California is on the verge of phasing out its state-operated juvenile prison system.
The move is hailed by reform advocates and criticized by counties that would assume responsibility for some of the state’s most violent criminal youth.
The bill generally follows Gov. Gavin Newsom's latest plan to unravel the Division of Juvenile Justice, which houses about 750 youths. But legislators added what advocates said are needed safeguards and standards for the hundreds of millions of dollars that would eventually flow to counties to house and treat youths.
Counties say those restrictions hobble their ability to provide proper care.
The legislation was passed just before the Legislature ended its session this week.