"What we've always contended is that there's an entrenched culture at Salem that is difficult to change," MSJ lawyer Lydia Milnes said.
Milnes said the parties still have to iron out some of the details surrounding the switch. For one, it's not clear if the Chick Buckbee facility's potential "medium-maximum" security designation will mean that the two populations will be mixed.
"It's one of the questions on my mind," Milnes said. "I'm interested to hear what the division determines on that front."
Tomblin spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin said the Buckbee facility will not need renovations to accommodate the juveniles in maximum security who are leaving Salem.
Goodwin also said that Salem's female population will be relocated to the Gene Spadaro Juvenile Center in Fayette County, but that the details of that move have not been ironed out.
Aboulhosn commended the parties in the case Friday for coming up with a solution that saves the state from having to put tax dollars toward constructing a new juvenile facility.
Also Friday, Marshall University's Center for Business and Economic Research released a white-paper analysis suggesting ways to reduce the state's juvenile prison population.
A recent Annie E. Casey Foundation study found that, while national juvenile incarceration levels have ebbed to a 35-year low, the levels in West Virginia have increased 60 percent since 1997.
The analysis suggested that, based on other states' practices, West Virginia should reserve incarceration only for juveniles who have committed serious offenses and opt for community-based alternatives for youth convicted of lesser crimes.
The CBER report also said the state should expand funding for child-care and pre-kindergarten programs based on studies that suggest students who attend preschool are more likely to graduate from high school and are less likely to commit crimes.
"Too often short term 'fixes' are substituted for longer range but more desirable alternatives," the report said. "The necessary study should begin now. The State has the potential to create a better and less costly environment that should not be overlooked."
Reach Zac Taylor at zachary.tay...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.