Ahead of Inspection, LA Probation Dept. Abruptly Empties Juvenile Hall

State inspectors were scheduled to visit Los Angeles County’s Central Juvenile Hall this week, six months after state regulators found the County’s halls unsuitable for youths. But at the eleventh hour, County Probation personnel undertook a last-ditch effort to clear the entire facility and close it down.

According to the Los Angeles Times, officials decided to close the facility after reviewing footage before the inspection.

“While they’re preparing for this inspection … they start looking at the videos, and they realize, ‘We’re screwed,’” an official told the Times.

“The review revealed that, among other shortcomings, safety checks were not being performed when children were alone in their rooms, the official said.”

Approximately 140 children, including some with severe mental health issues, were moved out with just a day’s preparation. Officials who spoke to the Times said many of them began acting out.

In a statement, the Probation Department said it is “working to provide additional training for our staff and make facility improvements to ensure the safety and security of the youth and staff,” which has necessitated a temporary 90-day suspension of operations.

County officials are seeking immediate answers to what has transpired. County Supervisor Hilda Solis called the abrupt closure and transfers “chaotic” and “unacceptable.”

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.