Disability Rights Arkansas Cites Mistreatment at Two State-Run Juvenile Facilities

UPDATE 2/14/18: The Arkansas Nonprofit News Network in Arkansas released their investigative report about the juvenile lockups in Dermott; the article is extensive, and cites conditions identified by Disability Rights Arkansas during monitoring activities.  To read the investigative report, which was published in yesterday’s Arkansas Times, click here:  Locked Away and Forgotten

UPDATE 2/8/18: The Division of Youth Services (DYS) has pushed back a plan to re-privatize the seven secure juvenile facilities in Arkansas, with the facilities continuing to be run by the State until at least July 2019.  DRA has been critical of the care the youth have received, both under the former private providers and under the state, with DRA attorney Thomas Nichols stating, “I think that it’s up to the state to do a better job caring for these youth in these very vulnerable positions.”  To read the full article, click here:  State of Arkansas to Keep Youth Lockups

UPDATE: The Division of Youth Services (DYS) has responded in writing to DRA’s letter of concern about findings of neglectful and unsafe conditions at two Dermott youth facilities by stating the findings have mostly been addressed or were exaggerated in the first place.  To read the Arkansas Online article about DYS’s response, click here:  DYS response to DRA concerns about Dermott youth facilities

To see the original Arkansas Online article about DRA’s concerns, read below:

Unheated dorms during record-breaking low temperatures in the state, mold-infested shower stalls, a lack of basic hygiene supplies like shampoo; these conditions persist at the Dermott Juvenile Treatment Center and the Dermott Juvenile Correctional Facility.  Disability Rights Arkansas cited these concerns in a five-page letter to state officials, stating the neglect “rises to a level of abuse”, and included pictures of the findings.  The state’s Division of Youth Services is expected to release a formal response Monday.

To read the Arkansas Online article, click here: Letter details mold, other issues at 2 youth lockups in state

To view the pictues, click here:  Dermott facilities photos