Juvenile Justice

Background


In 2014, work launched in the County’s juvenile detention facilities to foster more nurturing environments that promote healing, learning, creativity and rehabilitation among system involved youth. Since then, the work has continued to expand and now brings healing-informed arts instruction into challenged communities and directly to youth in schools, parks, and other community venues.

Key Strategies, Work Undertaken, & Growth Opportunities


Facility Improvement

Campus Kilpatrick in Malibu, the flagship campus for the LA Model opened in June 2017. The LA Model represents a shared vision for a new, rehabilitative approach to juvenile justice in Los Angeles County developed by more than 100 stakeholders. Arts and Culture staff contributed to the design of creative learning spaces in the new Campus Kilpatrick facility.

LA County Partners:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Public Works
  • Office of Education
  • Probation Department

Cross Training

Since 2015, Probation officers from across the County have consistently participated in professional development focused on ways the arts can promote self-care and social-emotional wellbeing in adults as well as youth. Likewise, teaching artists from the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network regularly join County staff in cross-sector training focused on the components and approaches of the LA Model.

LA County Partners

  • Arts and Culture
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Office of Education
  • Probation Department
Community Partner

  • Arts for Incarcerated Youth

Arts Instruction for Probation-Involved Youth

The Arts and Culture oversees the work of teaching artists who provide year-round arts instruction to youth in the nine Probation camps and three juvenile halls across LA County. Instruction in music, dance, theatre, visual art and creative writing promotes skill building in the arts as well as social-emotional development. Following every 12-week cycle of instruction, students demonstrate and celebrate their learning through performances, exhibitions or mural dedications. Arts instruction is also offered throughout the school year in six high schools associated with the Probation Department’s five Juvenile Day Reporting Centers, which serve youth who have mandatory check-in requirements from the Court or their Probation officers. In this context, the arts help support the Centers’ aim to reduce recidivism by engaging participants in activities that promote positive behaviors, rehabilitation, school success and workforce readiness. Over the next two years, Arts and Culture aims to develop coordinated reentry systems following release that include pathways to jobs in the creative economy (see the “4. Teen Arts Pathways” recommendation in the Cultural Equity and Inclusion report).

LA County Partners

  • Arts and Culture
  • Probation Department
Community Partners

  • Arts for incarcerated Youth Network
  • Drumming fro Your Life Institute

Diversion

Arts and Culture and the newly formed Youth Diversion & Development unit (YDD) of the LA County Department of Health Services’ Office of Diversion and Reentry are exploring ways the arts can play a role in diverting youth away from involvement with the juvenile justice system. As a first step, Integrated Arts Education was identified as a holistic, evidence-informed service included in YDD’s recent Work Order Solicitation for Youth Intensive Case Management Services. This is the first of successive efforts to secure contracts with organizations that can provide diversion services to youth referred to community-based programs in lieu of arrest or citation. Over the next two years, Arts and Culture aims to embed arts education into all diversion efforts.

LA County Partners

  • Arts and Culture
  • Department of Health Services, Office of Diversion and Reentry, Youth Diversion & Development Unit

Community and School-Based Arts Instruction

Arts and Culture oversees teaching artists and community-based organizations providing arts instruction and mentorship for youth in high-risk areas to deter involvement in the juvenile justice system. This work currently takes place at three housing centers, two community parks and three additional public high schools/continuation schools located across the County. In spring 2018, the arts were included in the County’s Trauma Prevention Initiative, providing arts-based, community building activities in Willowbrook and Westmont-West Athens. Over the next two years, Arts and Culture aims to deepen its partnership with the Department of Mental Health and the Office of Child Protection’s Education Coordinating Council to promote well-being at school campuses through healing-informed arts instruction for students, professional development for educators, parent and community engagement and coordination among education and mental health stakeholders at middle and high schools within each Supervisorial District.

LA County Partners

  • Arts and Culture
  • Department of Children and Family Services, Office of Child Protection, Education Coordinating Council
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Parks & Recreation
  • Department of Public Health
  • Probation Department
Community Partners

  • Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network
  • Spirit Awakening

National Conversations

Because of LA County’s leadership in bringing the arts into juvenile justice reform efforts, staff from Arts and Culture and Probations are participating in the Create Justice initiative. Launched in 2016 by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute in New York and the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network in Los Angeles, Create Justice brings together thought leaders, artists, representatives from nonprofit and government agencies, and policymakers from across the nation with the aim of developing collective strategies to help our most at-risk children reach their full potential. The September 2017 meeting in Los Angeles included a full-day of workshops and conversations with youth and staff from Campus Kilpatrick, followed by a full-day conference session at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena.

LA County Partners

  • Arts and Culture 
  • Probation Department
Community Partners

  • Carnegie Hall (New York)
  • Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network (LA)

Have Questions?

If you have questions or would like additional information about this work, please contact Director of Arts Education Denise Grande at 213-202-3983 or dgrande@arts.lacounty.