Richmond Juvenile Detention Center to remain on probation

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The Department of Juvenile Justice (DOJJ) decided Wednesday night to keep the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center on probation until January.

The board had considered barring the center from housing young offenders entirely, but after considering that it would mean relocating the 34 juvenile offenders now held at the facility, the members voted to extend the probation.

Until the board meets again on June 13, Richmond will have to conduct an internal investigation into whether training records had been forged and present a plan for documenting training.

The board had originally placed the facility on probation last January after reports of malfunctioning locks and intercoms, inadequate video monitoring, insufficient fencing and poor employee training records.

Also in January the mayor fired Dianne L. Gadow, the superintendent at the center. 

City Chief Administrative Officer Byron C. Marshall said sweeping changes had been made at the facility, including a new management structure and training sessions that are now documented on video.

Robin Farmer, public information officer for the DOJJ, confirmed that a full audit will be done at the facility.

Over the next six weeks, the facility will undergo a full audit and have every training record verified before submitting a corrective action plan. Farmer said that the corrective plan on the training documents must be submitted by June 13.

Earlier this year, the head of the juvenile detention center was fired, and the city was given until April to fix unsafe conditions at the center– including broken locks, intercom systems, and cameras — or the state would take over.

The city, who had three months, set aside a million dollars to fix the problems.

A recent report said that all but a few minor items had been corrected.

Farmer confirmed that the internal investigation and computer issues must also be corrected by June 13.

Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Herring held a 3 p.m. news conference on the facility and we will have that coverage starting at 5 p.m. tonight.

Herring said he’s not sure when the investigation as to whether someone will be charged for allegedly forging those documents will be complete.

Herring also said his office will handle the investigation on its own, without involving a third party.

Herring’s office said that closing the detention center because of the allegations would be a bad idea.

The archive of CBS 6 coverage of the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center can be found here:http://wtvr.com/tag/richmond-juvenile-detention-center/

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