Supervisor Barger, City Council Discusses Opposition To Housing Juvenile Offenders In Saugus

In Monday’s Santa Clarita City Council special meeting, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger addressed concerns on the proposed placement of youth offenders near residential homes.

City officials and Santa Clarita residents opposed to the placement of youth offenders in Saugus at Camp Joseph Scott were echoed by Supervisor Barger at this week’s City Council special meeting.

“I want to talk about Camp Scott,” Barger said. “Who here does not believe in redemption? Who here does not recognize that we have to do what’s right? But we’re playing politics with the lives of these children. It makes absolutely no sense to do what this board is doing.”

See Related: Supervisor Barger Counters Plan To House Juvenile Offenders In Santa Clarita’s Camp Scott

Barger referred to the LA County Board of Supervisors’ approval of Camp Scott in Saugus as a rehabilitation center for violent juvenile offenders earlier this year, with the County’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Subcommittee never consulting with the City of Santa Clarita.

During the City Council meeting, some residents also expressed their disagreement with the proposal, with one mentioning the vulnerability of Camp Scott with regard to seismic retrofitting.

Many City officials and residents have expressed opposition to the Camp Scott proposal, and Barger has continued to propose an alternative motion recommending housing the juveniles in Sylmar.

“Our county’s own Probation Department – ​​which is staffed by the professionals and subject matter experts who are tasked with overseeing these youth – recommended that Nidorf Juvenile Hall serve as a Secure Youth Treatment Facility,” Barger said in a previous KHTS article.

During this week’s meeting, Barger addressed the plan to reimagine Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar as a state-of-the-art Secure Youth Treatment Facility. This plan would allow trauma-informed services, therapy and other programs to help offenders prepare for re-entry to society, according to Barger.

Barger pointed out that a DJJ Subcommittee presentation recommended four facilities to the Board of Supervisors, and that the presentation ranked Camp Scott as the least feasible selection for the proposal.

“Stay tuned tomorrow, encourage your friends and family to call in,” Barger said. “I believe [these juvenile offenders] have a right to be housed somewhere, but it’s got to be the right place that’s going to come out better than they went in.”

Two motions were notably added to the Board’s supplemental meeting agenda for Tuesday by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis, including one motion to eliminate Camps Joseph Paige and Clinton B. Afflerbaugh.

The second motion asked for a report for the Board on timelines, cost and other relevant information to close Central Juvenile Hall and transfer youth offenders to Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar.

Barger has encouraged commenters to send comments or call in to the Board of Supervisors’ meeting, slated for Tuesday, March 15.

The ‘No to Camp Scott’ campaign also asks callers and commenters to encourage Supervisors to reject the Camp Scott proposal in favor of the recommendations by Barger and the Probation Department to use Nidorf instead.

Those who wish to comment or join the ‘No to Camp Scott’ campaign are asked to click here.

To call in to Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting regarding opposition to the proposal of Camp Scott, dial (877) 226-8163 and enter code 1336503. Then press 1 and then 0 to testify.

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