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Disability Rights Vermont accuses DCF of violating settlement

Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 5:13 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2020 at 5:54 PM EDT
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COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - A group claims the Vermont Department for Children and Families didn’t change its ways and is still mistreating young people at the state’s only juvenile detention center. And now, they’ve filed a complaint with the court.

Disability Rights Vermont accused DCF of violating parts of an earlier settlement.

The group sued the state of Vermont for mistreating those with mental disabilities lodged at the Woodside juvenile rehabilitation facility in Colchester. The dispute was resolved in April when the state agreed to make changes to the facility and to better-train personnel in de-escalation tactics.

But the group says employees are still using forcible restraints to control young people with mental disabilities.

"We identified information that we believe demonstrates that the, the state is not complying with the settlement agreement and that that poses a risk to the youth that're held there, the youth with disabilities," said A.J. Ruben of Disability Rights Vermont.

The Department of Children and Families said in a statement they are committed to living up to obligations set by the settlement agreement in April and the safety and welfare of the youth at Woodside is the DCF's utmost concern.

We will be speaking with DCF Commissioner Sean Brown on Tuesday.

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