Board of Supervisors slated to vote on Camp Scott

Sign on Bouquet Canyon Road for Camp Scudder and Camp Scott. 062421. Dan Watson/The Signal

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is slated to vote Tuesday on whether to establish Camp Scott on Bouquet Canyon as the permanent housing facility for the county’s male violent youth offender population.  

On Thursday, the board released its agenda for the upcoming Tuesday meeting, stating that after almost a year of debate, they have narrowed down the options to either Camp Scott or Camp Kilpatrick in Malibu.  

Late last year, the members of the Juvenile Justice Realignment Block Grant Subcommittee — the appointed body put in charge of the county’s youth justice realignment — decided Camp Dorothy Kirby in Commerce was the only suggestion they would make to house the female youth population.   

Officials from Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office were not immediately available to comment as of the publication of this story.  

In a statement released on Thursday, Santa Clarita City officials said they are still convinced that Camp Scott “is completely unsuitable” to reopen “due to its dilapidated infrastructure and serious environmental dangers.” 

“The recommendation of Camp Scott calls into question the integrity of the selection process and the county’s commitment to ensure evaluations and recommendations were conducted in the best interest of the youth served in the facilities, probation staff working in the facilities and surrounding communities near the facilities,” said Mayor Laurene Weste.  

The possible decision to reopen Camp Scott — which has been closed since 2020 — to house the county’s most violent youth offenders near residential communities has been met with opposition from the Santa Clarita leaders and residents alike.  

The plans were first announced at a May 27 meeting of the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council’s Juvenile Justice Realignment Block Grant Ad-Hoc Subcommittee. City and county officials noted there had been no prior discussion with local representatives about the movement of so many violent juveniles and transitionally aged inmates to the area. 

Immediately following the initial announcement, City Council members called for city staff to draft a letter expressing their concerns about the plan and objecting to the lack of opportunity for the city and the community to have input on it. 

In June, The Signal published details from a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department report that stated that Camp Joseph Scott and Camp Kenyon Scudder in Bouquet Canyon were originally designed only to house non-violent offenders. The camps have an ease of access to the outside world through a chain-link fence that will allow for passersby to look in on, talk to and even hand contraband off to those inside, the Sheriff’s Department report said.    

After a handful of meetings both the Board of Supervisors and Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council — the body charged with making the recommendations — opted to create a “scorecards” that they would use to assess the various other campuses throughout the county that might be suitable for this population.  

Despite the final analysis of the “scorecards” stating that Camp Scott had an equal to, or even lower, desirability score for the future campus — in large part due to the northern Santa Clarita facility scoring the worst possible rank for fire/flood safety levels — the Bouquet Canyon facility was nevertheless added to the short list of facilities that would still be considered heading into the New Year.  

One of the considered sites that appeared to score equally as well, if not better, than most other sites, Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey, was not placed on the list of recommended sites.   

If passed on Tuesday, and the board decides to move forward with exploring the choice between Campus Kilpatrick and Camp Scott, the L.A. County Chief Probation Officer and the involved-community stakeholders will have 120 days to return to the board with a recommendation for which shall be the permanent secure youth track facility for the county.    

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