Steven L. v. Kern County

Steven L. v. Kern County challenged the policies at the Kern County Juvenile Hall and the Kern County Youth Facility regarding access to counsel, mail censorship, and the use of isolation and other discipline. The Youth Law Center entered into a court-approved settlement in May 1991, which resolved all the issues in the case, established an enforcement process, and awarded attorneys fees. The final settlement imposed significant restrictions on the improper use of room confinement or isolation and in the year following its entry these practices have been substantially curtailed. Similarly, the practice of routinely opening and reading mail has been eliminated. The attorney access policy adopted as a result of this case is now being used as a model in several other California counties.