LA County Puts Thousands of Kids on ‘Voluntary’ Probation for Merely Struggling With School

Marbella Munoz was a foster child for most of her life. As is true for many foster children bounced through multiple placements, she was frequently forced to change schools.
Munoz’ story comes from a new report that examines and analyzes a controversial youth crime prevention strategy run by the Los Angeles County Probation Department, the nation’s largest juvenile probation system.

How LA County Began to Face Its Big Problem With Youth Being Sex-Trafficked

Michelle Guymon is a hero in the world of child sex trafficking prevention.
Seven years ago, she had no idea Los Angeles County had a child sex trafficking problem
Now Guymon is director of the Child Trafficking Unit for the Los Angeles County Probation Department and is part of the group that aims to make LA’s efforts to combat child sex trafficking a model for the nation.

Don’t Be Traumatized by Trauma

I openly admit that transitioning from avoiding the trauma issue to becoming a trauma-informed and responsive organization wasn’t easy, but the value of that transformation is facilitating better outcomes for the children we serve. If we as service providers don’t take the trauma issue straight on, we are doing the children who are counting on us for help a disservice.

Marie Williams

We Need to Address Mental, Behavioral Health in Kids Who Land in Justice System

Most juvenile detention facilities and out-of-home placements are still not conducive to treatment of kids with trauma, and those with mental and behavioral health needs.
My friend Judge Joan Byer, retired from the Jefferson County, Kentucky juvenile bench, described the overarching goal this way: “We need to move closer toward a juvenile justice system that stops punishing kids who have had punishing lives.”