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Juvenile Justice: The War Within
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EDITOR'S NOTE: For more than a year, Associate Editor Mary Hargrove investigated allegations of abuse and mismanagement involving the state Division of Youth Services and the delinquent children placed in its care. The results are detailed in a six-part series that started Sunday, June 14, 1998. Some articles describe sexual acts and contain language that readers may find offensive. For three weeks, the series of articles in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette examined what happens to children declared delinquent and placed in the custody of the state Division of Youth Services.

A laundry list of problems

posted: 06/14/1998 4:53 a.m.

A security audit of the state-run Central Arkansas Observation and Assessment Center for juvenile delinquents raises serious concerns about health and safety, as well as the attitude of the staff.

"Welcome to hell"

posted: 06/14/1998 4:58 a.m.

LIKE ANY 14-YEAR-OLD, David G. really knew how to irritate adults. As a juvenile in the custody of the state, he was obnoxiously defiant.

"Welcome to hell": Part II

posted: 06/14/1998 5 a.m.

As Warford attempted to sort out the O&A center, he turned to the center's Policies and Procedures Manual. It did not define specific duties for workers. But that didn't matter. Few if any of the employees had read it.

"Welcome to hell": Part III

posted: 06/14/1998 5:02 a.m.

On April 6, three Democrat-Gazette editors interviewed DHS Director Lee Frazier about a variety of DYS problems, particularly the abuse allegations and management problems at O&A.

In a room of killers and thieves, teachers see a ray of hope

posted: 06/15/1998 5:02 a.m.

HIS FACE is contorted in rage. His body's a dangerous vehicle about to explode. His 6-foot frame looms over the woman. She reaches out slowly and gently touches his arm -- and his heart.

Terror in lockup: Part I

posted: 06/15/1998 5:07 a.m.

HIS HANDS are what you notice first when he talks about it. Young, strong hands clenched together, the boy twisting them unconsciously until the skin is red and as raw as his emotions.

Terror in lockup: Part II

posted: 06/15/1998 5:10 a.m.

For Chris, the lessons began at once. He was in a world like no other, a delinquent in the custody of the state.

Terror in lockup: Part III

posted: 06/15/1998 5:20 a.m.

In B-4, things were not much easier for Chris. The boys all masturbated into a latex glove and threw it at him. They also hit him with a Bible and shower shoes.

Lawmaker: Hiring law not followed

posted: 06/16/1998 10:08 p.m.

Problems in the Arkansas Division of Youth Services stem in part from the agency's failure to obey state law, an angry legislator said Monday.

Juvenile abuse is scar on NLR, ex-mayor says

posted: 06/17/1998 10:07 p.m.

Former North Little Rock Mayor William F. "Casey" Laman called Tuesday for the city to do everything in its power to improve conditions at the Central Arkansas Observation and Assessment Center -- even if that means condemning the building.

Session sought to fix youth services 'crisis'

posted: 06/18/1998 10:05 p.m.

State Rep. Dennis Young, D-Texarkana, asked Gov. Mike Huckabee to call a special legislative session to address abuse and mismanagement at the state Youth Services Division.

Legislators to hold hearings on abuse of children in state custody

posted: 06/19/1998 10:01 p.m.

Arkansas legislators will convene inquiries July 9 into abuses of children in the custody of the Youth Services Division.

Huckabee putting youth unit out of business

posted: 06/20/1998 9:52 p.m.

Amid allegations of children being abused in state custody, Gov. Mike Huckabee announced Friday that he will close the Youth Services Division's Observation and Assessment Center in North Little Rock.

Youth services director grilled on changes

posted: 06/20/1998 9:58 p.m.

An angry group of legislators confronted Department of Human Services officials at a Friday meeting of the Joint Legislative Council.

Ex-NLR jail ending history as lockup for youths; agency to seek other use

posted: 06/20/1998 10 p.m.

State officials said Friday they don't yet know what will become of the Central Arkansas Observation and Assessment Center in North Little Rock after the delinquent juveniles housed there are moved to another location.

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