of April 12, 2020).
- Statewide Bookings decreased by 54.56% since February 23, 2020 (as of April 12, 2020).
To view the full report, visit the Board of State and Community Corrections website.
County probation departments were ahead of the curve in quickly responding to the pandemic with preemptive actions and are continually updating their protocols to be aligned with the evolving recommendations of their county health officials and state guidelines. Below are some examples of actions taken by various county probation departments to protect juveniles during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Limited intake to the most serious offenses when appropriate and safe.
- Instituted strict health protocols for officers including taking temperatures and sending home any officer who is displaying any signs of illness or reporting potential exposure.
- Reviewed cases of juveniles in facilities and released juveniles to their families when there is a safe and stable environment for them to return to and it is permissible in coordination with the courts, district attorneys and public defenders.
- Made the difficult decision to temporarily alter visitation for the health protection of juveniles. The departments are instead using technology platforms to ensure juveniles still have social connections with family and friends during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Established plans to address any need for a youth to be quarantined for COVID-19 symptoms and instituted social distancing protocols.
- Identified various distance learning and support services to best serve youth during this time.
CPOC and the 59 county probation chiefs are continuing to monitor the situation daily as new information comes to light and will make decisions based on best-practices in health and safety standards for the juveniles and adults under our care, our officers, and the community.
For more information about CPOC, please go to www.cpoc.org.
Media Contact: Laura Dixon firstname.lastname@example.org 510-384-3020