Magazine article Corrections Forum

Calif.'s Brown Backtracks on Plan to Shut Down Youth Prison System

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Calif.'s Brown Backtracks on Plan to Shut Down Youth Prison System

Article excerpt

San Jose Mercury News

Responding to pressure from probation chiefs, district attorneys, and prison guards, California Gov. Jerry Brown has done an about-face on a revolutionary plan to shutter California's youth prison system that was once the nation's largest and arguably the most notorious. Four months ago, a section buried in the governor's belt-tightening budget caused a massive stir in the juvenile justice world. With annual costs per inmate at about $200,000 and its population down 90 percent from peak years, the youth prison system should stop accepting serious and violent youthful offenders beginning next year, the governor said.

For prison reformers who have long battled 23-hour confinement, education in cages and endemic violence, Brown's Jan. 5 recommendation to shift young inmates to county facilities was a startling and welcome move. …

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