June 30, 2020

Victory! Alameda County Cancels $75 Million Plan to Rebuild Alameda County Youth Detention Camp

As a result of advocacy by YLC and other community organizations and advocacy organizations who comprise the Free Our Kids Coalition, Alameda County has cancelled plans to spend $75 million to rebuild its 100-bed juvenile probation camp, Camp Sweeney. Like many jurisdictions across the nation, Alameda County’s juvenile probation practices continue to criminalize children of color. Public data indicates that Black, Latinx, and Asian youth made up 100 percent of the population in Camp Sweeney and 95 percent of the population in the Juvenile Hall. While this is a significant victory – there is still much work to be done, both in Alameda County and across the nation. With the increased risk that COVID-19 poses to youth being held in juvenile justice facilities, we are urging Alameda County to release youth from the Camp and juvenile hall immediately and fund the vision of youth leaders, families and community groups to invest in community based opportunities and alternatives to incarceration. Next steps in this advocacy involve re-investing a remaining $10 million budget allocation for Probation to community support and working to free “all our kids”.