California Watch reports that county governments in that state have invested nearly a half-billion dollars over the past 15 years to modernize juvenile lockups and now have the capacity to absorb offenders currently housed in the state's youth prisons, if those facilities are closed. A report by the San Francisco-based Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice offers fresh data in support of Gov. Jerry Brown's renewed push to shutter the state's three remaining youth prisons as part of a historic realignment of California's criminal justice system.
A total of $455,779,103 was allocated to renovate county facilities, according to the report, with 96 percent going to new maximum-security juvenile halls in 41 jurisdictions. “These state-of-the-art buildings stand in stark contrast to the dilapidated and archaic 19th-century relics that DJF (Division of Juvenile Facilities) utilizes to house its remaining wards,” reads the report. Counties that allocated the most money for construction of juvenile facilities as of November 2007 include San Mateo, $21.1 million; Fresno, $24.1 million; San Bernardino, $27.2 million; Alameda, $33.1 million; San Diego, $39.2 million; Ventura, $40.5 million, and Los Angeles, $49.5 million.