Serious juvenile offenders to be housed at Camp Kilpatrick May 1

Athletic fields at Camp Kilpatrick (above) have gone unused since 2012, when the probation camp’s sports program was cut due to budget shortfalls. A $48 million rebuild and renovation of the camp is expected to drastically change the way young inmates are rehabilited by housing them in smaller groups. 

Youths currently housed in California State prisons will soon be moving into Camp Kilpatrick located in the hills above Malibu. The controversial decision to relocate serious juvenile offenders was made this week by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The juveniles slated to move into the Malibu area facility have been incarcerated for crimes including burglary, assault and murder. They will be relocated from the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar. 

The supervisors made the decision after the announcement that California state prisons will no longer be accepting teenaged convicts. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, whose 3rd District covers Malibu, voted to use Camp Kilpatrick rather than converting the currently used Nidorf center into a centralized youth facility. State regulators identified the Nidorf detention center as “unsuitable for the confinement of youth” with deplorable conditions.

Malibu City Councilmember Karen Farrer, who also serves as president of the Las Virgenes-Malibu Council of Governments, representing Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Westlake Village and Malibu, opposes the repurposing of the camp. On March 14, Farrer made a motion to send a letter in opposition to the Board of Supervisors. Her motion did not pass. The LVMCOG did let the supervisors know of its opposition, but the board advanced the plan.

Kilpatrick’s new residents will start arriving May 1. Kuehl stated in a letter that the number of people added will not exceed more than a few dozen. 

Farrer and other Malibu residents opposed to the new Kilpatrick plan have questioned the design and preparation for the camp to house serious offenders. Camp Kilpatrick saw a $53 million renovation in 2017, however it was not designed as what is identified as a Serious Youth Track Facility.