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  • Writer's pictureLocal 685 Executive Board

Townhall Meeting with Deputy Chief at Central Juvenile Hall

Deputy Chief Karen Fletcher has been keeping the staff updated on the progress of issues taking place in the Probation Department. At Central Juvenile Hall, Deputy Chief Karen Fletcher gave presentations at two separate townhall meetings for officers. Each meeting was two hours long with the afternoon group being most passionate with their questions and answers and in explaining the atmosphere of the facility. Below is a sampling of some of the statements made during these meetings:

“I have work here for more than 30 years. These kids are different from kids who have normally come to this institution. Most of these juveniles have drug problems and they have no respect for their parents, the staff, or themselves. There is no doubt that these kids have been traumatized, but what about the staff? The staff is also traumatized. Many of the officers don’t want trouble with these youth and they bring bags of chips just to keep their shift event free. Normally one saves the treats as a reward for when they do something positive, but staff now start their shift with the treats, and that is not good.”

“I came to Los Angeles from Chicago, where I worked in the prison system. I have work at four different level-four prisons. It was not until I started working in the Juvenile Hall. I have been shocked to see officers assaulted by these juveniles we are supervising, and, for the first time, I have been attacked. Working here makes me feel as though I am working in a prison with no weapons. Staff have no tools to protect ourselves. If 2 or 3 kids jump on each other what is the staff supposed to do? We don’t want staff to get killed!”

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