Kearney Mesa, California - This is not a “scared straight” tour,” it’s a “cared straight” tour. But yes, you still have to keep your hands folded across your chest for safety purposes.

The San Diego County Probation Department and the Juvenile Court will be hosting tours of the Juvenile Justice Center facilities in Kearny Mesa on Saturday, Sept. 29.

The event is open to the entire community. Probation officials and staff want to invite everyone to learn what it is like for detained youth and what kind of programs are offered to help young people and their families that struggle with behavioral or emotional issues underlying juvenile crime.

Probation Department officers and staff will discuss evidence-based techniques and coping strategies as well as how a ward makeover has improved the morale of the detained youth, allowing them to better absorb positive messages for rehabilitation.

The free tours will be available in English or Spanish from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 2851 Meadow Lark Drive and usually last 45-60 minutes. Past open houses have attracted thousands of visitors including families, youth and school clubs, and other groups.

The Juvenile Hall tours are offered on one day every other year. The public will walk through a Juvenile court room, a classroom, a recreation room and living quarters. Visitors will also get to see the uniforms, communal showers, food and daily schedule.

For privacy, the tours will be routed through an empty unit and none of the detained youth will be visible.

Probation and community partners will also host booths outside to highlight community programs and resources available to families.

Visiting young people can receive community service credit. Reservations are not required. Probation and court officials prohibit backpacks, purses, cameras, weapons, food or drink and tobacco products on the tour.