Lawsuit accuses Woodside of harmful practices

By  | 

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) An advocacy group is suing Vermont's only juvenile detention center in a federal lawsuit.

Disability Rights Vermont says Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center in Colchester is holding children in conditions it calls "physically and emotionally harmful."

The lawsuit says children are held in dangerous restraints and long-term isolation. It also claims the facility does not give adequate mental health treatment.

The lawsuit is asking for the detention center to end these practices and create new policies.

The Vermont Department for Children and Families says it is in the process of reviewing the lawsuit and has been working with stakeholders, including Disability Rights Vermont, to review practices and "improve them when appropriate." It says it expects an expert's report and recommendations in the coming weeks.

Agency of Human Services Secretary Al Gobeille oversees DCF, which runs Woodside. He spoke with our Galen Ettlin about the lawsuit. Watch the video for the full interview.