JUVENILE FACILITIES

JUVENILE HALL

Section 850 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code mandates every county Board of Supervisors to provide, maintain and fund a suitable house or place for the detention of wards of the juvenile court and of persons alleged to come within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Such house or place shall be known as the Juvenile Hall of the County.

Alameda County Juvenile Hall is a 24-hour secure detention facility capable of housing 358 minors. Located on county property in San Leandro, CA, the facility is staffed by Juvenile Institutional Officers who supervise the minors and are responsible for their care, custody and control. Juvenile Hall is a temporary holding facility for minors awaiting court and is operated in accordance with the regulations set forth in the California Minimum Standards for Juvenile Facilities, Title 15. Services include but are not limited to academic programming, medical and behavioral health care, organized recreation, religious and volunteer services and programming facilitated by a complement of community-based organizations. Services within the Juvenile Hall include:

Mental Health Services are provided in the youth living units by Alameda County Health Care Services Agency clinicians. Behavioral Health Care Services also provides crisis intervention services, individual therapy, psychotropic medication evaluations and monitoring of youth on psychotropic medications.

The Alameda County Office of Education operates a fully accredited high school program within the Juvenile Hall, The Butler Academy. Upon completion of their high school diploma or GED, youth have the opportunity to earn transferable college credits via online courses through a partnership with Merritt College.

Children's Hospital and Research Center of Oakland operates a 24-hour medical clinic to provide round the clock medical assessments, support and care to the youth.

In response to the growing numbers of minors booked into Alameda County's Juvenile Hall, the Probation Department instituted strategies to reduce the number of admissions. A comprehensive risk assessment tool was introduced to determine which young offenders were appropriate for detention and which could be safely managed without being locked up prior to and during their court proceedings. Current detention alternatives include home supervision and use of Electronic Monitoring devices for minors released from Juvenile Hall during the adjudication process.

  • Write to Read Program: Local and renowned authors inspire youth to read, learn and change their lives. The program provides relevant, informative, high-quality books, which are available for check out by the youth in classrooms and housing units.
  • Library: Partnership with Alameda County Library to maintain and operate the library services in the facilities as well as coordinate with nationally recognized authors to come present to the youth.
  • Supplemental Education (tutoring): Supplemental educational services are offered through Sylvan Learning Center and Excel.
  • Reading and Homework Hour: Volunteers from the community come in and help youth work on their reading skills with the goal of improving the young people's academic abilities and forging meaningful relationships between the youth at Juvenile Hall and responsible adults.
  • Mind Body Awareness Program: Mindfulness-based techniques are taught through meditation and yoga to the detained youth.
  • The Beat Within: Creative writing workshops are conducted resulting in a magazine that features the work of the participating youth.
  • Girls "Camp" Unit: A proposed therapeutic community model to:
    • Decrease out-of-state placement
    • Establish seamless continuum of care to specifically address gender responsive needs
    • Assist youths' transition back to the community and life at "home"
    • Increase self-esteem
    • Provide youth with basic life skills and independent living skills needed to create a more positive future
    • Improve relationships with the youth's family, peers and others
    • Unit furnishings: Washer/dryer, teaching kitchen, retrofitted doors, mattresses, linen/bedding, storage and clothing

Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

This federal program is intended to provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions while providing information, resources, recommendations, and funding to protect individuals.

The Alameda County Probation Department (ACPD) is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and humane environment for the youth housed at the Facilities. To create and sustain such an environment, the ACPD maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual misconduct involving youth.

  2019 2020
Substantiated 0 0
Unsubstantiated 0 0
Unfounded 0 0
Still under investigation 0 0

 

  2019 2020
Substantiated 0 0
Unsubstantiated 0 0
Unfounded 0 0
Still under investigation 0 0

 

  2019 2020
Substantiated 0 0
Unsubstantiated 0 1
Unfounded 0 0
Still under investigation 0 0

 

BACKGROUND

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) passed in 2003. The act is intended to,

"...provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations, and funding to protect individuals... " (Prison Rape Elimination Act, 2003).

The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission formed shortly after the passage of the act and developed national standards for all adult and juvenile correctional facilities. In June 2009, the standards were finalized and submitted to the Department of Justice for review and passage.  The National Standards  to Prevent,  Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape, became effective on August 20, 2012.

PREA STANDARDS OVERVIEW

PREA has 52 standards which are organized into the following categories:

  • Prevention Planning
  • Responsive Planning
  • Training and Education
  • Screening for Risk of Sexual Victimization and Abusiveness
  • Reporting
  • Official Response Following a Resident Report
  • Investigations
  • Discipline
  • Medical and Mental Health Care
  • Data Collection and Review
  • Audits

Full compliance with PREA standards is expected and the audit process can be challenging. Each standard contains multiple requirements along with extensive documentation. The most substantial requirement is that the department must provide evidence that efforts are integrated and practiced within the culture of the agency. To obtain this evidence, the PREA auditor incorporates state/local inspections and reviews, observations and interviews with staff, youth and administrators.

The mission of the Alameda County Probation Department is to protect the public safety by providing supervision, services, support and opportunities to our clients on behalf of the people of Alameda County through quality supervision, leadership,  services  and  effective  partnerships.  This  also means having a zero tolerance towards any misconduct. Zero tolerance means that through policy and practice, the Probation Department will not tolerate any form of sexual misconduct. This includes any inappropriate behavior between staff, contractors, or volunteers with our youth; or any sexual activity between youth regardless of consent status. All of the above examples are prohibited and are subject to administrative and/or criminal sanctions.

To assist with PREA and the commitment to Zero Tolerance Policy, a PREA Coordinator is responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of efforts to comply with PREA standards. The department has also designated a PREA Compliance Manager for Juvenile Hall and Camp Wilmont Sweeney. The Compliance Managers are responsible for assuring that efforts are being adhered to in their perspective facilities.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Ongoing youth risk assessments, education and training for staff and youth is essential in the reduction of sexual misconduct within the institutions.

Youth

Upon admission into Juvenile Hall all youth are required to take a PREA risk assessment. This assessment assist in identifying if a youth has been a victim of sexual abuse, the risk of sexual victimization and/or the potential for abusing. The results allow staff to effectively monitor, assist, and provide necessary medical and behavioral health services.

After the assessment is complete and within 10 days of being booked in the youth will attend a PREA orientation and education class which is designed to provide the youth with resources. The topics discussed include victim advocacy, sexual assault awareness, free and ongoing medical and support services for victims, as well as the departments Zero Tolerance Policy and the various methods of reporting sexual victimization for themselves or on behalf of others.

Youth can confidentially report incidents to a facilities supervisor, writing a grievance, report to other law enforcement agencies, and also by using the payphones in the unit, which allows youth to report without calls being monitored.

Staff

All sworn staff, non-sworn staff, volunteers and community-based organizations are required to take a PREA education class every two years. This class emphasizes the department's Zero Tolerance Policy, child abuse reporting requirements and techniques to identify and respond to sexual abuse.

Staff are trained on their role and responsibilities as a first responder to sexual incidents. This training includes proper evidentiary procedures, who to notify when an incident has occurred and, on the agencies, coordinated response plan.

JUVENILE HALL AND CAMP WILMONT SWEENEY

POPULATION AND SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AGGREGATED DATA

To ensure transparency, PREA mandates that specific aggregated data is reported to the public. As such, the chart below reflects the number of youth admitted to and released from our facilities in 2017. Also reflected are population totals and gender breakdowns for Juvenile Hall, as Camp Wilmont Sweeney is an all-male facility, on December 31, 2017.

Juvenile Hall and Camp Wilmont Sweeney

Admits and Releases for 2020

Juvenile Hall Total
Youth Admitted  
Youth Released  
Camp Wilmont Sweeney  
Youth Admitted  
Youth Released  
   

Juvenile Hall and Camp Wilmont Sweeney

Youth Population on December 31, 2019

Juvenile Hall Total
Population - Male  
Population - Female  
Grand Total  
Camp Wilmont Sweeney  
Population - Male  
Grand Total  
   

ALAMEDA COUNTY PROBATION INVESTIGATIVE DETERMINATIONS AND DEFINITIONS

All sexual assault incidents reported by youth, staff, or third parties are investigated by:

  • Alameda County Probation Department and/or;
  • Alameda County Sherriff's Department

DEFINITIONS FOR INVESTIGATIVE FINDINGS

The definitions below are used in reporting the results of findings:

  • Sustained - The investigations find by preponderance of the evidence that the act did occur and constitutes a specific act in violation of law, regulation, or policy of the department or county.
  • Not Sustained - The investigation cannot prove or disprove the allegations by a preponderance of the evidence.
  • Unfounded - The investigation clearly established that the allegations are not true.

DATA COMPARISON CATEGORIES-TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

For the purpose of this report the definitions below, which have been provided by the Department of Justice, will be used to examine and determine the number of PREA related incidents that occurred within either facility.

Abusive Sexual Contact

  • Sexual contact of any person without his or her consent, or of a person who is unable to consent or refuse and;
  • Intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh or buttocks of any person.

Non-Consensual Sex Acts

  • Sexual contact of a person without his or her consent, or of a person who is unable to consent or refuses and;
  • Contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus including penetration, however slight or;
  • Contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, or anus or;
  • Penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person, however slight, by a hand, finger, object, or other instrument.

ABUSIVE SEXUAL CONTACT AND NON-CONSENSUAL SEX ACTS

During the year of 2017 there were zero allegations of any type of "Sexual Abusive Contact" and zero allegations of any type of "Non-Consensual Sexual Acts".

STAFF ON YOUTH SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

The following definition of "Sexual Misconduct" is provided by the PREA Standards:

Staff Sexual Misconduct

Any behavior or act of a sexual nature directed toward a youth by an employee, volunteer, contractor, official visitor or other agency representative (exclude family, friends or other visitors).

The definition includes the below:

  • Intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks that is unrelated to official duties or with the intent to abuse, arouse, or gratify sexual desires or;
  • Completed, attempted, threatened, or requested sexual acts or;
  • Acts of indecent exposure, invasion of privacy, or staff voyeurism for reasons unrelated to official duties or for sexual gratification.

Reported Allegations

- During the 2017 year there was one allegation at Camp Sweeney of youth-on-youth sexual misconduct which was investigated and deemed "unsubstantiated".

Juvenile Hall had one allegation of staff-on-youth sexual harassment that investigated and deemed "unsubstantiated".

Reports of Youth-on-Youth Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Hall and Camp Sweeney (2019-2020)

  2019 2020
Substantiated 0 0
Unsubstantiated 0 0
Unfounded 0 0
Still under unvestigation 0 0
     

Reports of Youth-on-Youth Sexual Harrasssment Juvenile Hall and Camp Sweeney (2019-2020)

  2019 2020
Substantiated 0 0
Unsubstantiated 0 0
Unfounded 0 0
Still under investigation 0 0
     

Reports of Staff Misconduct Juvenile Hall and Camp Sweeney (2019-2020)

  2019 2020
Substantiated 0 0
Unsubstantiated 0 0
Unfounded 0 0
Still under investigation 0 0
     

Alameda County Probation will not be complacent in its PREA related efforts and will continue to create and enforce a zero-tolerance culture.

Moving Forward

After each allegation an incident review is completed to determine if any corrective action steps must be taken to prevent, detect and respond to sexual misconduct.

Alameda County Juvenile Hall and Camp Sweeney continue to implement best practices in an effort to keep our youth safe. These practices include but not limited to:

  • Installing video camera system at Camp
  • Implementing a Youth/Staff Supervision Ration of 1:8, during waking hours and 1:16 during sleeping
  • Supervision staff providing "direct supervision" at all times

PREA standards dictate that formal incident review and staffing review meetings take place to assure that the Probation Department continues to improve, identify and implement practices to reduce incidents of sexual misconduct. In collaboration with Behavioral Health and the Medical Department, the following recommendations were proposed in a continuous effort to provide the best supervision possible:

  • Take steps to assure that victims do not experience additional trauma associated with the alleged incident, this measure will be included in the incident report
  • Recommend additional training to assist and respond in recognizing sexual misconduct behaviors and take appropriate action when
  • Refer to youth's PREA assessment to verify if there were past victimization and disability vulnerabilities as a part of the incident review.

CAMP WILMONT SWEENEY

Camp Wilmont Sweeney is a 50-bed minimum security residential program for adolescent males ranging in age from 15 through 19. Camp Sweeney is in the process of implementing a level-based treatment program model that emphasizes change, growth and progress. Deputy Probation Officers work with the youth to develop individualized treatment plans that include goals related to specific behavioral and educational needs as well as aftercare plans. The overall goal is to return each minor to his community as a positive and productive citizen. Camp Sweeney functions as a local sanction for the Juvenile Court and is administrated by the Alameda County Probation Department. The program is strengthened by the partnerships with the Alameda County Office of Education, the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, local community-based providers and supportive volunteers.

Special Programs and Services for Camp Sweeney Residents include:

  • Restorative Justice programming
  • Re-entry planning
  • Individual counseling
  • Parent education and support groups
  • Anger management and violence prevention programs
  • Gang awareness and prevention programs
  • Drug and alcohol treatment and education programming
  • Life skills development programming
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
  • Vocational programming for job readiness training and placement
  • Work programs
  • Structured recreational and social activities
  • Planned and supervised off-grounds activities
  • Temporary home passes

NEW CAMP SWEENY REPLACEMENT PROJECT

Building a new Camp Sweeney meets the County's 10X goal pathway of a Crime Free County in support of the county's shared vision of a Thriving & Resilient Population and Safe & Livable Communities.

Our Vision of a new Camp Sweeney, a Youth Development and Education Center, focused on academic and rehabilitative opportunities for the affected youth. The services include:

  • Family Engagement and Reunification
  • Comprehensive Vocational and Career Technical Education
    • Post-Secondary Education
      • College and Career Readiness
    • Prepare youth for the careers of the 21st Century
      • Coding
      • Artificial Intelligence
      • Solar Engineering
      • Robotics
      • STEM Curriculum
    • Positive Youth Development
    • Life Skills and Evidence-Based Cognitive Behavioral Programming
    • Balanced and Restorative Justice

TRANSITION CENTER

The Transition Center (TC), under the leadership of the Alameda County Probation Department, is a collaboration of partners, who stand in alignment with the Vision 2023 mission to support and restore communities. The Transition Center empowers youth, families, and their caregivers by removing barriers to success and connecting them to supportive resources and healthy alternatives in the community.

The Transition Center, with the Probation Department as the lead agency, works in partnership with Alameda County Office of Education, the Center for Healthy Schools and Communities, Oakland Unified School District, Oakland Unite, Alameda County Behavioral Health, and Alameda County Public Health.

Engaging in the Juvenile Justice system is emotionally difficult for our youth and families.  The process lends itself to feelings of being helpless and hopeless. In the summer of 2017, the Transition Center redesigned its physical space and daily operating procedures, emphasizing family focused and trauma-informed processes. Probation wanted to create a space where youth and families can decompress from the pressure of Court and waiting for their youth’s release from custody. The Transition Center is equipped with two confidential conference rooms furnished with computers, telephones, and current community resources and events; a smart curved television with educational and inspiring programming; fresh fruit and filtered water. The tranquil design of the Transition Center houses a mosaic mural created by Camp Wilmont Sweeney youth in partnership with Community Works West reflecting their Spirit Animals, and a mirrored “reflecting tree” to inspire feelings of hope and inspiring dreams. The warm and inviting lobby is surrounded by calming wall colors, soothing carpet, and comfortable seating with USB charging capacity. 

Supporting our youth’s ability to successfully reintegrate to their community and homes underpinned the changes to the Transition Center’s model. A “warm handoff” begins with the team beginning each youth’s release reentry process within one business day of their arrival into juvenile hall. Probation meets with every youth and their caregiver to evaluate stabilization needs. Accentuating continuity of care the Transition Center joins the treatment services provided while youth are detained to compatible services in the community. The Transition Center provides linkages to vocational training; referrals to counseling and/or mentoring services when appropriate. Probation has committed to addressing all the stabilizing needs of a family and now provides concrete service such as transportation and food vouchers; relocation supports, clothing, school supplies, and household items.  After meeting with collaborative partners, a comprehensive transition plan is completed and given to the youth and family to increase their understanding of all referrals and supports. Post-release contact with the youth and their caregivers allows the TC team to assess the effectiveness of current referrals and additional areas of need. With interagency collaboration, our customized database now provides measurable outcomes. 

The Transition Center continues to move forward in their essential role of the developing partnership between the Probation Department and the youth and families served.

SB 1004

The Alameda County Probation Department’s (ACPD) Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Program was developed following the passage of Senate Bill 1004, which requires the Superior Court to grant Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ) to eligible defendants as outlined in Penal Code Section §1000.7.

The TAY Program seeks to divert young adults (Ages 18–24) from the criminal justice system by offering tailored, collaborative services based on each participant's strengths and needs. ACPD understands that the transition into adulthood may be impacted by an individual’s ability to secure employment, locate housing or access post-secondary education services. The program provides participants with the opportunity to access needed services and earn a dismissal of their charges by the criminal court.

TAY is a voluntary one year program with three phases. Services are initially provided in juvenile hall (approximately 30-45 days) with the remainder of the program occurring in the community under the supervision of a probation officer.

  • Minimizing participant’s contact with the criminal justice system through intensive case management, coaching and supportive services
  • Identifying and removing barriers to self-sufficiency and independence 
  • Providing opportunities for participants to learn relevant life skills
  • Empowering program participants to achieve life goals by increasing access to basic needs such as housing, transportation, healthcare and workforce training programs, encouraging self-advocacy and promoting wellness and emotional well-being