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F.A.C.C. (families against county corruption) April 20, 2007 2:13 AM

The California Youth Authority (CYA) has long been known to be a disaster of violence and abuse of authority. Several recent events have created a public outcry that could force changes to this 63 year old institution. In January, two 18 year olds were found hanged in their cells. The families of the two teenagers filed suit against the state for "denying mental health care and treatment and education to its wards." A state study then revealed that CYA "inmates are often locked in cages (Photo) as punishment, and those with mental problems are frequently drugged and improperly cared for." As the news media focused long needed attention on the CYA, questions were raised and many counties took action. San Mateo County was the first county that announced it would stop sending children and teenagers to the CYA. On February 19th, Santa Clara County joined in and on the 23rd Santa Cruz County officially joined the ban. On February 24th, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution "urging the San Francisco Trial Courts, District Attorney, Juvenile Probation Department and Public Defender not to sentence or cause to be sentenced, any person to the California Youth Authority (CYA) unless a CYA commitment is required by law". But these actions paid no more than lip service to the problem with many existing wards still stuck in the system. By March 14th, Santa Cruz District Attorney Bob Lee was already claiming that "changes have been made at CYA facilities" and calling for new teenagers to be sent into the system. On March 17th, San Mateo County also quietly rescind its moratorium on youth referrals. On March 25, supporters of Loreto Arizpe, a youth who was scheduled to be committed to the CYA, rallied in front of the Santa Cruz County Courthouse to demand that Lee stop sending children into the CYA. Photos | Audio This post was modified from its original form on 20 Apr, 2:14  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
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