UPDATE: As of June 30, 2023, the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility is closed. Inmates will have been transferred to a county-run secure youth treatment facility.
Located in Camarillo, CA, the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (VYCF) (not to be confused with the Ventura Juvenile Hall) was one of three juvenile detention sites run by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). The state’s juvenile hall facilities were specifically for youthful offenders who have a record of serious/violent crime and/or who require intensive intervention programs in a maximum-security environment.
The CDCR Ventura Facility handled a male and female population, and was the only State-run facility to which female DJJ wards were transferred. The age range was generally 12 to 23, with a maximum age of 25.
The detention center was about six miles north of central Camarillo, and the address and phone number were:
3100 Wright Rd.
Camarillo, CA 93010
Below, our team of California juvenile criminal defense lawyers address these important topics:
- 1. Intake and Assessment
- 2. Communication with Inmates
- 3. Visitation Policies
- 4. Life at VYCF
- 5. Legal Defense Help
1. Intake and Assessment
Initial intake at this facility involved interviews and testing to assess medical/educational status and mental health needs. After the assessment screening was complete, an assignment was made for low, moderate, or high-core living units and programming.
Detained minors had an adjudication hearing (or “trial”) within 15 business days of their arrest, or, if the charges were very serious, were transferred to adult court. Depending upon the crime, sentenced juveniles committed to VYCF were transferred to adult prison when they turned 18.
2. Phone and Mail Contact
Residents of the Camarillo Juvenile Hall could not take incoming personal phone calls. You could have called and left a message with staff, who forwarded it to your child’s parole agent/case worker.
All incoming youth were allowed to make at least two free calls within the first hour. Thereafter, they could make a minimum of one outgoing personal call a week to family members and other approved adults. Additional phone opportunities were earned as the resident progressed through behavioral achievement levels.
In most cases, resident personal calls were made collect, although indigent youth could request a weekly free call. For international calls, family was instructed to set up a pre-pay phone account through Global tel.net, which provides for purchase of prepaid phone cards for inmates. (Call (866) 607-6006 for customer service help.)
Anyone could send mail to inmates at the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility. Each teen/youth was provided with two monthly stamps to use for outgoing, personal mail, and more could be earned through the level system.
Incoming envelopes should have contained your full name and return address and should have been addressed to the resident at their specific facility living unit. Material that is gang related or contains sexual or profane content was not accepted.
3. Visiting VYCF Residents
Visiting hours at the CDCR Ventura Juvenile Hall were Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Residents who had achieved the highest, “A” level status could receive visitors on both days, but others were limited to one day a week. It was necessary to call the facility each Friday to determine your loved one’s visitation availability for the weekend.
To visit, you must first have ensured your name was on the youth’s visitor list. Visitors could be any family member or adult who would not pose a threat to safety/security, but each must have been pre-approved by the treatment team. A maximum of five visitors, including children, could visit at one time.
Rules for visitors at this facility included:
- Having brought a valid government-issued photo identification for visitation. Minors at middle school level and up needed to bring their student ID or other photo ID.
- Minors must have been accompanied by a parent or guardian (and proof of guardianship was required.)
For more information about visitation at this facility, including dress code, you would have called (805) 485-7951.
4. Life and Health in Detention
The DJJ Ventura Youth Detention Facility provided medical, dental, vision, and mental health services for residents. In case of a serious health condition, transport was provided to the local hospital. Prescription medication was provided and dispensed, and special dietary needs could be accommodated.
VYCF residents were grouped together in housing units with individual rooms. For housing assignments, consideration was given to gender, age, risk of violence and treatment needs.
Food, hygiene and limited entertainment items were available for purchase through the “canteen.” Friends and families could have contributed funds to their child’s trust account for these purchases by sending in a money order to the facility. (No cash or personal checks were accepted.)
All residents were required to attend school full time, either to obtain a high school diploma or G.E.D., or to pursue college or vocational classes. Many Camarillo Juvenile Hall residents had paid jobs at the facility, and may earned wages to pay restitution fines. Programs at the VYCF included substance abuse treatment, specialized counseling, an “intensive treatment program,” mental health units, and religious services.
In compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), the DJJ stated a commitment to zero tolerance for sexual violence, staff sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in the Ventura Youth Corrections Facility. Instructions for reporting of allegations were provided online.