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News from the Director

Updated: March 2, 2004 and March 29, 2004
Originally Posted: February 3, 2004

As many of you know, a series of recent reports by court-appointed neutral experts have been issued which are highly critical of CYA. As a result, in a number of counties courts are considering recalling the cases of CYA wards to review other possible commitment alternatives.

Below are items of potential use for panel attorneys who have appeals of CYA wards and are either challenging a CYA placement on appeal, or are considering filing a W&I § 778/779 Petition to request the trial court to consider non-CYA alternatives.

Judicial Notice Sample. Panel attorneys arguing on appeal that the juvenile court abused it discretion in commiting a minor to CYA might consider relying on the complaint in Farrell v. Harper and the CYA reports (see links towards bottom of this page). Immediately below is a sample “Request for Judicial Notice” which can be used as a template for a motion for judicial notice of the reports and/or complaint.

778/779 Packet of Sample Materials. This contains a checklist of steps to consider in filing a 778 Petition, a discussion of the law concerning such Petitions, and a sample Petition. It also contains a very brief summary of the CYA reports. The Packet is available in Word Perfect, MS Word, and PDF format. Click on an icon below to download the packet:

Links to the CYA Reports. Five of six reports in the Farrell v. Harper, case no. RG03079344, CYA lawsuit brought by the Prison Law Office in Alameda County have been released and are available in the "recent events area" of the Prison Law Office website in PDF format. These reports, prepared by experts agreed upon by both parties, make important findings about seriously deficient conditions in the California Youth Authority in the following key areas:

  1. Mental Health Care and Substance Abuse Treatment
  2. Health Care Services
  3. Education Programs
  4. Sex Offender Treatment Programs
  5. General Corrections

The sixth report, services for youth with disabilities will be released soon.

Check with your FDAP buddy about developments in this important area of juvenile law.


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