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sponsors, they helped draft amendments that met concerns of other potential opponents, such as
the State Coalition of Probation Organizations.358
In terms of the state level actors, resistance to the legislation had centered on whether it
would interfere with what the Division of Juvenile Facilities considered a good resolution in
Farrell. There had been pressure to drop state facilities from the bill, but the proponents were
reluctant to allow that given the ongoing complaints received by the Ella Baker Center, and the
fact that court oversight in Farrell had ended.359 The state had also expressed concern about the
need for an exception to the rules for emergency circumstances ( i.e. natural disasters and
communicable disease), which was addressed in late session amendments.360 Ultimately, after a
series of meetings and discussions with Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation legislative
legal staff, the state felt sufficiently satisfied that the legislation would not interfere with the Farrell
changes or institutional operations to require their opposition to the bill.361
H. What Does the New Law Do?
The law that was ultimately signed provides significant guidance on the conditions under
which locked room confinement may be imposed in state and local juvenile facilities. It added
Welfare and Institutions Code section 208.3362 and defined room confinement:
‘Room confinement’ means the placement of a minor or ward in a locked sleeping
room or cell with minimal or no contact with persons other than correctional facility
staff and attorneys. Room confinement does not include confinement of a minor or
ward in a single-person room or cell for brief periods of locked room confinement
necessary for required institutional operations.363
The law provides that the placement of a youth in room confinement shall be accomplished in
accordance with the following guidelines:
( 1) Room confinement shall not be used before other less restrictive options have
been attempted and exhausted, unless attempting those options poses a threat to the
safety or security of any minor, ward, or staff.
( 2) Room confinement shall not be used for the purposes of punishment, coercion,
convenience, or retaliation by staff.
( 3) Room confinement shall not be used to the extent that it compromises the mental
and physical health of the minor or ward.364
358 Interview with Danielle Sanchez, supra note 307.
359 Don Thompson, California resolves long-running lawsuit over youth prisons, CAPITAL PUBLIC RADIO (Feb. 25,
360 Interview with Jennifer Kim, supra note 263; Interview with Danielle Sanchez, supra note 307.
361 Interview with Jennifer Kim, supra note 263; Interview with Danielle Sanchez, supra note 307.
362 CAL. WELF. & INST. CODE § 208.3 (2018).
363 Id. § 208.3 (a)( 3).