MALIBU—On March 21, the Board of Supervisors agreed to increase the number of residents at juvenile detention center Camp Kilpatrick from 11 to a possible 47. They also declared that the security enhancements needed at Campus Kilpatrick would be expedited.

County Supervisor Lindsay Horvath, along with Supervisor Janice Hahn wrote, “Much time over the last three years has been devoted to identifying the sites that will serve as SYTFs (secure facilities). Every proposed site has been met with community resistance and threats of litigation. Nevertheless, the Department and the Juvenile Justice Realignment Block Grant (JJRBG)Subcommittee continued their work and have now submitted a set of recommendations to the board.” A number of Malibu residents and other nearby cities objected to bringing the more violent offenders so close to town because Kilpatrick is a minimum security facility. 

“Likewise, the Board persisted in its decision to use Campus Kilpatrick as a SYTF. Through a process of careful and thoughtful consideration, and a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) assessment, the Department moved a very small group of young men to Campus Kilpatrick.” Hahn and Horvath continued, “In the months since the Department initiated this effort, the young men have thrived at Campus Kilpatrick and there has not been a single incident that would give rise to any concerns about continuing to use Campus Kilpatrick as an SYTF. In fact, the only incident of concern that has been reported about Campus Kilpatrick occurred before its use as an SYTF. Upon completion of pending security enhancements, Campus Kilpatrick is ready to serve as an SYTF to more young people.”

“In contrast to the success of Campus Kilpatrick, the other location being used as an SYTF, Barry J. Nidorf, is sorely lacking the core components of a successful program: dedicated staff and meaningful programming. The staffing is also an issue at Campus Kilpatrick. Even though Campus Kilpatrick has capacity for 42 young people, there are only 11 housed there presently. This is partly due to state-mandated security enhancements, which are pending. But even if those security enhancements were completed instantaneously, the Department cannot properly staff Campus Kilpatrick at capacity due to the lack of staff housing. Housing accommodations for staff are a benefit bestowed in the County (but not other counties) to accommodate another benefit — the 56-hour work week. Campus Kilpatrick was intentionally designed for a traditional work week or, at the very least, a hybrid staff schedule because all the research that informed the LA Model demonstrated that the 56-hour work week is not conducive to therapeutic treatment models.”

Other motions that were passed at the March 21st meeting included reducing the number of total teens in juvenile facilities by identifying those who can be safely released, finding suitable places to house youth offenders arriving from state youth prisons, and shoring up the Department of Youth Development rehabilitation agency.

According to the LA County website the campus is based on a small-group treatment model that is youth-centered and embodies a culture of care rather than a culture of control.