Diigo Post Excerpt:
Troubles at West Virginia facilities for juvenile offenders continue to mount, underscoring that state officials have a lot of sorting out to do toward improving conditions at its juvenile centers.
The shortcomings first came to a head early this year after offenders at what was then the Industrial Home for Youth in Salem, the only maximum-security facility for youths in the state, filed lawsuits. The judge overseeing the case, Mercer County Circuit Judge Omar Aboulhosn, harshly criticized the workings of that facility, saying too much emphasis was placed on punishment rather than rehabilitation. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin then in March ordered the Industrial Home be closed by July 1 and converted to an adult facility. The juvenile offenders were to be moved to other state facilities.
The governor also said then that the state would work to move another building on the Salem campus, the Harriet B. Jones Treatment Center, which is used to house juvenile sex offenders and juveniles with mental and behavioral issues. When word of that came out, many staff members at the Jones center quit, leading to staff shortages. And that has led to poorer conditions at the Jones Center.