MALIBU—The city of Malibu is against action by the County of Los Angeles to move high-risk juvenile prisoners, many who were convicted of serious and violent crimes, to the Santa Monica Mountains north of Malibu, filing an official letter of protest with the County on July 13.

Public safety is Malibu’s top priority and housing high-risk juvenile prisoners at Camp Kilpatrick raises many safety concerns for the surrounding residential communities, including Malibu, as well for as the inmates and the facility staff.

The City’s letter states that the County of Los Angeles did not adequately analyze the project’s potentially significant impacts related to wildfire safety and evacuation of prisoners and staff, emergency access, and public services, among other impact areas.

“In September 2020, the Governor signed Senate Bill 823 directing the closure of the State’s Division of Juvenile Justice and the transition of responsibilities to counties, effective July 1, 2021, in preparation for the closure of such facilities on June 30, 2023. According to the initial records produced by the County to the City, on July 27, 2021, the County Board of Supervisors approved the use of Campus Kilpatrick as a temporary SYTF to house up to 45 male youth and “minor actions” or “minor improvements” to the interior and exterior of the facility to accommodate such offenders. The County determined such actions were exempt from CEQA review,” the city of Malibu stated in a letter.

The city of Malibu noted Los Angeles County has not released for public review any disclosure of the full scope of the Project, nor any analysis of the environmental effects of transitioning the juvenile offenders previously housed by the State to County facilities.

The letter adds, “it is unclear as to whether older juvenile offenders and/or those convicted of more serious crimes would have access to the existing outdoor recreational facilities at Campus Kilpatrick, including field and track, sports courts, and the pool. The CEQA analysis must explain whether the existing “cottages” would be sufficient to house these new offenders. If facility improvements are necessary, the environmental effects of such improvements must be disclosed, analyzed, and mitigate.”

The city will continue to oppose the proposal. Updates and background information will be posted on the city of Malibu website.