Some California criminal justice leaders will fight a plan by Gov. Jerry Brown to phase out the state’s Division of Juvenile Justice over the next three years and return the most violent and troubled youths to county facilities, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Probation officials, district attorneys, and others say they will spend the next several months trying to persuade the Democratic governor to remove the proposal, which Brown says will save the state more than $100 million a year, from his budget.
Many county officials believe the plan will unduly give counties the burden of incarcerating serious juvenile offenders and put existing, successful rehabilitation programs at risk. The officials were relieved when Brown backed off a plan to shutter the state facilities this year, unless counties ponied up $125,000 a year per offender. Instead, the governor offered to work with county officials over the next year to come up with a smooth transition plan. Under Brown’s plan, the state would stop accepting youths in January and close the Division of Juvenile Justice by June 30, 2015.