DJJ Roadmap to Reopening – Spring 2021


With the continued drop in COVID-19 cases and the increase of vaccine availability, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) are launching a common-sense reopening plan at the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). The Roadmap to Reopening (link) is anchored in health care guidelines and guidance to ensure the safety and wellness of everyone who lives, works, or volunteers in our facilities, while also allowing a safe, phased return to important rehabilitative programs and social interactions. 

DJJ recognizes the tough but necessary decisions made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every person who lives and works in our facilities, and their loved ones, and we are eager to get back to normal in a safe and responsible manner. 

Throughout reopening, staff, program providers and volunteers must continue to adhere to COVID-19 precautionary and infection control measures such as complying with physical distancing, enforcing facial coverings, handwashing, testing requirements, symptom screening upon entry, and frequent disinfecting of spaces and activity items between uses. Criteria for entering a facility will be updated in accordance with public health guidelines. 

The DJJ Roadmap to Reopening incorporates a three-phased approach to reopen operations, relying on the recommended guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and other stakeholders. It is important to note that multiple considerations may affect the speed at which facilities and various program areas reopen. Facilities will continuously evaluate and monitor positive COVID cases and reinstate precautionary measures, as needed, to protect all of those who work and live in California’s youth correctional settings.  

Each facility will adapt reopening strategies to their individual facilities specific needs. The roadmap provides potential programming options as a “menu” from which facilities may select and program delivery methods which meet current operational and safety needs. These options include reduced group sizes, modified hours, staggered schedules, outdoor programming, or programming in non-traditional spaces such as patios or recreation areas to allow for physical distancing. Best practices and solutions will be collected and shared with all facilities to add to the operations menu.  

Movement between the phases will be determined jointly by the Superintendent, Chief Physician and Deputy Director. The Superintendent and Chief Physician shall work together to determine program and will inform the Deputy Director prior to moving between phasesThroughout the phases, the Department is committed to ensuring the safety, security, and well-being of all staff and youth by continuing to perform all standard  
COVID-19 precautionary measures.  


Outbreak For purposes of reopening, an outbreak is defined as three or more related COVID-19 youth cases within a facility in the past 14 days. An outbreak would trigger a return to Phase 1 protocols. 

Containment. No new outbreaks for 42 consecutive days. 

Testing Staff are routinely tested for COVID-19. All staff positives are investigated through contact tracing. As the number of positives increase at a facility, increased testing occurs. If youth are identified as contacts of a positive staff member, they are screened and tested per protocol. 

Phase 1 (Outbreak Phase)  

  • The facility has a current outbreak or is recovering from a recent outbreak. 
  • The end of the outbreak is defined as 14 days with no new youth cases identified.1 
  • Outbreak response testing must continue throughout Phase 1.  
  • Movement and programming access restricted per COVID protocols. 
  • Most restrictive modifications in operations, programs, and services. 
  • To move from Phase 1 to Phase 2, the facility must have no youth outbreak cases for 14 days. 

Phase 2 (Modified Phase)  

  • Increased movement and program-area access. 
  • If the facility has an outbreak, the facility must immediately revert to Phase 1 restrictions. 
  • In the time needed to investigate individual cases before concluding that there is an outbreak, the facility may remain in Phase 2.  
  • To move from Phase 2 to Phase 3, the facility must have no youth outbreak cases for 28 days. 

Phase 3 (New Normal Programming ) 

  • Movement from Modified Phase (Phase 2) to New Normal Programming  
    (Phase 3): the facility has progressed to Phase 2 and has not experienced an outbreak of three or more COVID-19 cases among youth for an additional 28 days  
    (2 quarantine cycles). The total outbreak-free time required to progress from Phase 1 to Phase 3 is 42 days. 
  • Resume normal programming. This may include continuing precautionary measures such as face coverings, more frequent cleanings, physical distancing, etc. 
  • The facility has the outbreak contained, defined as no new cases for 42 days. 
  • If the facility experiences a youth outbreak, the facility must revert to Phase 1 restrictions. 

Facility Operations, Programs, and Health Care Services 

Phase 1 (Outbreak Phase)  

  • Closed to in-person visitors, volunteers, and activities involving outside groups. 
  • Video visiting allowed. 
  • Closed to media access, film requests, and stakeholder tours. 
  • No outside vendors, non-essential contractors, or non-employees permitted, other than those who are essential for supplying needed goods. 
  • These activities are allowed following COVID-19 protocols to include physical distancing and the use of Personal Protective Equipment, for example, masks. 
    • Youth workforce limited to essential functions. 
    • Outside recreation within the same living unit. 
    • Limited dayroom access to the same rotating cohorts.  
    • All students receive education services in the living unit. 
    • All treatment groups continue, to include Integrated Behavioral Treatment Model (IBTM), Sex Behavior Treatment Program (SBTP), Mental Health, etc. 
  • Mental Health may also provide telepsychology and packet assignments. 
  • Youth with legal deadlines may continue to request packets and information from the law library. All others may request books, forms, and paging from the library. 
  • Students may be administered educational assessments with approval from the Principal and Superintendent. 
  • The following programs remain closed to in person groups but are approved for video presentations: Innovative Grants Program/the California Arts Council. 
  • Phone calls allowed with sanitation in-between uses. 
  • Essential and critical health care appointments only. 

Group or congregate activities will not be allowed unless they can be done consistent with  
COVID-19 protocols. 

Phase 2 (Modified Phase)  

  • Gradually increase movement and access to programs and services, where physical distancing can be maintained. These options include reduced group sizes, staggered schedules, outdoor programming, or programming in other non-traditional spaces. Ensure areas opening up follow current COVID protocols, including cleaning, sanitization, the use of Personal Protective Equipment and the training of staff returning to work. 
    • Visiting to be facilitated by video visiting at the beginning of Phase 2, but allowing the Superintendent to transition to a hybrid visiting model consisting of a combination of in-person visiting and video visiting, as determined by the Superintendent, Chief Physician, and approved by the Deputy Director and as physical plant allows. 
    • Outside vendors, non-essential contractors, or non-employees must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no longer than 72 hours prior to entering the facility.  If fully vaccinated a negative test is not needed if they can provide their vaccination card indicating they are two weeks past the final injection of their vaccination series.  
    • At the discretion of the Superintendent, select youth workforce may return. 
    • Outside recreation within the same living unit. 
    • Increase cohort size and programming activities. 
    • Youth Activity Groups (includes the California Arts Council, Innovative Grants Program, and other volunteer groups): The Community Resources Manager (CRM) will be the point of contact in coordinating the return of community-based organizations (CBOs), interns, and volunteers to the facility in accordance with COVID-19 mitigation protocols. Those programs most critical to the youth will be given priority. 
    • Utilizing an AM/PM Schedule, education and vocational programs return to the school in limited numbers to accommodate physical distancing. Prison Industry Authority programs will begin to return. 
    • Library and law library access will open, with physical distancing. 
    • In-person religious services will be allowed, with physical distancing. 
    • Careful resumption of routine clinical operations. 
    • All episodic health care, as follows, but not limited to: emergent and urgent health care requests; high priority specialty services; onsite specialty services; and  
      non-emergency dental services. 

Phase 3 (New Normal Programming) 

  • Continue with institutional screening and testing protocols.  
  • With COVID precautions observed whenever possible, all of the following may resume: 
    • All clinical operations. 
    • Normal visiting operations in addition to video visiting will resume in Phase 3 following current COVID protocols. This may include continuing precautionary measures such as health screenings, face coverings, more frequent cleanings, proof of vaccination or recent negatives COVID test, etc. 
    • Education, rehabilitative programs, visiting, yard, etc., return to normal levels and schedules.   
    • Contact sports:  At the discretion of the Superintendent, activities allowed as long as participants perform hand hygiene before play, during breaks, at halftime, and at the conclusion of the activity. Participants must also clean and sanitize equipment between uses. 
    • Native American Sweat Lodge: At the discretion of the Superintendent, residents can participate if additional risk mitigation strategies are put into place. 
    • Filming requests, media access, and stakeholder tours will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.