California Group Homes for Juveniles Fail to Thoroughly Investigate Serious Complaints
Date:  08-26-2015

Allegations of sexual abuse, injuries from restraints, and vicious attacks handled poorly, outside investigation finds
Recent articles in Reentry Central highlighted growing concerns about young people housed in juvenile facilities in New York and Connecticut. Now, California’s group homes for the state’s “most acutely disturbed children” are under fire, according to a recent Pro Publica investigation of the investigational process of California’s Department of Social Services when responding to the complaints of children in their custody and care.

Many of the complaints are piled on desks for a substantial amount of time, Pro Publica found. Sometimes the complaints weren’t investigated until the parties involved were no longer at the facility. When serious complaints were investigated often charges were never filed, instead staff members underwent “retraining.”

Pro Publica interviewed Bill Grimm, a lawyer with the National Center for Youth Law, who stated, “The people conducting these investigations really aren’t appropriately trained. They don’t look at it with a kind of rigid approach that someone in law enforcement would use in a criminal investigation. That really undercuts the legitimacy of these investigations.”

Read ProPublica’s troubling findings here.