California Auditor Praises Shifting Juvenile Offender Care to Counties


The number of juvenile criminal offenders in California custody and supervision has been cut significantly since the state in 2007 began shifting nonviolent offenders to county supervision, the state auditor found, says the Los Angeles Times. To save the state money and improve services to non-serious offenders, the legislature ended the intake of nonviolent minors to the state Division of Juvenile Facilities, stipulating that the counties should handle custody and care from then on.

The audit found the number of juvenile offenders in state custody dropped from 5,400 in 2007 to 2,500 as of June 2011, but that number has continued to drop and now is at less than 1,000. Auditor Elaine Howle said her audit found that unclear goals and poor data collection by an oversight panel prevented a “meaningful assessment” of the program and made it hard to determine whether the realignment is working as intended, but she said her staff found positive impacts in talking to officials in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, and Yuba counties.

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