More California news. The San Francisco-based Prison Law Office, which filed a major taxpayer lawsuit in 2003 alleging abuse and institutional incompetence in California’s juvenile prison system, is now calling for the courts to take over management of the state’s Division of Juvenile Justice. The reforms that Governor Schwarzenegger and DJJ head Bernie Warner have promised, the public-interest firm claims, are not moving fast enough. According to this story in the San Jose Mercury News, the firm filed papers this week requesting that an Alameda County judge appoint a court receiver to take over DJJ operations. “While the receiver would not be in charge of day-to-day operations,” the paper reports, “he or she would have authority to develop new policies, negotiate contracts and fill numerous staff vacancies at the state’s eight youth prisons.”
Superior Court Judge Jon Tigar, who received the complaint that the DJJ has shown “utter inability to implement essential court-ordered reforms,” has not announced a decision on the matter.