W.Va. Officials Unclear on Fix for Juvenile Center

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 1/7/13 @ 10:10 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia officials and lawmakers alike appear uncertain about how to tackle problems at the state's only high-security juvenile corrections facility.

A court ruling last month condemned conditions at the Industrial Home for Youth at Salem. Circuit Judge Omar Aboulhosn called on officials to make serious changes.

But Juvenile Services Director Dale Humphreys told lawmakers on Monday that the judge didn't specify the changes.

Legislators taking part in the interim meeting also questioned how they or other officials should react. At least one lawmaker questioned whether the state should appeal the judge's findings.

Humphreys said he's hoping for more direction from the court at a Friday hearing. But he also said his agency is discussing a plan.

The judge found Salem's Building A too prison-like for children and young adults.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- The West Virginia Supreme Court is investigating the state's only maximum security correctional center for juveniles following a death at the facility more than two years ago.

Chief Justice Margaret Workman is establishing a commission to investigate the Feb. 23, 2009, death of Benjamin Hill inside the Industrial Home for Youth.

An autopsy and various investigations have not determined how Hill died.

Workman said, "I want to know what happened to this child."

The commission Workman will lead is called the Adjudicated Juvenile Rehabilitation Review Commission.

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