Programs & Services - Juvenile Facilities
Juvenile Facilities is comprised of Alameda County Juvenile Hall and Camp Wilmont Sweeney, both located in San Leandro, California.
Section 850 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code mandates every county Board of Supervisors to provide, maintain and fund a suitable house or place for the detention of wards of the juvenile court and of persons alleged to come within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Such house or place shall be known as the Juvenile Hall of the County.
Alameda County Juvenile Hall is a 24-hour secure detention facility capable of housing 358 minors. Located on county property in San Leandro, CA, the facility is staffed by Juvenile Institutional Officers who supervise the minors and are responsible for their care, custody and control. Juvenile Hall is a temporary holding facility for minors awaiting court and is operated in accordance with the regulations set forth in the California Minimum Standards for Juvenile Facilities, Title 15. Services include but are not limited to academic programming, medical and behavioral health care, organized recreation, religious and volunteer services and programming facilitated by a compliment of community-based organizations. Services within the Juvenile Hall include:
- Mental Health Services: Mental Health Services are provided in the youth living units by Alameda County Health Care Services Agency clinicians. Behavioral Health Care Services also provides crisis intervention services, individual therapy, psychotropic medication evaluations and monitoring of youth on psychotropic medications.
- Academic Programming: The Alameda County Office of Education operates a fully accredited high school program within the Juvenile Hall, The Butler Academy. Upon completion of their high school diploma or GED, youth have the opportunity to earn transferable college credits via online courses through a partnership with Merritt College.
- Juvenile Justice Health Clinic: Children's Hospital and Research Center of Oakland operates a 24-hour medical clinic to provide round the clock medical assessments, support and care to the youth.
- Alternatives to Detention: In response to the growing numbers of minors booked into Alameda County's Juvenile Hall, the Probation Department instituted strategies to reduce the number of admissions. A comprehensive risk assessment was introduced to determine which young offenders were appropriate for detention and which could be safely managed without being locked up prior to and during their court proceedings. Current detention alternatives include home supervision and use of Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) monitoring devices for minors released from Juvenile Hall during the adjudication process.
- Other programs offered to youth in custody:
- Write to Read Program: Local and renowned authors inspire youth to read, learn and change their lives. The program provides relevant, informative, high-quality books, which are available for check out by the youth in classrooms and housing units.
- Library: Partnership with Alameda County Library to maintain and operate the library services in the facilities as well as coordinate with nationally recognized authors to come present to the youth.
- Supplemental Education (tutoring): Supplemental educational services are offered through Sylvan Learning Center and Excel.
- Reading and Homework Hour: Volunteers from the community come in and help youth work on their reading skills with the goal of improving the young people's academic abilities and forging meaningful relationships between the youth at Juvenile Hall and responsible adults.
- Mind Body Awareness Program: Mindful based techniques are taught through meditation and yoga to the detained youth.
- The Beat Within: Creative writing workshops are conducted resulting in a magazine that features the work of the participating youth.
- Girls "Camp" Unit: A proposed therapeutic community model to:
* Decrease out-of-state placement
* Establish seamless continuum of care to specifically address gender responsive needs
* Assist youths' transition back to the community and life at "home"
* Increase self-esteem
* Provide youth with basic life skills and independent living skills needed to create a more positive future
* Improve relationships with the youth's family, peers and others
* Unit furnishings: Washer/dryer, teaching kitchen, retrofitted doors, mattresses, linen/bedding, storage and clothing
CAMP WILMONT SWEENEY
Camp Wilmont Sweeney is a 50-bed minimum security residential program for adolescent males ranging in age from 15 through 19. Camp Sweeney is in the process of implementing a level-based treatment program model that emphasizes change, growth and progress. Deputy Probation Officers work with the youth to develop individualized treatment plans that include goals related to specific behavioral and educational needs as well as aftercare plans. The overall goal is to return each minor to his community as a positive and productive citizen. Camp Sweeney functions as a local sanction for the Juvenile Court and is administrated by the Alameda County Probation Department. The program is strengthened by the partnerships with the Alameda County Office of Education, the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, local community-based providers and supportive volunteers.
Special Programs and Services for Camp Sweeney Residents include:
- Restorative Justice programming
- Re-entry planning
- Individual counseling
- Parent education and support groups
- Anger management and violence prevention programs
- Gang awareness and prevention programs
- Drug and alcohol treatment and education programming
- Life skills development programming
- Vocational programming for job readiness training and placement
- Work programs
- Structured recreational and social activities
- Planned and supervised off-grounds activities
- Temporary home passes
WEEKEND TRAINING ACADEMY (WETA)
The Weekend Training Academy (WETA) is a court ordered alternative to detention that provides community service opportunities as well as life skills programming for youth who are ordered into the program. Youth remain in their homes are ordered to successfully attend and complete a specified number of weekend sessions.
NEW CAMP SWEENEY REPLACEMENT PROJECT
In December 2008, the Probation Department applied to the Board of State and Community Corrections for SB81 grant funding to assist with the construction of a new camp at the previous site of the old Juvenile Hall. CSA awarded Alameda County $35M to construct a "campus-like" facility to house 150 dormitory-style beds for 90 boys, 30 girls and a secured 30-bed facility for DJJ youth in February 2009. On July 30, 2013, Alameda County Board of Supervisors approved the $54.8M in service needs and related costs associated with the project.