Community Experiences on Million-Dollar Blocks in Los Angeles

“At a cost quickly approaching $1 billion annually, more than 17,000 people are incarcerated every night in county jails and city lockups. But not every neighborhood within Los Angeles is equally impacted by L.A.’s massive jail system.” Million Dollar Hoods is an ongoing research project that is mapping the neighborhoods where the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) spent the most on incarceration between 2010 to 2015.

YJC in collaboration with the Undercommons will identify target areas for investigation using data from the Million Dollar Blocks project. After training YJC researchers in oral interviews, photography, and videography, researchers will collect interviews and produce videos and photos of impacted communities. The media will then be integrated into the Million Dollar Block maps.

Enter the “Million Dollar Hoods” Map Room to learn how L.A.’s nearly billion-dollar jail budget is largely committed to incarcerating many people from just a few neighborhoods. The first layer of the map, which is currently displayed, highlights in red all communities where the LASD spent at least $1 million annually to jail residents, amounting to a minimum $6 million investment in incarceration over the study’s six-year period. The millions of dollars committed to incarceration in these neighborhoods makes them “Million Dollar Hoods.” In some Million Dollar Hoods, such as Lancaster, Palmdale, and Compton, LASD has spent tens of millions of dollars since 2010.

The second layer to this map will highlight where the LAPD spent at least $1 million annually to jail residents between 2010 to 2015. The LAPD map is not currently displayed, but it will soon be added as soon as it becomes available.

Sign up for the @milliondlrhoods Twitter feed or subscribe to the Million Dollar Hoods Blog to receive notification when the LAPD map is posted and other updates from the Million Dollar Hoods Research Project.

KCRW (89.9 FM): Off the Block series

By: Kelly Lytle Hernandez, UCLA Departments of History and African American Studies; Youth Justice Coalition (YJC); Marques Vestal, doctoral student, UCLA, Department of History and the Undercommons at UCLA

Global Youth Justice: Defining Criminal Responsibility in Law and Practice

Professor: Laura Abrams, Social Welfare

Project Description: The goal of this study is to investigate the historical development and implementation of policies and practices related to age and youth justice. We will look at variation in definitions and constructions of age and criminal responsibility, the ways that these policies and practices are currently in flux due to discourses of neo-liberalism, extended age of adolescence, and neuroscience, and what these cases can teach the U.S. about de-incarceration. Purposively selecting four nations as case studies,we pose the following questions: 1)How are “children,” “youth,” “young adults,” and “adults” distinguished, discursively and practically, within global criminal justice systems? 2)How do state-level policies and institutional practices reflect these constructions? 3)What blend of political, economic, or social factors are driving changes and controversies in the policy arena concerning youth justice? 4)How do stakeholders, including policy makers, practitioners, and currently and formerly incarcerated youth view the effectiveness of these policies and practices in promoting youth well being and public safety?

The goal will be to delve into definitions, meanings, and formulations of strategies to address the problem of youth offending in locations with a diverse range of policies and services for young offenders. Four countries have been selected reflecting various combinations of the age of juvenile justice jurisdiction and the age of criminal majority. These four countries will include: a) England/Wales(lower ages in both categories, yet special young offender institutions for 18-21 year olds);b) Belize(low age of juvenile justice jurisdiction and low age of criminal majority); c) Finland (high age of both categories; child welfare involvement for youth under 15, and special provisions for 18-20 year olds); and d) Argentina, (high age of juvenile justice jurisdiction, low age of criminal majority).These four countries represent unique strategies and challenges in their approach to reducing peak age offending .

The findings provide insight into how the category of “juvenile” is conceptualized and delineated within diverse youth justice systems. Read the draft report on this study (paper under review: please do not cite without author’s permission): What is a juvenile? A cross-national comparison of youth justice systems