Report: D.C. juvenile program improved
The monitor overseeing a court-ordered reform of the District's juvenile justice agency said the city had staged a "remarkable" turnaround in how it educates juveniles in long-term detention.
In a report released Thursday, monitor Grace M. Lopes said the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services has taken a school once marked by a lack of certified teachers and appropriate services and turned it into a model program.
In a 53-page report filed in D.C. Superior Court, Lopes said an educational expert had conducted an assessment of the school over several months in 2009 and 2010, and concluded that the school was one of the "best" she had ever seen.
The Maya Angelou Academy is housed at New Beginnings, the modern detention facility that the District opened in Laurel last year for long-term juvenile detainees. New Beginnings replaced the notorious Oak Hill detention center.
The report is a boost to the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, which has been under fire this year in the aftermath of several high-profile crimes involving young people.
In her report, Lopes said with the progress in education the District had satisfied one of the goals set out to end its long-standing lawsuit over its juvenile justice system.
--Henri E. Cauvin
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