The superintendent of California’s most notorious youth prison is being removed for using unreasonable force against an inmate and failing to report the incident, reports the Associated Press. Steve Kruse, superintendent at the N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton, has been on administrative leave since shortly after the May 27 incident. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether inmates’ civil rights are being violated. “This place is just in complete upheaval, and it has been for a long time,” said Belinda Griswold of the reform group Books Not Bars.
Bernard Warner, who took over Monday as the state’s new juvenile justice director, toured the facility yesterday as he considers whether to close the center as critics recommend. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is scheduled today to submit its response to a scathing report this spring by the prison system’s independent inspector general. In a news report, the inspector general found that Kruse grabbed a handcuffed inmate’s hair and jaw as he was being escorted to another living unit after a fight involving 44 youths at the prison. Though the boy was struggling with escorts and Kruse said he believed he was using reasonable force in line with department policy, investigators concluded he was already safely under control.