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Judge enters order in Harrison youth home case

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. --  A judge officially entered an order Friday that requires a juvenile treatment center in Harrison County to shut down by Sept. 30.

Circuit Judge Omar Aboulhosn also set a follow-up hearing for 9 a.m. on Aug. 13 at the Kanawha County Judicial Annex to ensure compliance.

At a hearing Wednesday, witnesses testified about the safety of staff and residents at the Harriet B. Jones Treatment Center. Aboulhosn wrote he expects everyone out of the facility by the end of September.

In July, the judge also ordered the Industrial Home for Youth, formerly the state's only maximum-security juvenile center, shut down, as a result of a lawsuit filed last year by Mountain State Justice, a public interest law firm based in Charleston.

The Harriet B. Jones facility is on the same site in Salem as the Industrial Home.

Some of the inmates at the Industrial Home were moved to Harriet B. Jones in April, creating new problems, the order states. Aboulhosn wrote, "that the evidence that came before [the court] during the hearing was nothing less than disturbing ... ."


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