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How We Treat Young Offenders As Vermont's Only Juvenile Detention Facility Faces Closure

The outside of the Woodside facility.
Liam Elder-Connors
VPR File
The Vermont Agency of Human Services proposed in November 2019 that the Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center be closed in 2020.

Woodside, Vermont's only juvenile detention facility, recently hit a milestone: it was empty for the first time in its more than 30-year history. Now the Agency of Human Services is proposing to close Woodside for good. We're looking at what the closure means in the evolution of how we treat young offenders.

VPR reporter Liam Elder-Connors provides an update on what's been happening at Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, from recent lawsuits to court-mandated protocol changes to its shrinking population, which culminated last month in plans for its eventual closure.

We'll also hear from Marshall Pahl, deputy defender general and chief juvenile defender, traces the changing thinking and policies, in Vermont and across the country, around juvenile detention, punishment and rehabilitation.

And Christine Johnson, Family Services Division Deputy Commissioner for the Department For Children and Families, discusses ongoing juvenile justice reforms in Vermont and how the needs of juveniles would be me should Woodside close.

Broadcast live on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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