Our Work

We work to end youth incarceration, reform probation practices, divert youth out of the juvenile justice system, and reinvest resources into a comprehensive system of youth development in Los Angeles County.

Our Goals

Reduce

Reduce the number of youth in detention facilities and youth contact with probation and law enforcement by diverting them to community-based alternatives.

Oversight

Strengthen oversight and decision-making mechanisms regarding justice-impacted youth, including budgeting affecting programs, services and supervision over youth.

Reinvest

Reinvest LA County's spending from punishment systems into effective youth development programs, especially prioritizing those that are community-based, owned and operated.

Community

Develop meaningful community leadership throughout probation and justice-related decisions, including through community representation on the JJCC and the Community Advisory Committee to the JJCC, and the new Probation Oversight Commission.

Develop & Expand

Develop and expand effective community-based youth development to advance healthy, supportive learning and community environments that promote positive outcomes for youth of color.

Shift Narratives

Shift naratives about youth development as a public safety strategy and investment in the health of youth and communities.

Our Priorities

Moving Youth Out of Probation

Details

We are working to  move youth out of the jurisdiction of the LA County Probation Department and into a youth development system that is asset-based and works with every young person, especially youth of color, to achieve their dreams. We have the unprecedented opportunity to make this vision a reality through the Youth Justice Work Group, which will be meeting through October 2020 to create a new model for youth development in LA County. Learn more

Reinvesting Dollars

Details

As we work to reduce youth contact with law enforcement and probation, we must downsize these departments. LAYUP works to reinvest the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent on youth punishment into a comprehensive, community-based system of youth development that is accessible to all young people in LA County. A primary focus for reinvestment is the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA) funds, which can range from $30 to $50 million per year in LA County alone. Learn more

Youth Diversion and Development

Details

LAYUP supported the creation of the Office of Youth Diversion and Development (YDD). This office will provide thousands of youth the opportunity to be deflected from the juvenile justice system into community-based pre-arrest diversion programs that support youth needs and avoid arrest. We continue to support the roll-out of pre-arrest diversion across the county and to assure that youth voice is centered in the process. Learn more  or Video

Oversight

Details

Accountability and oversight for the public departments that impact youth is fundamental as we work to transform our systems. LAYUP members fought hard for the meaningful creation of the Los Angeles County Probation Oversight Commission and Youth Commission (whose commissioners will be 18- to 26-year-olds with experience in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems). We worked to ensure these commissions had strong powers and community representation, and we continue to leverage these bodies so they can uplift youth’s experiences and bring about real change. Learn more

Big Wins

ABBREVIATIONS:

BOS – Board of Supervisors 

JJCC – Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council

JJCPA – Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act

YDD – Office of Youth Diversion and Development

2019

  • Launched Youth Diversion

    YDD launched its first diversion cohort of service provider and law enforcement partners at 10 sites.

  • Reinvested $8 million

    JJCC approved new spending plan and a budget that reinvested approximately $8 million from Probation to community-based organizations providing youth development.

  • Phased Out Pepper Spray

    BOS passed a motion to phase-out OC spray (pepper spray) in juvenile halls and camps.

  • Created Probation Oversight Commission

    BOS approves creating the nation’s first Probation Oversight Commission with subpoena power.

  • Plan to Move Youth Out of Probation

    BOS passed a motion to create the Youth Justice Work Group and explore transferring youth out of probation department into a separate system.

ABBREVIATIONS:

BOS – Board of Supervisors 

JJCC – Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council

JJCPA – Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act

YDD – Office of Youth Diversion and Development

2018

  • Updated Probation Spending Plan

    JJCC created taskforce to redesign JJCPA spending.

  • Stopped “Voluntary” Probation

    Successfully advocated for the elimination of WIC 236 “voluntary probation,” a multi-million dollar program which placed youth with no history of court or probation system contact under probation supervision in middle and high schools throughout LA County.

  • Funded Youth Diversion

    $12 million allocated to YDD through JJCC process.

  • Stopped Transfers to Adult Court

    SB 1391 passed, which banned the transfer of 14- and 15-year-olds to adult court.

  • Ended Prosecution of Children Under 12

    SB 439 passed, ending prosecution of youth under 12 (with some exceptions).

2017

  • Created Community Committee for Probation Spending

    LA County’s JJCC created a Community Advisory Committee to propose changes to the JJCC. The JJCC oversees the allocation of  JJCPA funds, which is about $30 million per year in LA County.

  • Added Community Oversight

    LA County BOS approved adding 10 community representatives to the JJCC .

  • Created Youth Diversion Office

    YDD was created under the Office of Diversion and Reentry to expand pre-arrest diversion of youth across LA County.

PUblications & Resources

WIC 236: “Pre-Probation” Supervision of Youth of Color With No Prior Court or Probation Involvement

Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act in Los Angeles: A Case Study on Advocacy and Collaborative Reform

LA 4 Youth: 2016 Youth Development Report