Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)
The DJJ provides education and trauma informed treatment to California’s youthful offenders up to the age of 25 who have the most serious criminal backgrounds and most intense treatment needs. Most juvenile offenders today are committed to county facilities in their home communities where they can be closer to their families and local social services that are vital to rehabilitation.
DJJ provides academic and vocational education, medical care, and treatment programs that address violent, criminogenic, and sex offender behavior, as well as substance abuse and mental health needs while maintaining a safe and secure environment conducive to learning.
Youth are assigned living units based on their age, gender, and their specialized treatment needs. The population in each living unit is limited and staffing levels ensure that each youth receives effective attention and rehabilitative programming.
The Integrated Behavior Treatment Model constitutes the framework for DJJ’s programs. It is designed to reduce institutional violence and future criminal behavior by teaching anti-criminal attitudes and providing youth with personal skills to better manage their environments. DJJ staff from every professional discipline work as a team to assess the unique needs of each youth and to develop an individualized treatment program to address them. Through collaboration with the youth, the team administers a case plan that takes advantage of each youth’s personal strengths to maximize treatment in other areas of their life and reduce their risk of re-offending.
The Governor’s 2020-21 Budget gradually transfers the responsibility for managing all committed youth housed at the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) from the state to local county jurisdictions. The realignment of DJJ services to the counties will eventually bring about the end of the state’s juvenile justice operations. DJJ will no longer accept new commitments after June 30, 2021, with some exceptions defined in SB 823.
The Governors 2021-22 Budget proposes further amending SB 823 to set a defined closure date of June 30, 2023 for all DJJ facilities. This builds on the Administration’s commitment to providing more treatment and rehabilitative services for youth closer to home.
In recognition of the impacts the closure will have, a DJJ Realignment Portal has been established to provide useful information to staff, families, and community partners.