Division of Juvenile Justice, Jobs, Training and Facilities

DJJ ceases operations, transfers last youths to counties

Honor guard holds flag.
Flag-lowering ceremony at the Stockton DJJ complex. As of June 30, DJJ has ceased operations.

On June 30, CDCR announced the last youths in the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) were transferred to counties, completing juvenile justice realignment as required under Senate Bill 823.

N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility (NAC) in Stockton and the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (VYCF) in Camarillo ceased operations as of June 30, 2023. O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility closed June 30, 2022.

Flag lowering ceremony at VYCF

Last DJJ youths transferred to counties

Traditional flag lowering ceremonies were held at NAC on June 27, 2023 and VYCF on June 29, 2023. The Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp, which trains eligible county youth in wildland firefighting skills, will remain open and is now managed by CDCR’s Division of Adult Facilities, along with its adult camps.

“Throughout this process, DJJ remained dedicated to its mission of providing trauma-informed services to youth, with the goal of transitioning each of them to a productive future in the community, and did so until its very last day,” said DJJ Director Heather Bowlds. “Toward that end, DJJ committed to a one-to-one transfer of care in coordination with local partners to ensure continuity of care and a smooth transition.”

“The efforts of DJJ staff to continue its rehabilitative mission to serve justice impacted youth and work closely with our partners is a testament to their dedication and professionalism,” said CDCR Secretary Jeff Macomber.

DJJ’s history links back to founding of California

DJJ began as the California Youth Authority in 1942, but rehabilitation of youth in California dates to the beginning of statehood in the 1850s. At its height, DJJ operated 11 facilities and numerous fire camps and housed more than 10,000 youth.

In recent years, DJJ treated the state’s highest-need youth, adjudicated of violent crimes against persons.

Since 2020, DJJ’s average population remained in the mid-600s. In June 2021, DJJ stopped the intake of new youth in anticipation of closure.

While the facilities in Stockton and Camarillo have officially closed, the physical plants will remain in a warm-shutdown mode with a reduced staff to ensure key infrastructure remains viable.

Ventura video and photos by Pedro Calderón Michel, CDCR Deputy Press Secretary
Stockton photos by Mike Sicilia, DJJ Deputy Press Secretary,
and Scott Sabicer, Director, TV Communications Center

See more DJJ stories.

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