Camp Erwin Owen
Camp Erwin Owen, located in Kernville, California, was founded in 1938. This non-secure juvenile forestry camp houses 125 wards between the ages of 14 and 18 committed by the Juvenile Court. Camp Owen averages 450 admissions per year with the average length of stay just over three months, although it was designed to be a six month stay program. The wards length of stay is determined by behavior, prior history of criminal activity, commitment offenses, drug/gang history and academic background.
Rehabilitation occurs through a multifaceted program consisting of discipline, education, counseling, guidance, work experience, vocational training, athletics and a group living experience. The staff supervises wards working on crews assigned to the Camp’s building maintenance, care of grounds, meal preparation, agriculture, animal husbandry, laundry and auto shop. Camp’s focus has been a balance of a strong work program with a strong academic program. Through the Kern County Superintendent of Schools the boys attend school half day and work half day. Juvenile Corrections Officers maintain daily records in the areas of work, school, behavior and interpersonal skills/relationships.
On site mental health professionals provide substance abuse counseling and psychiatric services to the wards. Camp Owen enjoys a positive relationship with the neighboring community assisting in numerous community service projects. In turn, volunteers in the community play an important part at Camp Owen providing mentoring, religious services and tutoring.