MacLaren Children's Center, also known as MacLaren Hall, was located in El Monte, in Los Angeles County. It was a residential facility for children who had been removed from their homes following abuse or neglect. It was a controversial institution with a checkered history of child neglect and mistreatment resulting from extreme overcrowding. The facility, opened in the 1960s as a temporary shelter for abused and neglected children, was closed in 2003.
Harry Bosch spent time at MacLaren in his youth after the authorities took him from his mother. He was there when he was told that his mother had died. He ran away from MacLaren several times and does not have many positive memories of living there.