Expert: W.Va. should close juvenile facility

CHARLESTON (AP) — The fate of West Virginia’s only high-security juvenile corrections facility could be decided by the end of the year.

Media outlets report that an expert witness told a judge Tuesday that the West Virginia Industrial Home for Youth in Salem should be closed.

Paul Demuro’s testimony came during a hearing in Kanawha County Circuit Court on a lawsuit filed by Mountain State Justice. The lawsuit alleges that inmates at the Salem facility are illegally strip searched, placed in solitary confinement and denied adequate access to exercise and educational materials.

The state Supreme Court appointed Mercer County Circuit Court Judge Omar Aboulhosn to hear the case. Aboulhosn says he wants to issue a ruling by the end of the year.

The state ended solitary confinement at juvenile facilities earlier this year.

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