86 Children’s Legal Rights Journal [Vol. 39: 1 2019]
place every two years.386 Judges387 and juvenile justice commissions also have inspection
powers.388 They will need to be familiar with the new law and specifically monitor the use of
locked room time as they exercise their powers. Juvenile defenders should ask their clients about
conditions in confinement and whether they have been subjected to room confinement that exceeds
the new limitations.389 If problems arise, they should move to change the placement390 or directly
advocate to resolve the issue.
Implementation will also call for advocates, youth, and families of incarcerated youth to
remain vigilant. It was their complaints that helped to bring the issue of locked room confinement
to public and official attention in the first place and their alertness will continue to provide
important feedback about how things are going.
Finally, policymakers must find ways to assure that the limitations on locked room time
are realized. They should enact a formal system for independent, ongoing monitoring of the
Division of Juvenile Justice facilities. They should require data on locked room time in county
facilities to be collected and analyzed.391 They should also support funding to train juvenile system
professionals and provide them with technical assistance on how to respond to difficult behavioral
situations in facilities.392
Juvenile system stakeholders must embrace the need for broader changes to the practice of
detention itself. Studies of juvenile facilities have concluded that overuse of practices such as
isolation are endemic in locked institutions.393 Many of the youth who are subjected to room
confinement have mental health diagnoses or behavioral issues that could be better addressed in
386 CAL. WELF. & INST. CODE § 209 (a)( 3) (2018).
387 Id. § 209 (a)( 1).
388 Id. Juvenile Justice Commissions are given access to juvenile institutions within the county or region and are
mandated to visit these facilities at least once a year. See CAL. WELF. & INST. CODE, §229 (2018).
389 Appointed juvenile defenders in California have an obligation to stay in contact even in the post-dispositional phase
and to represent the youth until a case is terminated from juvenile jurisdiction. See CAL. WELF. & INST. CODE §§
634.3, 634.6 (2018); Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 5.663. For national standard, see Lisa Thurau et al., National Juvenile
Defense Standards, NAT’L JUV. DEFENDER CTR. §§ 7. 1, 7. 5, http://njdc.info/wp-
390 CAL. WELF. & INST. CODE § 778 (a) (2018).
391 The newly reauthorized federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act calls for states to report annually
the incidence of isolation in juvenile facilities in the state. 34 U.S.C. 11117, Public Law No: 115-385, section
207( 2)(G) (Dec. 21, 2018). The text of the 2018 reauthorized Act is available at https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-
n+Act+of+2018%22%5D%7D&r= 1&s= 1.
392 The newly reauthorized federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, supra note 391, also requires
states to report annually on “…policies, procedures, and training in effect for the staff of juvenile State correctional
facilities to eliminate the use of dangerous practices, unreasonable restraints, and unreasonable isolation, including by
developing effective behavior management techniques. 34 U.S.C. 11133, Public Law No: 115-385, section 223(a)( 28)
(Dec. 21, 2018).
393 See RICHARD MENDEL, NO PLACE FOR KIDS: THE CASE FOR REDUCING JUVENILE INCARCERATION 6-8, Annie E.
Casey Foundation (2011), available at https://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-NoPlaceForKidsFullReport-