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California youth prisons chief departs, cites health reasons

September 16, 2019 GMT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The director of California’s juvenile prison system is leaving just as the state shifts to a greater focus on rehabilitation.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that Chuck Supple, who supported the shift, is leaving immediately, citing health reasons. He appointed career juvenile justice employee Heather Bowlds to be chief deputy director and acting director until a permanent replacement is announced.

Supple was with the division for 16 years. He was appointed director in 2017 by former Gov. Jerry Brown.

The transition comes as the division shifts from the corrections department to the Health and Human Services Agency. It will become the Department of Youth and Community Restoration by July.

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Newsom is also considering legislation to discourage counties’ from sending youths to state lockups by quintupling their annual cost to $125,000.