CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state’s juvenile justice system is being reorganized.  “The changes we’re making are positive changes for the division,” said state Director of Juvenile Services Stephanie Bond.

On Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Bond talked about the plan that will mean changes at most of West Virginia’s eleven juvenile facilities.

“Them (kid criminals) being in our facilities protects the community, but we also have a mission that we need to protect those kids while they’re in our custody and make sure they’re receiving the proper treatment for their needs,” she said.

Under the reorganization plan, juvenile sex offenders will be moved out of the Harriet B. Jones Treatment Center in Harrison County and into the Sam Perdue Treatment Center in Mercer County.

Juveniles with behavioral or mental issues will be treated at the James “Tiger” Morton Juvenile Center in Kanawha County.

More than $2 million will be spent in upgrades at the Donald R. Kuhn Juvenile Center in Boone County in the coming year to turn it into a maximum security facility for juvenile offenders.

Offenders needing medium or maximum security will continue to be temporarily housed at the J.M. “Chick” Buckbee Juvenile Center in Hampshire County.

Following a lawsuit from Mountain State Justice alleging a number of facility problems, Mercer County Circuit Judge Omar Aboulhosn called for the closure of the Salem Industrial Home for Youth and has given the state until September 30 to move kids out of the Harriet B. Jones Treatment Center.

“We’re trying to do that in the most cost effective manner, but still taking care of these kids in the appropriate way,” said Bond of the reorganization efforts that started with those rulings.

“The best way we found to do that was to reutilize some of our current facilities.”

A status hearing on the judge’s orders is scheduled for Tuesday, August 13.

“The bottom line is, we’re going to take care of the kids that are in our custody,” said Bond.  “We’re going to do everything that we can to help them so when they are released from our custody they’re law abiding, productive citizens.”

The former Salem Industrial Home for Youth will reopen, later this year, as a correctional center for adults.

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Comments

  • justme

    been there was close lawsuit was never defended by the state they just wanted the facility so it could be turned into an adult prison once the lawsuit happened there was no accountability by the state residents received no punishment for anything they did residents were being released early just to get them out (Don't understand why there was no protest from the victims) much of the problem was the low pay which caused problems hiring good people and smart people Joe Thornton said no one would lose there jobs their has been more then 20 people on the education staff lose their jobs which by the way was the only positive thing at the facility when the lawsuit investigation was done the workers that caused all the problems just signed on with DOC and keep there jobs the Director of the HB Jones Building had a second lawsuit brought against him and his staff he is now helping run the new Salem Correctional Center and the bad thing is all these news outlets report all this crap without really looking into it themselves and finding the real truth

  • been thier

    i worked at the max prison in salem both before and after the law suit before thier was structure and accountable for thier actions wich in turns rehabilitatated them. after thier was no consequences and no respect for staff kids would reply f you what are you gonna do write me up so what a kid could assult a staff member and only be put in a secured room for no more then 15 min and once he was admendable to direction he had to be let out becouse of the ruling in the law suit. wich ment the kid was back out of his room playing xbox and games with those that did what they were supposed to.

    • NorthernWVman

      Apparently grammer was not a prerequisite for being hired. Just know how to beat down a kid and you got a job? I do not believe that is the case, therefore I do not believe you really worked there.

      • Mountain Man

        Was you there? Was your son there? If you wasn't there you do not really know anything POS. Semper Fi

      • been thier

        see northern thats what you thought we did was beat kids its pansey like you that are the reason children are the way they are today you think that disapline is child abuse or that your are the type of person who thinks that they would rather their child do drugs in front of them other than hide it from them thinkn that cuse you let them do it n front you its ok else where or that they wont

        • Mountain Man

          Some of us may not have the greatest grammar, but we do what is expected of us. These juveniles have put staff in the hospitals from attacks, yet they have more rights than our service men and women do fighting for this country. These juveniles are not held accountable for their actions. I have not seen one occasion where staff beat a juvenile. The lawsuit ended a lot of good things for these juveniles, like REAP( they could choose to work and earn money provided their behavior and grades were up to par; no other facility had a program like that) and education. At the schools they had testing for ACT, GED, and ASVAB available to them. They had various vocational courses available to them like HVAC, Plumping, and carpentry. So they lawsuit allowed the juveniles to not be accountable for their actions in the facility, coddled them, took away much of the vocational studies since many facilities are lucky to have a single teacher, took the jobs of 20-some fine educators, and eliminated a great program that rehabilitated juveniles and helped learn how to be productive citizens.

      • Debra

        Spot on Northern.

  • Rich

    I worked in one of these facilities for over 5 years and have 15 years exp. with at risk youth, trust me these kids are coddled. If you are going to commit "adult crimes" then you shouldn't be "saved" by being judged/housed as a juvenile. You can't have it both ways

  • ShinnstonGuy

    "Maximum security center" for juveniles. If the kids are that bad, then "off with their heads." You can't "correct" anyone that is locked up in a maximum security prison.

    • Blue line supporter

      You, sir, are highly opinionated regarding something that you don't seem to have much knowledge about. I am a staunch supporter of correction and rehabilitative efforts made by DOC and DJS to curb future crimes and subsequently victims of those crimes. Shame on you for even considering the death penalty for juvenile offenders. Instead of focusing all of your efforts on the punishment perhaps your time would be better served working with at-risk youth as a positive role model. The power to change starts with kindness, discipline, compassion and tough love not reactionary punishment.