The annual average cost to incarcerate a child in Santa Barbara County’s juvenile hall has increased by 45 percent since 2012. Last fiscal year, the average cost per bed was $183,000 a year. (In Los Angeles County, the cost was $230,000.) As the number of juvenile arrests has decreased statewide, the average cost per bed has escalated. In addition, in 2013, the county shut down its South Coast juvenile hall. Last year, the average population was 57 youths. Four years ago, it was 95.


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