STATE REGULATOR APPROVES REOPENING LOS PADRINOS JUVENILE HALL
Will Become LA County Probation Department's new center of Juvenile Operations
AMTV/LOS ANGELES, July 7 — Los Angeles County’s plan to reopen Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall as the hub of pre-disposition juvenile operations cleared a major hurdle today when the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) served official notice the facility passed its pre-opening inspection.
The BSCC’s letter of compliance follows nearly two months of work by County crews to prepare portions of the 26-acre campus as the new home for approximately 275 pre-disposition youth and hundreds of Probation Department officers and staff.
Guillermo Viera Rosa, LA County’s Interim Chief Probation Officer, said the BSCC approval was a “huge milestone” in the County’s push to update and reopen portions of the 26-acre campus by late July.
“It shows what can happen when colleagues across County departments pull together, focus on a single objective and work as a team with a real sense of urgency and purpose,” said Viera Rosa. “Reopening Los Padrinos has been a daunting task, and we are accomplishing it in record time.”
After he was hired as Chief Strategist for Juvenile Operations in April, Viera Rosa proposed shutting down Central and Barry J. Nidorf as traditional juvenile halls and transferring all pre-disposition youth to Los Padrinos, which was closed in 2019.
On May 2, the Board of Supervisors approved his plan, which included an initial $29 million in funds for capital improvements at all three halls. The Board’s decision was made in anticipation of a BSCC vote May 23 declaring Central and Barry J. Nidorf “unsuitable” and an order to close them by July 23.
By then, work to reopen Los Padrinos had begun. Viera Rosa, who became Interim Chief Probation Officer, assembled a task force of representatives from various County departments that met daily to monitor operations at Central and Barry J. Nidorf while coordinating the work at Los Padrinos, where County crews worked 16 hours a day to repair and upgrade the facility.
The task force, called the Department Operations Center, included representatives from the County’s Probation, Internal Services, Human Resources, Fire and Sheriff’s Departments, as well as the County’s Office of Emergency Management.
By early June, Los Padrinos was largely finished, and the task force continued to problem-solve isolated issues as the facility underwent several inspections, including a final one by the BSCC last week.
The oversight agency approved Los Padrinos under California Title 14 standards, noting the County had completed repairs that included new paint, new flooring, new furnishings, mattresses, fixtures, cameras, interior and exterior lighting upgrades, intercoms, plumbing, and partitions for restroom privacy.
Originally opened in 1957, Los Padrinos consists of 37 buildings, which include 19 living units and nine dormitories. It also has a main kitchen, classrooms, outdoor recreational areas, a library, infirmary, laundry, chapel, gym, and pool.
Only nine Los Padrinos living units will be opened for pre-disposition youth operations and the BSCC letter today set total occupancy at 317 youth. The County has no plans to house more than 275 to 300 pre-disposition youth, defined as those who were minors when charged and are awaiting court disposition of their cases.
After the move-in of pre-disposition youth is complete, Barry J. Nidorf Hall will remain open as a Secure Youth Track Facility for about 60 individuals who must be housed in LA County because of the closure of the state’s Division of Juvenile Justice.
Central will remain a medical center for both Los Padrinos and Barry J. Nidorf Halls.