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Los Angeles County Probation Department

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Title: Los Angeles County Probation Department  
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Los Angeles County Probation Department

Los Angeles County Probation Department
Department overview
Formed 1903 (1903)
Jurisdiction Los Angeles County
Headquarters 9150 East Imperial Highway
Downey, California 90242-9986
Employees 6,136 (2010)[1]
Annual budget US$692,808,000 (2010)[1]
Department executive Jerry Powers, Chief Probation Officer
Website .gov.lacountyprobation

The Los Angeles County Probation Department provides services for those placed on probation within Los Angeles County, California, USA. Jerry Powers is the current Chief Probation Officer. The department is the largest probation department in the world.[2]


The department was established in 1903 with the enactment of California's first probation laws. Captain Augustus C. Dodds was appointed as first Chief Probation Officer of Los Angeles County.[3] The first juvenile detention facility, now known as Central Juvenile Hall, was established on Eastlake Avenue in the City of Los Angeles in 1912.[3] Also in 1912, the new Los Angeles County Charter made the county probation officer a county administrative officer and brought all Department employees under the merit system.[3] The El Retiro School for Girls was established in Sylmar in 1919.[3] By 1920, the department had 27 deputy probation officers, handling 1,893 Juvenile Court petitions and 690 adult cases each month.[3] In 1921, W.H. Holland was named chief probation officer. In 1928, the department opened its first branch office, in Long Beach.[3]

In 1931, Kenyon J. Scudder was appointed chief probation officer.[3] The department began its forestry camp program and established the first Community Coordination Council, initiatives which later was models for the California Conservation Corps and other programs.[3] In 1935, the department opened its second branch area office, in Pasadena. In 1938, probation services were extended to Los Angeles Municipal Courts.[3] In 1939, Karl Holton was appointed chief probation officer; he left in 1943 to assume the position of first director of the newly created California Youth Authority; John M. Zuck was appointed to replace him.[3]

By 1940, the department has 108 staff members handling 4,063 juvenile and 5,299 adult probation cases.[3] The 1940s saw the creation of the Groups Guidance program to work with juvenile gangs. In 1946, a year-long Deputy Probation Officer Trainee program was established.[3]

In 1952, Karl Holton returned to the department as chief probation officer and "instituted full-scale reorganization and decentralization of the department," with numerous area offices opening countywide.[3] In 1954, Harold R. Muntz was appointed new chief deputy probation officer.[3] Los Padrinos, the second juvenile hall, opened in 1957, and responsibility for juvenile halls was officially transferred to the Probation Department from the old Probation Committee.[3]

In 1960, the department had grown to have 2,200 staff members, and reorganized itself into four divisions: Field Services, Juvenile Facilities, Administrative Services and a Medical Division.[3] Five hundred Field Services deputy probation officers "investigated 25,000 adult and 16,500 juvenile cases each year and supervised 24,500 adult and 15,000 juvenile probationers from 11 area offices," and an additional hundred deputies "worked with almost 1,000 boys in 10 camps."[3]

In 1961, the California State Legislature adopted juvenile court reform laws, following recommendations from the Governor's Commission, in the first major reform since 1903.[3] In 1962, the Department's headquarters moved to the new Los Angeles County Hall of Records at Civic Center, and Leland C. Carter was appointed chief probation officer.[3]

In 1965, the Department opened the San Fernando Valley Juvenile Hall in the San Fernando Valley in the county's northeast, relieving overcrowding elsewhere.[3] That year, there were more than 3,300 employees in thirteen area offices, four specialized offices, fourteen camps and schools, and four juvenile detention facilities.[3] Longtime Probation Department employee Kenneth E. Kirkpatric was appointed chief probation officer in 1968.[3]

Juvenile halls and camps

The Probation Department oversees the following three juvenile halls and eighteen juvenile camps:[4]

Juvenile halls:

  • Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall, Sylmar
  • Central Juvenile Hall (Eastlake), Los Angeles
  • Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall, Downey

Juvenile camps:

External links

  • Los Angeles County Probation Department Official Website


  1. ^ a b "Assessor". County of Los Angeles Annual Report 2009-2010. Public Affairs, Chief Executive Office. p. 23. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Los Angeles County Probation Department
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v History of the Department, Los Angeles County Probation Department.
  4. ^ Los Angeles Probation Dept. Juvenile Halls and Camps
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