Aerial view of Juvenile Hall in SLO County.

County Juvenile Hall Praised in State Health, Safety Check

Author: Probation Department
Date: 9/20/2018 1:16:55 PM

A state inspection summary noted that the facility and operations “exceeded regulation” and that the state was “very impressed with the overall function and operation”.

The County of San Luis Obispo earned glowing comments from the Board of State and Community Corrections for a recent mandatory health and safety inspection of its Juvenile Hall and Coastal Valley Academy facilities.

The inspection summary noted that in many areas the facilities and operations “exceeded regulation” and that the state was “very impressed with the overall function and operation” of both facilities.

“The health and safety of the youth in our care is our number one priority. We do everything we can to ensure they’re in an environment where they can improve themselves for the good of the community,” said County Chief Probation Officer James Salio. “The County’s investment in our facilities have allowed us to enhance our programs, ranging from crime prevention and intervention to supervision and incarceration.”

The inspection took place in April and the County was notified of the inspection results via a letter in August. The state is required by law to inspect the health and safety of juvenile detention facilities every two years. The inspections assess and evaluate the facilities, their operations, and the movement of youth and staff.

In the state’s letter, Field Representative Elizabeth Gong noted that she was “very impressed with the overall function and operation” of the Juvenile Hall and Coastal Valley Academy. She complimented County staff on their dedication, thoroughness, and responsiveness, and praised the investment from the County Public Health and Behavioral Health departments, the Office of Education, and Restorative Partners for their “substantive involvement through weekly Treatment Team meetings.”

“There are no barriers to the team’s focus on the needs for each youth to achieve success,” Gong wrote. “You have every reason to be proud of your managers and their staff, they are doing an outstanding job in caring for the youth in their care.”

The County expanded its Juvenile Hall facility in October 2016 by 23,400 square feet, which included new classrooms, offices, and housing. The expansion cost about $19.2 million and was primarily funded through the state via SB 81 funds. The 50-bed detention facility houses male and female youth who have been arrested for criminal acts in the community or violations of probation and are either awaiting court proceedings or serving additional time ordered by the court. County Juvenile Services Officers, teachers, medical staff and mental health staff all care for the youth at Juvenile Hall. 

While in custody youth attend school daily, participate in outdoor recreation, and have access to a variety of constructive activities. In partnership with Restorative Partners, the Juvenile Hall offers programs designed to assist youth towards rehabilitation, such as art classes, chess club, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), bible study, Narcotics Anonymous (NA), yoga, tutoring, Book Club, weekly church services, and a sports program.

Located within Juvenile Hall is the Coastal Valley Academy, which is not a criminal detention facility. Rather, the academy is a custody commitment camp for male and female youth age 14 to 17, who are at moderate to high risk of entering the criminal justice system and in need of residential treatment. Youth are ordered by the court to stay 6 to 12 months and receive intensive case management, treatment and educational services through collaboration with a local treatment provider, Family Care Network, and the County Office of Education.

Both facilities are located off Kansas Avenue near Highway 1 just north of San Luis Obispo.

View the state’s letter and full health and safety inspection report online.

For media inquiries, please contact Chief Probation Officer Jim Salio by calling (805) 781-5300.