Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What types of youths are sent to the DJJ?

Answer: The age of DJJ youth range from 12 to 25. In isolated cases, a youth may remain in DJJ beyond age 25. Youth who have been sentenced to the Division of Adult Institutions will be transferred to an adult facility at age 18 unless they can complete their sentence before age 25 and are taking advantage of the treatment, educational, and vocational programs offered to them. The District Attorney’s Office or the Probation Department in the county from which the youth was committed can provide you with information regarding why the youth was sent to the DJJ.

There are three ways a youth may be sent to DJJ: 

  • Committed by a juvenile court;
  • If they are tried as an adult and committed by a criminal court; or
  • If they are tried as an adult and committed to the Division of Adult Institutions, but ordered to be housed in a DJJ facility. These are called “M-cases”.

Question: Where will the youth be sent?

Answer: The DJJ has three facilities and one forestry camp that in total house approximately 750 youths. Youths are assigned to a program based on their age, maturity level, educational needs, and individual risk/needs level. The three facilities are located in Stockton (San Joaquin County) and Camarillo (Ventura County). The camp is located in Pine Grove (Amador County).

In addition to the Core Programs, DJJ youth may be assigned to the Sexual Behavior Treatment Program, Mental Health Residential Units, Intensive Behavior Treatment Program, or a Behavior Treatment Program. Each youth has an Individual Change Plan to address their individual areas of risk and need.

Each youth has a Treatment Team consisting of an assigned Youth Correctional Counselor (YCC), Parole Agent or Casework Specialist, Senior Youth Correctional Counselor, Treatment Team Supervisor, Education Representative, and Mental Health Clinician (if applicable). YCCs counsel youth both individually and in a small group, and will monitor their facility program and report progress back to the Board of Juvenile Hearings. The Counselor and Parole Agent/Casework Specialist work collaboratively with the youth to address their areas of risk and need, monitor their progress, and report that progress to the Board of Juvenile Hearings annually and at the Discharge Consideration Hearing.

All youths are required to attend school full-time. Those that complete their high school education may participate in a college program, vocational training, or a combination of both. Many are assigned paid jobs within the facility, such as landscaping, food preparation, or janitorial work. A portion of any wages received are collected to pay their court-ordered restitution.

Question: Does DJJ provide “boot camp” types of programs for troublesome youths?

Answer: While the DJJ houses some of the most challenging juveniles in the state, our facilities do not offer such programs for “truant or troublesome” juveniles. If you are having trouble with your child or if you need assistance in dealing with a difficult juvenile, you should contact your local county social welfare office, probation department, or local school district.

Question: How do I obtain records relating to a current or former DJJ youth?

Answer: A written request must be submitted to the Division that includes the youth’s full name, date of birth, and YA number. Please send the request to:

Division of Juvenile Justice
P.O. Box 588501
Elk Grove, CA 95758-8501
Voice: (916) 683-7460
FAX (916) 683-7770

The request for information can only be released to the youth, his/her guardian or attorney, and in some cases law enforcement. In most cases, the files regarding juvenile court commitments are confidential.

Question: Who can visit youths at a DJJ facility? When can youths be visited? Are there any requirements for visitors?

Answer: Anyone listed on a youth’s visitors list who does not pose a threat to the safety and/or security of the visiting program can visit a youth in the DJJ. The times and days acceptable for visiting vary at each facility. The best way to determine visiting hours is by calling the facility. In addition, each facility has guidelines that further explain the required apparel, allowable visitor items, numbers of visitors, etc. The DJJ visiting information toll-free telephone number is (866) 801-4977. This toll-free number provides visiting information for all DJJ facilities in both English and Spanish.

Please visit our Locations page for the phone number and address of each DJJ facility.

Question: Does the DJJ provide tours of its facilities to the general public?

Answer: In some cases, the Division does provide tours of its facilities. Please contact the specific facility for more information.

Please visit our Locations page for the phone number and address of each DJJ facility.

Question: What does the Juvenile Parole Board (JPB) do?

Answer: The Juvenile Parole Board determines when a youth has been sufficiently rehabilitated to return to the community. It recommends conditions of supervision to the Superior Court in the community where the youth will be returned. Based on those recommendations, county courts, and probation departments establish and enforce those conditions.

During the month the youth is scheduled to appear before the JPB for their Parole Consideration Hearing, the regular DJJ youth can be recommended for release to parole if they have successfully completed all of their program goals. At their Parole Consideration Hearing, the youth meets with the JPB to discuss their progress.

The length of the parole period and discharge from parole is decided by the Superior Court.

Question: How do I volunteer to work at a DJJ facility?

Answer: Each facility has a person designated to coordinate volunteer workers. The best way to reach them would be to contact the specific facility. Our Locations page has the phone number and address for each DJJ facility.