Public Safety

Juvenile Hall Open House Set for May 19

No one wants to be sent to juvenile hall. And the only time County probation officers want to see young people there is when they visit with their parents during Juvenile Hall Open House.

This year’s open house at the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility is Saturday, May 19. 

 “We invite the community to see firsthand this aspect of the juvenile justice system,” said Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins. “Open House is fascinating to most visitors and eye-opening to young people. Throughout the tour, our probation officers emphasize the importance of positive decisions and the consequences of illegal behavior.” 

The annual open house always attracts thousands of visitors. After the tour, most young people say they’re resolved not to return as a resident. During the visit, the public will be briefly treated as detainees and have the chance  to follow the path of youth admitted into juvenile hall, beginning  in an actual juvenile courtroom where a judge orders the youth detained, followed by the booking process and on to the actual living quarters where youth remain until released.

Visitors also see the simple rooms, uniforms and showers that become part of daily life in juvenile hall.

Some 50 booths hosted by Probation groups and community partners will highlight resources to steer young people towards positive pastimes and behaviors.

The tours begin at 9 a.m. at the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility, 2801 Meadow Lark Drive. The last tour will take place at 1 p.m. No backpacks, purses or cameras are allowed. For more information, the public can call 858-694-4500.