COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice says it will reform its beleaguered central prison for youths through a federal agreement.
The settlement agreement announced Thursday follows a report from the U.S. Department of Justice that found state officials were violating the rights of incarcerated youths.
State officials say they will now ensure facilities are properly staffed, offer rehabilitative programming and revise use-of-force policies, among other measures.
Federal investigators say the agency has failed to protect youths from fights and forced them to spend days or weeks in isolation for small offenses.
The Justice Department says agency employees have also harmed children by using excessive force such as choking, punching and kicking.