San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Allen Nance today cut the ribbon on a new Merit Center at Juvenile Hall. This new onsite recreation center represents a shift to a new model for detained youth that emphasizes positive reinforcement and behavior management. The new center was made possible due to a significant reduction in average daily population from a high of 123 in April 2008, to the current population of 45 youth, more than a 60% reduction.
“For the past decade, San Francisco has implemented new ideas and approaches to reduce the number of youth at Juvenile Hall, and those strategies have produced incredible results that today allow us to launch the next phase of our juvenile justice efforts with the opening of this new Merit Center,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “I applaud Chief Nance and his team for thinking outside the box and finding ways to move away from confinement and work with youth to change their behavior so they don’t reoffend.”