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Plan to phase out pepper spray this year at L.A.'s juvenile halls hits a potential snag

When Los Angeles County leaders voted unanimously in February to ban the use of pepper spray in its juvenile detention facilities, officials were tasked with phasing out the chemical agent by the end of the year.

But on Tuesday, the head of the county’s Probation Department — which runs juvenile detention facilities — told the Board of Supervisors that her agency will need more time.

Pay raises on the horizon as Texas prisons continue to deal with staffing shortages

Then-union spokesman Lance Lowry fretted in fall 2017 about a “mass exodus” in the state’s prison system, with an officer turnover rate so high that nearly 1 in 3 guards fled the agency over the prior year.

Little has changed since — and the vacancy rate is ticking up, as critical positions sit unfilled both Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s 104 adult prisons and at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department’s five youth prisons.

90 Percent Of Kids In LA County’s Juvenile Halls Have “Open Mental Health Cases.” Supes Call Urgently For Rehabilitative Plan—For Youth & Adults

At Los Angeles County’s Central Juvenile Hall, the largest of the county’s three juvenile halls, 93 percent of its youth residents have open mental health cases.

At Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar, CA, the percentage of kids with open mental health cases is at 96 percent, according to the most recent report submitted to the board of LA County Supervisors in late April by Jonathan Sharin, MD, the head of the county’s Department of Mental Health.