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 299 minors. Located on county property in San Leandro, CA, the facility is staffed by counselors who supervise the minors and are responsible for their care, custody and control. Juvenile Hall is a temporary holding facility for minors awaiting court. Services include school and other educational programs, organized recreation, religious services and volunteer services provided by private citizens and community-based organizations, including:
- Mental Health Services: In June of 2002, the Alameda County Probation Department opened a unit in Juvenile Hall to provide therapeutic and specialized mental health services to detained male and female youth with severe emotional and behavioral problems. The unit is a collaborative of Behavioral Health Care Services (Guidance Clinic), Juvenile Justice Health Services, Alameda County Office of Education and the Probation Department. The Guidance Clinic also provides crisis intervention services, individual therapy upon request, psychotropic medication evaluations and monitors youth on psychotropic medications. A girl's substance abuse education is provided by a contract with Thunder Road Adolescent Treatment Program.
- Education and HealthCare: The Alameda County Office of Education provides education for all detainees. The Juvenile Justice Health Services provides 24-hour medical support and care.
- 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. The current detention alternatives include home supervision and electronic monitoring of minors released from the Juvenile Hall during the adjudication process.
- Special 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. Through a grant from Reading is Fundamental they also receive books to take with them when they are released from custody.
- The Mind Body Awareness Program: Teaching Meditation and Yoga to the detained youth.
- The Beat Within: A writing and conversation program. Workshops are conducted in each living unit and a magazine that features the youth writings is published weekly.
- California Prevention & Education Project (CAL-PEP): Provides gender specific programming for the females in custody.
- Catholic Charities Of The East Bay and Follow Up Ministries, INC (God Squad): Conducts weekly Catholic and Protestant religious services and individual religious counseling for both girls and boys in custody.
CAMP WILMONT SWEENEY
Camp Wilmont Sweeney is a local, unlocked, 24-hour residential program currently staffed for 80 minors ranging in age from 15 through 18 who are ordered by the Juvenile Court to be committed to the Camp. Our current population is approximately 70 youth.
In a large group environment characterized by a "positive peer culture", individualized treatment plans are developed for each youth with goals related to specific behavioral and educational needs. The overall goal is to return each minor to his community as a positive and productive citizen. Each Camp Sweeney resident's service plan is developed and reviewed by his treatment team, which includes his probation officer, group counselor, a peer mentor, his parent(s) or guardian(s), and himself. It may also include others assisting him with his special needs.
Camp Sweeney functions as a local sanction for the Juvenile Court and is administrated by the Alameda County Probation Department. Its program is strengthened by the partnership of the Alameda County Office of Education, the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency (for medical and mental health care), and community volunteers.
Special Programs and Services Designed for Camp Sweeney Residents:
- Peer Mediation/Conflict Resolution Training and Counseling
- Parent Education and Support Groups
- Anger Management and Violence Prevention Programs
- Drug and Alcohol Education Programs
- Family Life Development Programs
- A Tailored Education Program Provided for Each Resident in an On-Site, Accredited School
- Mentor and Tutorial Programs
- Grief Support Group
- Vocational Program for Job Readiness Training and Placement
- Structured In-Camp Work Program
- Structured Recreational and Social Activities
- Planned and Supervised Outings.
WEEKEND TRAINING ACADEMY (WETA)
The Weekend Training Academy (WETA) is a juvenile court or probation officer ordered alternative to detention that provides community service opportunities as well as Social Values Training for youth who are ordered into the program. WETA is comprised of three program options that youth may be assigned to as follows:
- Mandatory Program: The youth is ordered by the Juvenile Court into the mandatory program for a specified number of weekends. This means that if a youth is assigned three weekends and satisfactorily completes them, he/she will have successfully finished the program. Poor performance or absences will lengthen the amount of time the youth has to complete the program. Thus, a youth will remain in the program until either he/she successfully completes the program or is taken back to court for an alternative disposition.
- Special Program: The youth is ordered into the special program by the Juvenile Court for a longer period of time (e.g., 26 or 52 weekends), but only attends when ordered to do so by the Court (e.g., the first two weekends) or the probation officer (when the youth fails to attend school or follow a specific condition[s] of probation). The assigned probation officer shall notify the WETA clerk in advance that they want a youth to attend special weekends. The youth is then enrolled for the specified number of weekends only. For example, if the probation officer directs the youth to attend one special weekend and the youth fails to attend, the youth will not automatically be enrolled the next weekend unless the probation officer notifies the WETA clerk that he/she wishes to re-enroll the youth.
- Informal Program: In the informal program, the youth is assigned to the program by his/her assigned probation officer for a specific number of weekends when warranted by unacceptable behavior (e.g.,. failure to attend school, etc). The probation officer shall fill out the WETA packet and have it signed by the youth and his/her parent or guardian. Each time a youth is enrolled in the informal program, a WETA packet must be filled out and signed.
Note that both the mandatory and special WETA programs are ordered by the Juvenile Court only! If the probation officer wishes to enroll a youth in WETA and the Court has not ordered mandatory or special weekends, the youth can only be enrolled in the informal program.