California may finally be ready to get out of the business of juvenile corrections, reports the Sacramento Bee. Gov. Jerry Brown wants to eliminate the state Division of Juvenile Justice and give counties responsibility for the state’s worst young offenders over the next three years. High costs, poor treatment and other shortcomings have made the agency a target of critics.
The juvenile justice transfer would complete a process that started in 2007 of giving counties responsibility for juvenile corrections. Previously, the state incarcerated about 10,000 juveniles. Now the state has about one-tenth that number of young offenders in custody. They represent the most serious cases murderers, robbers and sex offenders among them. The Little Hoover Commission, a state agency charged with ferreting out inefficiency in government, called for the elimination of the Division of Juvenile Justice two years ago. Under Brown’s proposal, counties would receive the same amount of money per offender as the state spends now.