05/02/2014: "DOC Makes Improvements At Girls School"
Filed under: Children's Issues,IN Judiciary,Juvenile Justice,Legal/Law,Local (NW IN) News
Tags: Bill Bruinsma, Department of Corrections, Girls School, Indiana, juvenile, Peter Nemeth, South Bend, St. Joseph county
Remember back in December when I posted this about St. Joseph County Judge Peter Nemeth? The story then was he refused to send female juveniles to the Indiana Girls School for a variety of complaints.
Well, today's South Bend Tribune is reporting the Department of Corrections is making some staffing changes that are encouraging to Nemeth. Specifically;
The DOC has announced it will end a two-year-old arrangement to house boys and girls at the same Indianapolis Juvenile Correctional Facility by moving the boys to a recently renovated section of the Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility.
Nemeth said he was encouraged by the DOC's announcement that a "staffing plan for the facility is being developed to ensure the appropriate deployment of staff."
"If they are actually doing a staffing plan... if it means more than just words, I think that is real progress," the judge said. "I applaud them for that."
Girls will be moved into the unit being vacated by the boys. The unit will house girls in single rooms that lock from a central control location, along with a special management unit specifically programmed for girls struggling with mental health issues.
"It looks like they are going to do what we want them to do," said Bill Bruinsma, executive director of the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center. "We'll have to see what staffing they're going to add in and what kind of programming they're going to put into it...It's a step in the right direction."
However, Nemeth doesn't appear completely sold on the changes,
Nemeth said he still will avoid sending girls to the Indianapolis facility until he knows more details about the changes, especially whether staff-to-child ratios improve. Instead, he said he is sending girls who are the most difficult to rehabilitate to a private juvenile detention facility in Vincennes, at a daily cost to the county of $138, compared to $60 a day at the Indianapolis DOC girls school.