The City of Malibu continued its strong opposition to the action by the County of Los Angeles to move high-risk juvenile prisoners, many of whom were convicted of serious and violent crimes, including murder, to the Santa Monica Mountains just north of Malibu, filing an official letter of protest with the County on July 13.
The City’s letter is available to view at: https://malibucity.org/DocumentCenter/View/30291/MalibuCity_letter_toCounty_opposing_camp_kilpatrick_7-13-2022.
“Safety is our number one priority and moving high-risk juvenile prisoners to Camp Kilpatrick raises too many serious safety concerns, for the surrounding residential communities, including Malibu, as well for as the inmates and the facility staff,” said Mayor Paul Grisanti. “Malibu will continue to strongly oppose this proposal.”
The City’s letter states its objections to the County’s compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) related to the permanent Secure Youth Track Facility (SYTF) designation of Camp Kilpatrick, which is located just north of the City limits in the Santa Monica Mountains. Further, while the City understands the need to provide permanent, quality rehabilitative facilities for juvenile offenders, the environmental effects of such facilities on the surrounding community must be analyzed and addressed.
The letter also states that the County has not adequately analyzed the project’s potentially significant impacts related to wildfire safety and evacuation of prisoners and staff, emergency access, public services, and other impact areas, particularly given that Camp Kilpatrick was surrounded by flames during the 2018 Woolsey Fire. The City asked that the County postpone consideration of the project until an adequate CEQA analysis can be performed.
The Las Virgenes – Malibu Council of Governments (LVMCOG) voted unanimously on March 15, 2022 to officially oppose the proposal to move the prisoners to Camp Kilpatrick. The LVMCOG is a Joint Powers Authority that works together to address regional priorities and issues that impact the cities of Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Malibu and Westlake Village. It took the position at the request of Malibu Councilmember Karen Farrer, who is also the LVMCOG President.
The concerns shared by Malibu and the LVMCOG member cities include:
The Camp Kilpatrick facility was not designed to house high-risk offenders, raising concerns about the potential impacts to the safety of the surrounding communities, and the safety of the County staff at the facility.
The Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar is where these youth prisoners currently spend most of their time while in pre- and post-adjudication status, so remaining at that facility would be least disruptive to their care and supervision. Establishing routines, minimizing changes and offering stability is a best practice.
Juvenile Hall was recommended by the Los Angeles County Probation Department as the housing solution that makes the most sense from a programmatic and financial perspective.
The Board of Supervisors voted on March 15 to move the prisoners to Camp Kilpatrick County and to develop a plan for renovations of the facility within 120 days.
The City will post updates and background information on this issue on the website at: www.MalibuCity.org/YouthPrisoners.
Submitted by Matt Myerhoff