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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Probation Camp Will Be Rebuilt

BY BILL KOENEKER         

A Los Angeles County probation camp located high in the hills above Malibu in the headwaters of Zuma Canyon is slated for a complete makeover.
The Camp Kilpatrick replacement project consists of the demolition of all existing structures and the construction of a new  camp of approximately 42,000 square feet to accommodate 120 minors, according to county documents.
The existing camp, established in 1962, consists of 14 structures totaling 48,682 square feet and has a rated bed capacity for 125 minors. The project is estimated to cost over $41 million.
The new camp will have an administrative building (6900 sq. ft.), a support center (3400 sq. ft.), four individual cottages with open dormitory style housing for the minors (26,700 sq. ft.), an ancillary building (5000 sq. ft.) and various site improvements, according to county records.
“The overall camp redesign should provide all staff with a higher level of visibility of all areas used by minors. The design of the housing units will enhance the safety and security of the minors, staff and community. Existing probation camps, with their current building design and configuration, create an image of a jail-like environment.
“Under this old model, a detention ward fosters an institutional, rather than a supportive treatment oriented environment,” a county staff report states.
The camp, which inspired the 2006 movie “Gridiron Gang” is also suspending its high school sport program in January.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who along with his fellow board members approved the plans for the probation camp, was quoted as saying he and the board endorse the sports program and would be supportive of resuming the program in the future.
Troubled youth, ages 15-18, are assigned to the probation camps by risk level “so staff can target specific treatment needs,” according to county officials.

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