Report: Juvenile Hall has improved
A Nevada County Civil Grand Jury report says security upgrades are still needed at the Carl F. Bryan II Regional Juvenile Hall, despite some improvements that have been made since a grand jury’s inspection in 2005.
However, Chief Probation Officer Doug Carver said Monday that many of the security issues mentioned in the report have already been addressed.
In a three-page report, the grand jury found that “facility security has been improved” since its visit last September, but the following issues remain a concern:
• There is not enough outdoor lighting to allow 24-hour surveillance of the recreation yard. The existing building code does not allow anything brighter for the neighborhood in Nevada City, Carver said.
• The single video camera in the recreation yard does not have a direct line of sight to all points in the yard. Another camera has been installed since the visit, Carver said.
• The area surrounding the recreation yard is not secure. A man mowing the lawn left the gate to the yard open on the day the grand jury visited; it is normally locked, Carver said.
• Hours and days of medical coverage by health care providers should be increased. Carver said a new bid for proposals for the coverage has expanded the hours from six to eight each weekday and two hours on weekend days. He also said a sentence intimating that medical treatment was done by nonmedical people was not correct and that the juveniles are always diagnosed by medical professionals.
• Eyewash basins should be installed in the kitchen and laundry. Carver said that will be dealt with.
Carver said there were other improvements made at juvenile hall since the grand jury visit, including internal cameras. There have also been staff pattern and procedure changes “for supervision and movement of minors,” Carver said.
“It’s a good safe, secure facility and is a tribute to the staff there,” Carver said.
Overall, “The juvenile hall facility appears to be well maintained,” the grand jury report said.
Other findings by the grand jury included that most juveniles incarcerated at the facility are there because of criminal behavior due to drug or alcohol use, and that most juveniles who are repeat offenders often “graduate” to the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility after the age of 18.
Carver said he did not understand a grand jury conclusion that said many of the juveniles in the hall were taking prescription drugs that were “inappropriately prescribed.”
The medical staff does not have jurisdiction over what the juveniles are prescribed outside of the facility, but it is closely regulated inside.
“We’re not seeing a huge number of juveniles with prescription drugs,” Carver said.
To contact senior staff writer Dave Moller, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4237.
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