Inspections find neglect at 2 Arkansas juvenile facilities

The Associated Press
Staff Writer

LITTLE ROCK (AP) — An Arkansas advocacy group found that two state-run juvenile facilities are in dire conditions, with pools of standing water in hallways, unheated dorms, mold-infested shower stalls and supply shortages.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Disability Rights Arkansas, which operates under federal authority, sent state officials a letter last week detailing its findings at the Juvenile Treatment Center and Juvenile Correctional Facility in Dermott. The group sent inspectors to the facilities on Dec. 20 after receiving anonymous complaints.

The group's attorney, Thomas Nichols, says the neglect violates health and safety codes and lacks common decency. He says the group may take legal action if conditions don't improve.

The Human Services Department oversees both Dermott facilities. Spokeswoman Amy Webb says a formal response Monday will contain steps to address the issues.