Table of Contents


Pine Grove California Youth Authority

Reason for Review

Penal Code Section 919(b) mandates that the Grand Jury annually review all prisons and jails within the County.


Pine Grove Camp is one of five mountain camps operated by the California Youth Authority (CYA) in conjunction with the California Department of Forestry (CDF).  

Wards are carefully selected; no one is considered who has been convicted of first degree murder, sex offense, arson, or who may be a flight risk.  The facility houses 80 wards with an annual budget of $2 million for the CYA and $900,000 for the CDF.  Part of the CDF budget also covers operations at the CYA Preston facility.  For the fiscal year 2000, the five crews (four CDF fire crews and one CYA community-service crew) compiled more than 136,000 hours of community service for Amador County, which is an equivalent of $782,000 (based on $5.75 per hour). 

The ages of the wards range from 18 to 25, with an average stay of 401 days.  38% of the wards have special-education needs (for learning disorders).  There is a special-education teacher to help this group, in addition to two other teachers on staff. 

Pine Grove Camp has a staff of 31, including 18 Peace Officers and two to three part-time staff members.


Members of the Grand Jury conducted interviews, reviewed pertinent documents, and toured the facility. 

Persons interviewed:

Documents examined:


1.       There are no fences around the camp.  Wards are under 24-hour surveillance, with a head count every 30 minutes during the day when the wards are active, and every hour in the evening, when the wards are asleep.

2.       Emphasis is on preparation for release.  Wards are taught work ethics and job-seeking skills.

3.       There is a youth counselor for every 12 to 15 wards.  Each ward participates in a minimum of four small group counseling sessions per month, plus individual sessions.

4.       Classes in anger management, drug abuse, gang activities, and parenting skills are mandatory.

5.       School attendance is mandatory until a high school diploma or GED is obtained.

6.       College classes are available.

7.       Crews are dispatched to fight fires throughout California; other crews work on a variety of projects in Amador County.  These projects are available to public, tax-supported entities only.

8.       Wards are paid from $1.10 to $3 per day.  When working on fires, they earn one dollar per hour.

9.       Each ward has a trust account for monies earned.  If victim restitution has been ordered, 50% of each deposit will be deducted.

10.   All wards participate in fire crews, community service projects, or camp assignments and maintenance for eight hours per day.  Classes and counseling are conducted in the evening.


1.       All staff interviewed showed concern and interest in the wards under their care.

2.       The camp provides many valuable services to the community.


No recommendations.

Response Required

No response required.