Thousands Descend on Juvenile Hall

Probation officers show juveniles the clothes they would be required to wear at Juvenile Hall.Thousands of young people lined up, looked straight ahead and obeyed all orders today in what is just a glimpse of life for a detainee at Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility.

San Diego County’s Probation Department held its annual Open House, offering an opportunity to learn firsthand about the juvenile justice system, from a hearing in juvenile court through a stay at the detention facility. The experience was an eye-opener for many who attended.

 “We want to help kids and their parents understand that there are serious consequences to illegal behavior,” said Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins. “We work with the community to provide a variety of programs and services for detained juveniles to help them get back on track, but we would prefer that they never enter the system in the first place.”

Families at the Open House were also able to get information for young people who may be facing challenges at a resource fair featuring 50 booths hosted by Probation groups and partner organizations.  Almost 3,200 people attended today’s Open House. Tours were provided from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Probation Department provides a safe and secure environment for minors arrested and detained in San Diego County at its juvenile facilities. Last fiscal year, 6,342 juveniles spent at least one day in custody at Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility, with an average daily attendance of 282 juveniles.

For more information about the Probation Department and its juvenile programs, please visit