Pepper spray used daily in LA juvenile halls despite orders.

Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall Reverses Ban on Pepper Spray

When Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall reopened in July 2023, the use of pepper spray was banned, but it was quickly reinstated after a group of teens escaped the facility, leading to chaos and violence. The probation department had previously committed to phasing out pepper spray in all juvenile facilities, but the incident at Los Padrinos caused a significant increase in its usage.

Pepper Spray Usage Quadruples

Following the reinstatement of pepper spray, its usage quadrupled at Los Padrinos, with incidents involving injuries to vulnerable populations such as girls and youth with developmental disabilities. Critics blame a lack of de-escalation training and a punitive culture among officers for the reliance on pepper spray, while proponents argue it is necessary due to staffing shortages.

Another Phase-Out Plan in Development

The probation department is working on a new phase-out plan for pepper spray, after failing to meet previous deadlines. The department’s struggles with staffing shortages have contributed to the ongoing use of pepper spray, despite efforts to eliminate it from juvenile facilities.

Banned in 35 States

Pepper spray is banned in 35 states and seven California counties in juvenile facilities, with concerns about its impact on youth and the effectiveness of alternative de-escalation tactics. Advocates argue that the use of pepper spray is unnecessary and can have harmful effects on young people in detention.

Supervisors Unified in Opposition

County Supervisors have reiterated their opposition to the use of pepper spray in juvenile halls, emphasizing the need for alternative approaches to de-escalation and safety. Despite concerns about staffing shortages and safety, the Board of Supervisors is committed to phasing out pepper spray and implementing better training for probation officers.

Key Points:

  • Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall reversed its ban on pepper spray due to an escape incident.
  • Pepper spray usage quadrupled following its reinstatement.
  • The probation department is developing a new phase-out plan for pepper spray.
  • Pepper spray is banned in 35 states and seven California counties in juvenile facilities.
  • County Supervisors are unified in their opposition to the use of pepper spray in juvenile halls.

    The reversal of the ban on pepper spray at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall highlights ongoing challenges in the probation system, including staffing shortages and concerns about safety. Despite efforts to phase out pepper spray, its usage has increased, leading to calls for alternative de-escalation tactics and better training for officers. County Supervisors remain committed to eliminating pepper spray from juvenile facilities, emphasizing the importance of creating a safe and supportive environment for young people in detention.

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