Improve Conditions at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility
  • Petitioned Victor Almager

This petition was delivered to:

Ventura Youth Prison Superintendent
Victor Almager
Director, Division of Juvenile Justice
Rachel Rios

Improve Conditions at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility

    1. Lino Silva
    2. Petition by

      Lino Silva

      Camarillo, CA

March 2012


The superintendent of Ventura Youth Prison heard you loud and clear. After the petition went viral, his blackberry buzzed non-stop every day with your messages of support for youth at the prison. An evaluation of living units validated the youths’ concerns. In a memo to all staff and youth, the superintendent says they’ve submitted work orders for needed repairs, such as exposed electrical outlets, broken toilets, and lack of hot water.

In the unit where petition creator Lino Silva lives, a plumber finally unclogged their shower drains. These mundane things we take for granted. But for imprisoned kids, these are things that make life so unbearable that they break inside.

Thanks for taking action! 

The facilities at the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility are unacceptable. I know because I've experienced them first hand. 

I'm starting this petition with help from Books Not Bars because its important for those outside of prison to stand in solidarity with those of us who are locked away and too often forgotten. We are inside the Ventura Youth prison organizing to try and make our situation better. 

We live our daily lives in unsanitary and unhealthy living conditions that include: 

• Water fountains that do not drain and hold stagnant pools of dirty water. 
• Toilets that are broken, leaking, or frequently overflowing. 
• Filthy showers and bathrooms in our living units. 
• Lack of clean and fitting clothing for us. 
• Air vents that smell of sewage. 
• Walls and floors stained with the chemical agents sprayed on us.

The conditions are so bad that we feel desperate. Some youth here are so desperate they are trying to get transferred to adult prison. The only way to do this is to commit new crimes and try to get charged as an adult.

We ask that the California Division of Juvenile Justice take professional and immediate action on these real, unsanitary conditions. Many young people have brought these concerns to the Ventura facility staff, only to get responses such as, "I don't have to live here, why do I care?"

I was put in solitary confinement for covering a light in order to sleep. Once they took away everything in my room, including my socks, because I showered for too long. They even refused to let me go to church or have my bible. I've witnessed guards beating youth already handcuffed on the ground, saying things like "let me get some."

As youth in the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, we aren't asking for special treatment. We only seek to have our basic needs be met. 

We're going public knowing we'll face retaliation unless enough people sign our petition to show prison officials that the public hasn't forgotten about us.

Please join our campaign in asking the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility to clean up its act!


Recent signatures


    1. DJJ Won't Let Youth Into Meeting about Prison Conditions

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      Imagine living in a prison with clogged toilets that overflow. Or taking a shower with your feet in stagnant water that won't drain. Then imagine that you started a petition on to change those conditions and over 10,000 people signed on in...

    2. Reached 10,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Kalen hannigan TIGARD, OR
      • over 2 years ago

      I spent time in an L.A. county youth PRISON and camp. I wouldn't wish that on the most evil person in the world. You become Sub-Human....

    • Nate Rogers OVERLAND PARK, KS
      • over 2 years ago

      Punishment has the opposite effect of rehabilitation. If the conditions in the facility aren't meeting the inmates reformation needs, then they will be repeat offenders when released.

    • Amanda Hodgson JEFFERSONVILLE, IN
      • over 2 years ago

      Basic human needs have to be met. I'm not saying lets give them royal treatment or even the fulle xperience of their homes, but they need clean and safe enviorments where at least they dont have to worry about life and death every damn day

    • Maryann Cassidy SANTA BARBARA, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      We're destroying our young people and our future to satisfy the greed of the law enforcement community, and creating bitter career criminals who justifiably have no respect for society through this type of treatment. We're funding this with resources diverted from programs such as education and job training that give them any hope for a decent life. Those who have no concern for the people incarcerated should consider that we're creating adults who will be in control of our future and be our caretakers in coming years.

    • Marian Nelson BURNSVILLE, MN
      • over 2 years ago

      Because no child should have to live in such deplorable conditions. Signed by an ex.Ventura County Resident.


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