Beyond the Badge, Division of Juvenile Justice

DJJ bids farewell to 81 years serving youth

Current and former staff stand under a tree to pose for a group photo.
Current and former DJJ staff gathered in Elk Grove to bid farewell.

The Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is winding down operations as juvenile justice realignment transfers responsibility for the treatment of justice involved youth to counties. DJJ’s headquarters staff marked the closure with an outdoor luncheon at their Elk Grove offices on June 15.

The event was attended by staff past and present, including:

  • Mike Minor, former Director
  • Troy Fennel, former Superintendent of Public Instruction,
  • and Craig Watson, former Associate Director

Director Heather Bowlds recounted the history of DJJ from its 1941 founding as the California Youth Authority through its current iteration. More recently, DJJ has offered trauma informed treatment and services to youth, all amid myriad obstacles.  

Bowlds commended staff for their perseverance, integrity and professionalism. In recent years, challenges included the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent realignment of juvenile justice.

Closure ceremonies are planned at each of the remaining facilities in coming weeks and DJJ officially sunsets June 30.

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