All in Juvenile Justice News

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.

Teenage suicide sheds light on lack of oversight for juveniles in county jails

OKLAHOMA CITY — Before his death, 16-year old John Leroy Daniel Applegate was secluded from other juveniles in a cell in the Oklahoma County Detention Center.

The teenager also was placed on suicide watch intermittently during his time at the detention center before jailers ultimately found him unresponsive in his cell in April, said County Commissioner Carrie Blumert.

With fewer juvenile offenders locked up, an unexpected consequence arises for schools that teach them

Schopen teaches at a juvenile detention center for children serving time for committing felony crimes — assault, burglary, murder, manslaughter, arson. Four out of five students have mental-health or substance-abuse issues and struggle to control their emotions. About half have learning disabilities and are many grade levels behind. It’s hard to imagine a more difficult place to teach.