Letter to the Editor: Camp Kilpatrick

Letter to the Editor: The Malibu Times

Dear Editor,

Camp Kilpatrick will be drastically changed with no input from Malibu. Councilwoman Farrer had an agenda item added to the city council’s agenda for March 14. That item involved the LA County Probation Department accepting very high-risk juvenile offenders into Camp Kilpatrick, which was rebuilt, just before Woolsey, into a quite friendly rehabilitative low security place. The agenda item was the last to be heard Monday, so go to the end of the video, and you can hear some discussion. It was added belatedly because the matter did not come to the attention of Mrs. Farrer, nor anyone else in the City, until very near the meeting. She appropriately had it added. There is a detailed report that is part of the agenda “package.” My understanding is that the Board of Supervisors approved Camp Kilpatrick for this use at a meeting on September 15, 2021. Such a use was originally proposed for a probation department facility in Santa Clarita, but the citizens there raised hell, so Malibu was chosen. I’ll confess that I am among those that do not review BOS (Board of Supervisors) agenda notices. So, I didn’t know about this and neither, apparently, did anyone in the city government nor staff. If that is our paid lobbyist’s job to notify us, we were not notified, but I don’t know what they are paid for. The camp is located on Encinal Canyon Road on the north side, approximately 1/2 mile from where Mulholland splits into Mulholland and Encinal. It is not far from the old golf course. It is pretty close to the northern terminus of Zuma Ridge Motorway, the dirt road whose southern terminus is the end of Busch. The offenders to be housed are being transferred from the California Youth Authority. That body can hold people convicted of crimes up to age 25. So, the “new” inmates could be young men as opposed to the juveniles in roughly the 14-17 bracket traditionally held there. There were formerly two camps, both with lower-level offenders (think joy riding, fighting with other gang members, and the like). They are not model citizens but, I hope, have a chance, with a little direction, to become good citizens. I’ve participated in volunteer work at the camps and started, with help from some friends, a writing contest for these young men. The new “admittees” will be, unfortunately, much more likely to already be lost. We are talking about the need for much higher security than presently exists. I’ve been inside. I could not have just walked out, but closer to it than I would like for a more dangerous inhabitant. If, as reported by KBUU, Sheila Kuhl just doesn’t care about what our city council would like, she will earn a place in the LA County Hall of Shame with Deane Dana and Mike Antonovich, both of whom wanted us swimming in concrete. Camp Kilpatrick is designed to save these young people before they become the type of offenders now envisioned as a resident. We’re talking the difference between shooting out windows with beebe guns and shooting people with Glocks or Saturday night specials. My personal preference is to retain Kilpatrick for lower-risk, lower-age juvenile offenders. [Disclosure: At Monday night’s meeting, Councilman Silverstein suggested that I be enlisted to review potential correspondence between the City and the County regarding the camp. There is no formal assignment to me at this point.]

Bill Sampson, Malibu