A rally focused on keeping Kenyon Juvenile Justice Center open will be held today at 10 a.m. at the center, 7625 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles.

Community members and workers rallying to save Kenyon say a plan by the presiding judge of L.A. County to shut down the South Los Angeles center and seven others would be a disservice to poor youth of color and their parents.

Supporters say Kenyon does more than just punish youth who have committed crimes. It is a community court that provides services to help young people stay out of the juvenile system and become productive members of society.

The closures are being done because the Superior Court System faces an $85 million shortfall due to ongoing state budget cuts.

Overall the court is proposing the closure of 10 courthouses and consolidating court services at fewer locations (for instance, to hear small claims cases in six locations, rather than the 26 locations where they are currently heard). In this process, 550 positions will be eliminated.

“We are witnessing the dismantling of the Los Angeles justice system,” said Judge David S. Wesley, presiding judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court.

“The sustained decline in state support for the California trial courts evidenced in the governor’s budget proposal will prove crippling to our ability to provide adequate access to justice.”

The changes are slated to take place beginning in June 30.