Bellefontaine Examiner

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JDC passes inspection with 100 percent compliance

The teamwork of staff and administrators and careful attention to details have paid off for the Logan County Juvenile Detention Center, which has received its results from the annual facility standards inspection conducted by the Ohio Department of Youth Services.

JDC

The Logan County Juvenile Detention Center, 104 S. Madriver St., was found to be in compliance with 100 percent of its required and recommended standards during an annual facility standards inspection by the state. (PHOTO | EXAMINER FILES)

According to the report released this month, the Logan County JDC is in compliance with 100 percent of the mandatory standards and also 100 percent of the recommended standards for juvenile detention facilities. The inspection was completed during April.

“We’re just tickled to see the results of this,” jail administrator Lt. Greg Fitzpatrick said. “It was a really tough and thorough inspection. Our inspector left no stone unturned.

“I cannot praise our staff enough. If you walk through the center, it is amazingly clean and orderly and everything runs like clockwork.

“Everyone deserves a big ‘atta boy.’ ”

The facility that is run by the Logan County Sheriff’s Office with Sgt. Frank Gilbert in charge of daily operations also received the same 100 percent scores for its 2011 inspection.

During 2010, the facility was found to be compliant in all by but one of the 143 standards.

“The rules are constantly changing, and we have to stay on our toes,” said Lt. Fitzpatrick, who oversees the JDC and Logan County Jail.

“In 2010, we learned that we needed to keep better training records, and now we have a training officer for both facilities.”

Areas examined in the annual inspection include administration and management of the facility to personnel, training and staff development, juvenile records, safety and emergency procedures, security and control, food service, sanitation and hygiene, medical and health care and juvenile rights.

“A lot of it is a paperwork inspection to see that we have the right policies in place, but the inspector also interviewed two staff members about their knowledge of the policies and interviewed kids who are in the system,” Lt. Fitzpatrick said.

As for personnel, the report indicates the JDC has a staff-to-youth ratio of 1 to 6, well within the required 1 to 12 ratio. Gender appropriate staffing also is provided for youths.

Corrections officer Marla Stockton was one of the personnel members interviewed during the inspection. She noted that the staff’s annual training includes first aid/CPR, verbal strategies, suicide response training, Prison Rape Elimination Act, and local operating procedures.

The corrections officer also was familiar with the plan to deal with emergency situations, such as fires and evacuations and was able to articulate a plan to deal with youths expressing suicidal thoughts, according to the report.

During the physical inspection of the center, fire equipment was found to be in appropriate locations and properly marked exit signs and evacuation routes were evident. The state inspector also noted that fire detection and fire suppression systems are in place and a fire safety inspection is conducted annually by the Bellefontaine Fire Department.

Relating to juvenile rights, the JDC has a written policy in place which “prohibits employees from violating any civil rights of juveniles, which include, but are not limited to, the right to receive adequate and appropriate food, clothing and housing, the right to educational programming.”

A grievance procedure is in place to be used when youths feel their rights are being violated.

Incarcerated juveniles attend at least 5.5 hours of school programming Monday through Friday and an hour of recreational activity daily. Youths can voluntarily participate in religious programming conducted by outside groups.

A nurse is available to administer medicine to youths and provide for general care. Dr. Scott Costin also works as a health care authority at the center.

Overall, Lt. Fitzpatrick noted the staff members’ attitudes toward rehabilitating the juveniles can be easily observed by anyone visiting the center.

“Our staff generally cares about each of the kids, and you can feel it just being in the facility.”

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