A federal civil rights investigation of Marion County’s juvenile lockup in Indianapolis has ended with an agreement that the center will be monitored for three years as officials work to improve conditions for detainees, reports the Indianapolis Star. The U.S. Justice Department had scrutinized the center for nearly two years because of concerns about issues such as violence and education. The agreement lays out more than two-dozen areas to address, with many provisions requiring action within the next year.
In 2006, criminal investigations and audits found unsafe conditions for staff and detainees, high employee turnover, and other problems. The settlement focuses on three areas. Security: Requires the center to maintain adequate staffing, develop better training and provide programs to reduce detainees’ idle time. Health and safety: Calls for the center to develop and implement fire, chemical, and other safety programs; maintain proper insect control; and ensure clothing, beds, and other items are cleaned adequately to minimize the spread of disease. Education: Requires officials to work with Indianapolis Public Schools to ensure that all detainees are served adequately. The center must comply with special education laws by hiring enough teachers, screening detainees and developing individual education plans for some.