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How a Diversion Program in South L.A. Hopes to Break the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline [CSC]

Thursday, February 25, 2016  
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Centinela Youth Services (CYS), the only pre-arrest juvenile diversion program in California, has earned acclaim from local officials for the low recidivism rate of its graduates. Between 8 and 11 percent of youth who come through CYS are arrested within a year, which is much lower than the 33 to 40 percent recidivism rate for youth processed through L.A. County’s probation system.


Under the 2000 Juvenile Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA), California counties receive a total of more than $100 million each year. Counties are supposed to use these funds for prevention and early intervention programs. However, as of December 2015, L.A.’s probations department has accumulated more than $22 million in unspent funds. The CYS diversion program is ready to expand, but L.A. County’s failure to distribute state funds has cast doubt on the future of the program.


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