Even under the watchful eyes of federal monitors, Los Angeles County probation officers are still being accused of using excessive force on hundreds of juveniles in their care, says a report from the Office of Independent Review quoted by the Contra Costa (CA) Times. The report said that some teachers in juvenile halls and juvenile camps were found to have instigated “gladiator fights” among the wards in their classrooms, but could not be disciplined fully.
The local watchdog agency had been ordered by the county Board of Supervisors to take a closer look at how the Probation Department investigated the conduct of its employees. “Severe misconduct is frequent enough to have resulted in the discharge of 14 employees last year,” the report said. “The reasons for the discharges ranged from lying about an improper use of force against a client minor to defrauding a federal loan program to carrying on a covert relationship with a felon.”