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  • Writer's pictureLocal 685 Executive Board

A Message from Your Executive Board: Update on BSCC Potential Closure

The California Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) is set to decide on the possible closure of Barry J. Nidorf and Central Juvenile halls on April 13, 2023. Because this is a significant possibility, your Local 685 Executive Board is working on possible scenarios for members and want to provide information on this critical issue.

The BSCC rejected the Probation Department’s March 14, 2023, Correction Action Plan (CAP) and the Department submitted an amended CAP on April 3, 2023. The BSCC has a hearing on April 13, 2023, regarding this determination. Among other things, the County and Department have recommended a “Strategist” to provide consultation regarding the juvenile halls. The Strategist has a background at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), but more importantly, he currently works for the BSCC, which may provide a path for the Department to avoid closures.

The closure of any juvenile hall, though a possibility, is not seen in the immediate plans. A BSCC determination that Sylmar and Central are not suitable does not mean that the current population of minors will be released. At least one possible scenario is to move the current population of minors from both halls to Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall. There also is the possibility of moving the minors to one of the Camp facilities (most likely Challenger). The least useful possibility would be to find a secure facility in a neighboring county, but that is not likely.

Keep in mind that the only path to the full release of minors under current State law is by the Courts. So, we need everyone to understand that the most likely foreseeable placement is a facility in L.A. County.

There is also a substantial question about the current SYTF minors. There is a strong possibility that the Governor’s office will work to allow those minors to continue to be housed in L.A. County Probation facilities, both CVK and Sylmar.

While layoffs are a possibility, many things must happen before that becomes a reality for members. If layoffs become more probable, the Local 685 Memorandum of Understanding, Article 32, covers “layoffs” and involves many moving parts. Some of you may recall that +/- 10 years ago then-Supervisor Molina imposed a 200-person layoff of staff in the juvenile halls. Local 685 enforced Article 32 to keep members at work until we were able to secure keeping all 200 members employed. While there never are any guarantees, we will always be fighting to keep our jobs.

The current Impasse also provides a possible path for members both in the halls and field services. We are set to begin formal Mediation on April 20, 2023, and we intend to work that path vigorously for members.

It's completely normal to feel anxious during these uncertain times. We understand that this can be a challenging time for everyone. But it's important to remember that we've faced difficult situations before and have come out stronger. If you've been with us for a while, you know this to be true. We encourage you to reach out to your fellow colleagues and offer support, especially to our newer members. Let's work together and support one another, and we will get through this.

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