Youth Detention Problems Being Investigated in Alexander

LITTLE ROCK, AR - An advocacy group says conditions inside a state-run youth detention facility include staff incentivizing youth to harass and slap other youth.

It's part of the findings of an 8-week report from the Disability Rights Center of Arkansas (DRC)that highlights the need for additional monitors and cameras at the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center in Alexander.

DRC cites a 98 percent increase in assaults on youth over the last year, culminating in the firing of an employee two months ago for assault.

"Those youth are troubled. We need to look at why they got there in the first place and eventually these youth are going to be coming out into the community and interacting with us and our children. As a state we need to do a better job ensuring that they're safe, that they're treated well and that they're treated with respect."

The Department of Human Services says it is aware of the allegations brought to light and will work with the disability rights center to address them.

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