Agency details juvenile facility reforms after court order

October 23, 2019

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont state agency says it’s making changes at a juvenile detention center following a court order to reduce the use of solitary confinement and ease disciplinary procedures.

WCAX-TV reports the Department for Children and Families filed a memo Monday detailing pending reforms at Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center in partnership with Disability Rights Vermont.

After Disability Rights Vermont sued the state agency, a federal judge in August ordered the Colchester facility to make changes in the use of seclusion, restraint techniques used by staff and the treatment of youths in mental health crises.

DCF says it’s recruiting a clinician to lead Woodside and adopting a trauma-informed model to govern policies restraint and seclusion policies, among other reforms.

Disability Rights Vermont officials say that if those changes are made, it will be a substantial improvement.