DA Diana Becton Issues Statement on Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall, Establishes Reimagine Youth Justice Task Force

Press Release


Martinez, Calif. – Today, Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton issued the following statement regarding the status of Contra Costa County’s Juvenile Hall and the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility.

“These are historic times and we have an opportunity and a responsibility to re-imagine our justice system so that our youth have a greater chance to lead successful and enriching lives.

I am forming a Reimagine Youth Justice Task Force, which will include county departmental and community representatives, that will study and make recommendations on the most effective ways to invest in our justice involved youth through restorative, community-based solutions, with an initial focus on developing an effective process for closing Juvenile Hall.

Youth crime has been on a steady decline over the last twenty years, reinforcing the conclusion that moving away from youth incarceration is in the best interest of rehabilitation, public safety, and fiscal responsibility. Research has shown that youth can be better treated and rehabilitated in community contexts where they can retain ties to family, school, and their community. Programming and services which are based in the home or in the community are more successful at holding youth accountable and positively changing behavior than institutional settings.

Despite the steep decline in youth crime and consequent reduction in numbers of incarcerated youth, the money invested into the operation of youth prisons has not been reduced accordingly. Data shows that the average cost per incarcerated child in Contra Costa Juvenile Hall skyrocketing to over $473,000 per year.

The Reimagine Youth Justice Task Force will make explicit recommendations for financial investments in community-based services for youth instead of investing in youth prisons which have proven to result in worse outcomes for our children and families. Such an approach will allow for critical re-investments in basic needs such as housing, mental health services, and workforce development as well as support the creation of alternatives to incarcerating children in locked facilities.

In the meantime, we should pause and not take any actions to close the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility until the Task Force has made its recommendations to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.

This transition is urgent. The Task Force should finish its efforts by the end of this year and make evidence-based recommendations for the process to close Juvenile Hall to the Board of Supervisors in January 2021. The Task Force will present a proposed timeline and transition process for closing Juvenile Hall and will identify alternative investments for our public dollars into community-based services and programming for youth. Implementing these recommendations will create a safer community and help youth get on the right track in their lives.”

Statement from Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia:

“I support District Attorney Becton’s efforts to reimagine youth justice in our County. We need to move away from institutionalization of young people and instead invest in community based restorative justice solutions which make us safer and are more fiscally responsible.”


Statement from Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover:

I applaud District Attorney Diana Becton’s effort to examine restorative justice alternatives to simply incarcerating our county’s youth. The factors that lead young people to run afoul of the law are as varied as the youth themselves. In many cases a service oriented approach will achieve much more in rehabilitating and helping them to become productive members of our community.”


  1. The number of youth incarcerated have dropped because your police officers and told NOT TO ARREST THEM!!! Doesn’t mean youth crime is down. Bunch of BS. These juveniles are getting away with almost any and everything and then when they turn 18 they think the same rules apply…but end up in jail because they are now considered adults.

  2. I would like to see where she is getting her information. Specifically when she states that juvenile crime has been steadily declining the last 20 years. Really? Show me the facts!

  3. Have the voters given California away? Have we thrown our juveniles away? Juvenile Hall has so many vocational opportunities for the lost youths of society. The ones that are unrecoverable are kept away from murdering, raping, and robbing society. People think through your votes this time.

    • Yes! Locking them up makes our society safer. They cannot commit more crimes when they are out of the picture.

  4. This statement was written by George Soros and she just signed it. She’s a puppet. This is phase 3. Phase 1 was getting puppet activist DAs into office countrywide. Phase 2 was not to prosecute criminals and use it as proof crime goes down. Phase 3, release the criminals. Phase 4, use the increasing chaos and crime to impose more control over the people and companies. Like gun control, BLM intimidating businesses, etc
    People wake up and vote all these cronies out before it’s too late.

  5. The people in these comments have obviously never actually had to go through the pain of having a family member or friend locked up for reasons that should not result in incarceration. At the end of the day, some people really don’t give a s*** about making society better, they just want to lock people up. As for people who really think that locking up youth makes us all safer, or that there really are any opportunities for those locked up there…look at our society right now? Is there zero crime like you say there should be by locking people up? No! crime was not eliminated by locking people up, because it doesn’t have solid effects on making us any safer!! the safest communities have investment–they got people with money and opportunities.

    • The problem is that not enough of them have been locked up! This Becton woman is insane! We need to get rid of her and that Glover and Gioia idiots. These people are putting society in danger!

    • Wrong, JF! As soon as they commit a crime, lock them up and then when more come of the wood work and commit more crimes, lock those up as well and make sure they stay locked up for a very long time.

    • Hey JR! Think of this! The family members and relatives of those who are locked up for (for reasons that should not result in incarceration) … should have raised the kid properly. Taught him right from wrong . . and what exactly ARE those reasons that should not result in incarceration?

  6. I think that this is a step in the right direction. Completing the study utilizing differently areas of expertise will help to identify concerns and focus on what will work for youth to get on track and be productive. To the individuals who believe it is right for youth to be incarcerated I can tell you as an individual who worked with youth and young adults with juvenile offenses, mental health issues, and addiction restorative justice does work if properly implemented. Racial disparity is prevalent in the juvenile justice system as well mainly black youth being sentenced to harsher sentences and juvenile hall whereas a white youth will get probation or a type of diversion. Not acceptable. Our kids are our future and people can and do change even as adults and certainly any youth who made a poor choice can surely learn and change. Please find out what the program is about by educating yourself before complaining and negative comments. Often people fear what they do not understand.

    • On sure! If that youth MURDERS your family, he will turn his life around? Keep on dreaming, Lizzie! Blacks commit more heinous crimes than whites do! The criminals need to be locked up and the keys thrown away!

  7. This “restorative justice” system is nothing but crap! If some ghetto sewer rat does something to me and mine, I’ll give him some “restorative justice” he will never forget!

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