Hearing scheduled July 10 in Salem Industrial Home case - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Hearing scheduled July 10 in Salem Industrial Home case

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A visiting judge has scheduled a hearing July 10 in Kanawha County Circuit Court to discuss conditions at the West Virginia Industrial Home for Youth in Salem.

Earlier this year, the Division of Juvenile Services announced its intention to close the Industrial Home as a juvenile facility and to relocate more than 300 adults there.

The change was part of a larger plan proposed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety to reorganize facilities under the Division for Juveniles Services and the Division of Corrections.

Court documents stated the JM "Chick" Buckbee Juvenile Center would replace the Industrial Home as the maximum and medium security facility for juveniles.

The Donald R. Kuhn Center in Boone County, court documents continued, would handle juveniles in the behavioral health unit.

Mountain State Justice, which represents two residents of the facility, originally filed the emergency petition for writ of habeas corpus and writ of mandamus in the state Supreme Court against Dale Humphreys, director of the Division of Juvenile Services, and David Jones, the superintendent of the West Virginia Industrial Home for Youth.

Since then, Stephanie Bond, superintendent of the Rubenstein juvenile center, was appointed as acting director of the West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services.

The case later was transferred to Kanawha County Circuit Court for factual development, and Mercer County Circuit Court Judge Omar Aboulhosn was appointed to oversee the case.

The petition alleged several incidents of what petitioners called "repressive policies" including confining the petitioners to their cells for long periods of time, using solitary confinement as punishment, leaving bathroom and shower breaks up to staff's discretion, requiring residents to wear prison uniforms, limiting contact with families and limiting educational and physical exercise opportunities.

Last month, the West Virginia Supreme Court announced that the Adjudicated Juvenile Rehabilitation Review Commission broadened its mission from juvenile justice facilities to all out-of-home placements resulting from adjudication of delinquency.

Working with officials in the executive branch, the commission also will work to have transitional services for youth leaving the system, such as adequate bed capacity at facilities and adequate attorney representation.

The commission was created in 2011 to look at the Division of Juvenile Services operations at the Industrial Home for Youth in Salem and the Kenneth "Honey" Rubenstein Center in Davis.