Incarcerated girls at the Camp Scott detention center in Santa Clarita sit on bunks facing away from the camera.

Culture of Probation Must Change, Leap Says

In a recent Los Angeles Times article, Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare Jorja Leap weighed in on Los Angeles County’s proposed plan to move juvenile offenders to a probation camp in a remote area of Malibu. The proposal has prompted a larger debate about what the county’s youth justice system should look like. Five years ago, Leap co-authored a brief endorsing a therapeutic approach to juvenile rehabilitation in response to the opening of Kilpatrick, a juvenile detention facility that was envisioned as a more humane approach to juvenile justice, with smaller dorms instead of the military-style barracks found at other probation halls. Leap spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the resistance from some officials at the Probation Department who have stalled progress with their unwillingness to let go of the “get tough” approach of the past. “The real problem is that that promise of trauma-informed care … has not been completely fulfilled,” said Leap. “The culture of Probation must be changed.”

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