Juvenile Facilities

The Ventura County Juvenile Facilities complex sits on a 45 acre parcel in an unincorporated area of the county near the community of El Rio.  It is located at 4333 Vineyard Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93036. The Ventura County Probation Agency's state of the art detention and commitment facility was completed in 2003 at a cost of $65 million. Primary funding for the facility was a $40.5 million grant from the California Board of Corrections. The total capacity of the facility is 420 male and female youth. The detention component capacity is 240 and the commitment component capacity 180.

In addition to the housing components, Juvenile Facilities include outdoor recreation areas for both detention and commitment programs, a multipurpose gymnasium/technology training center, a visiting center, medical offices and examination rooms, an intake/community confinement/booking area, classrooms, program and facility administration offices, kitchen and laundry services. Staff has locker rooms with showers, and a dining room. A juvenile courthouse with six courtrooms is located adjacent to the Juvenile Facilities.

Youth under our care are provided constructive individual and group activities within the facilities. Educational programming includes Providence School, an accredited school program administered by the County Superintendent of Schools. The County of Ventura's Behavioral Health Department provides psychiatric and crisis intervention services as well as group, individual, and family therapy within the facility. The California Forensic Medical Group provides medical services under contract with the County.

Cognitive behavior therapy programming is provided by probation staff and community based organizations. These programs include a gang intervention program, a gender specific program for females (Girls Inc.), and a problem solving/social skills program. Additional programming includes: a tolerance program, parenting classes, tutoring, anger management, substance abuse counseling, chess, music and dance programs.

Since 2002, the Probation Agency has participated in the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative, a grant funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF). The AECF is dedicated to reforming juvenile detention practices. In collaboration with the juvenile court judges, local law enforcement, public defender and district attorney's office, the population was safely reduced utilizing risk-based criteria for booking and detention alternatives including community confinement, home supervision, and electronic monitoring programs.

Detention

Detention housing.

Juvenile Facilities detention housing is intended for youth going through the court process.  It also serves to provide temporary custody for youth in need of short-term removal from the community and/or awaiting transfer to another jurisdiction or placement facility.

The Detention Unit is comprised of one 60-bed male population housing unit, one 20-bed special population housing unit, and one 15-bed female housing unit.  Units are named after local Ventura County canyons: Balcom, Matilija and Sycamore.  Each general housing unit contains 15 single sleeping rooms.  The units have their own dayroom, classrooms, open staff station, and outdoor exercise areas.  The living units are designed with sleeping rooms, or cells, located on an upper and lower level.  A gymnasium and recreational yard are located adjacent to the units and are used for supervised recreational activities. 

The Special Population Housing Unit consists of a 20-bed living unit designed for youth with significant mental health, behavioral, or medical issues.  The living unit has its own dayroom, classroom and staff station.  Sleeping rooms are all located on one level.  Two outdoor exercise areas are available for supervised use by the minors.

In the Detention Units, educational and therapeutic programming is available, and youth also have the opportunity to participate in community service projects by volunteering their labor and time to non-profit organizations.

Purpose of Detention Statement

The Ventura County Probation Agency (VCPA) detains youth in the Juvenile Facilities who cannot be placed in a less restrictive setting and have been arrested for serious law violations or substantial violations of their probation terms. In accordance with the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), VCPA assesses the risk of youth utilizing a risk assessment instrument. Secure detention is only applied in those cases when a minor, as a result of their actions or behavior, presents a significant threat to the community an imminent risk of harm to themselves, risk to the person or property of others or demonstrates a significant likelihood they will not appear at future court appearances. VCPA is committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment for youth in those situations where detention is deemed necessary, which both assures safety to the community and is conducive to the goals of rehabilitation.

Commitment

Garden Project.

Youth housed in the Juvenile Facilities’ Commitment Units are serving court-imposed commitments of up to one year. The Commitment Unit is comprised of two 60-bed housing units named after local canyons: Matilija and Wheeler. Each housing unit is divided into four 15-bed living units, each with its own classroom and two program rooms.  Each living unit has its own day room and outdoor exercise area. Sleeping rooms are single occupant rooms.

In the Commitment Units, educational and therapeutic programming is provided, and vocational, emancipation-based programming is available for older youth. One of the Commitment housing units provides dedicated female programming to deal with gender-specific issues.

Long-term Commitment residents have the opportunity to participate in Regional Occupational Program classes through the Ventura County Office of Education, including screen printing, computer repair, and landscaping.  Enrichment services include broadcast journalism and community service by volunteering their labor and time to Food Share and the City of Oxnard.  In addition, youth are afforded the opportunity to attend Aggression Replacement Training (A.R.T.) and participate in on-line community college courses and on-site Boys & Girls Club activities.

Juvenile Intake

Booking Office.

The Juvenile Intake unit reviews each booking to determine whether a case should be referred to the District Attorney (DA) for filing consideration, or handled informally. The unit also screens the case to determine if the youth is appropriate for release pending a filing decision from the DA. DPO’s assigned to this unit complete detention reports for youth which include circumstances of the arrest; statements from the parent/guardian, youth and victim(s); family, dependency, school and employment information; prior delinquency history; other social history information and a recommendation. The Juvenile Intake unit works closely with the DA and victim advocate, ensuring the needs of each victim are met and addressed in a timely fashion.

Community Confinement Program

Deputy Probation Officer attaches electronic monitoring anklet.

Community Confinement is a program for youth who would otherwise be detained in secure confinement, but are permitted to remain at home under strict conditions and close supervision from a probation officer. Youth can be placed on this program at the discretion of probation pending arraignment or by order of the court.

All youth released under a program of Community Confinement are supervised based on their individual risk to the community, and their criminogenic needs. Each youth and his/her parent or guardian are interviewed to determine the level of risk and need. Collateral information is also utilized during this decision point. Based on risk, youth are either placed on Home Supervision, Electronic Monitoring (EM) or Global Positioning System (GPS) supervision. 

If GPS is warranted, a small GPS unit is affixed around the youth’s ankle, which can be easily concealed under clothing. The youth is permitted to attend school, work, court and other pre-approved pro-social activities. The youth’s movements are monitored via a website, which can be accessed by probation from any computer or internet ready device. If the GPS unit is tampered with, the strap is cut, or the battery level is low, that information is quickly transmitted to the monitoring center. Auditory messages can also be transmitted through the GPS device such as a reminder for the youth to charge their device or report to their probation officer.

Community Confinement staff make contact with youth in person at their residence or school, and by telephone. The unit is staffed 7 days a week, 365 days per year. Staff conduct random drug testing, contact school officials, and conduct searches for prohibited items. If a youth is found in violation of their release, the youth can possibly be returned to the Juvenile Facilities pending further court proceedings.

Special Functions

The Special Functions Unit is responsible for all the bookings, releases, and court and medical transports.  In addition, the unit oversees all residential movement and visitations.  Special Functions staff provides support in responding to emergencies and provide coverage for the Detention and Commitment Units. 

Location

4333 E Vineyard Avenue
Oxnard, California 93036
Reception Hours 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM

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