The state of California has four state juvenile detention centers that house their youth offenders up to the age of 25. Each center has a specific target demographic and programs designed for those inmates. Each juvenile detention center is detailed below with more information about each one.
All four youth detention centers are operated and run by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). This government agency also maintains all California juvenile detention center inmate records. Juvenile records remain sealed in most cases. Therefore, the public cannot just run a California juvenile detention center inmate search online; they would need to contact the DJJ directly to find someone.
The DJJ works off a framework of an Integrated Behavior Treatment Model. This program reduces institutional violence and future violence by educating youth offenders on anti-criminal attitudes and teaching personal management skills. DJJ’s educational program is accredited, and they offer all levels of education, including post-graduation studies. Their website states that “Most juvenile offenders today are committed to county facilities in their home community where they can be closer to their families and local social services that are vital to rehabilitation.”
This facility houses male youth offenders between the ages of 18–25. According to the website: “This facility has an intensive treatment program, a specialized counseling program, a sex offender treatment program, and a residential substance abuse treatment program. It also has a program for youths who wish to leave the gang lifestyle and have disavowed their allegiance to their former gangs.”
The O. H. Close Youth Correctional Facility houses males below the age of 18 in dormitory-style living. Their programs focus sharply on education (including college) and treatment for substance abuse.
Pine Grove is a low-security conservation camp that allows low-risk inmates to learn about fire safety and firefighting, and they assist wildlife crews in real-life situations in various state parks.
Ventura is a clinic and dormitory (with private rooms) to serve at-risk female youth inmates. Along with education, they provide substance abuse services and a specialized counseling program.
There are typically about 690 youth offenders housed in juvenile detention centers in California. Most of them reside in Chaderjian or Ventura detention centers. The average stay of an inmate in juvenile detention in California is 30 months.