Division of Juvenile Justice, Firefighters

Pine Grove staff honored as DJJ transitions

Camp staff and leadership.
DJJ Pine Grove staff pose for a group photo with Director Heather Bowlds and Deputy Director Jason Lowe.

After nearly 80 years, this month Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp (PGYCC) transferred from the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to CDCR’s Division of Adult Institutions. The transfer is part of the realignment of juvenile justice treatment and rehabilitative services to counties. The process will be complete this summer when DJJs remaining two facilities in Stockton and Ventura close.

The legislation that created juvenile realignment also stipulates that Pine Grove remain open to train justice-involved youth as wildland firefighters.

DJJ honored Pine Grove staff for their contributions in ceremonies held earlier this month.

Director Heather Bowlds, Deputy Director Jason Lowe and Program Administrator Mike Gomes presided as DJJ staff received certificates of appreciation. DJJ also honored employees for individual contributions.

Among the honorees were:

  • Program Administrator Mike Gomes, Director’s Award
  • Treatment Team Supervisor Sandra Magdaleno, Superintendent’s Award
  • Parole Agent Linh Le, Outstanding Peace Officer
  • Correctional Supervising Cook Barbara Moreau, Outstanding Employee
  • Maintenance Mechanic Jon Aguiar, Outstanding Employee
  • Sgt. Ali Eltareb, Outstanding Leadership Award
  • Youth Correctional Counselor Claudette Perrin, Outstanding Public/Community Service Award

Congratulations and appreciation are due to all DJJ staff for their efforts over the years making Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp a success.

More about Pine Grove and the transition to DAI

Pine Grove is the oldest continually operating fire camp in California. Activated in 1945, the camp was operated by the California Youth Authority, eventually becoming part of CDCR as DJJ.

Besides firefighting, where they are deployed statewide as needed, youth annually perform thousands of hours of community service projects including flood abatement activities and have become part of the fabric of the Amador County community. As of January 2023, Pine Grove is operated by DAI under contracts with counties.

Learn about the history of the Pine Grove camp.

See more DJJ stories.

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