Ca. Youth Agency Fails Core Rehab Mission: Audit


Auditors have concluded that the California Youth Authority (CYA) fails to give offenders the education and training that could save them from a life of crime, the Los Angeles Times reports. The state’s youth prisons are confining too many wards for 23 hours a day, the audit found, calling the practice “ineffective and dehumanizing.” The Office of the Inspector General found that 27 youths at a Chino detention facility were locked up around the clock, except for five-minute daily showers.

Auditors found that the CYA had failed to adequately address 43 percent of the problems identified in audits since 2000. Most troubling, said Inspector General Matthew L. Cate, “is that many of the deficiencies that have not been corrected are central to the Youth Authority’s core mission of rehabilitating the young people entrusted to its care.” CYA Director Walter Allen III said the report “validates what we have known for more than a year–that CYA is an outdated system in crisis that needs a major overhaul.” Allen has made wholesale changes in the agency’s top management and promised to use the audit as a tool for further improvements. “There is no way of taking 25 to 30 years of problems and changing them in six months or a year,” he said.


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