OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A report by the state Commission on
Children and Youth says staff members at juvenile detention centers
in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties excessively use the technique of
room confinement to control behavior.
Jack Chapman, the commission's assistant director, says room
confinement should not be used as punishment but as a way to allow
out-of-control juveniles to calm down. He says once that happens,
they should be returned to the general population.
Lawrence Hicks, the facility of the Oklahoma County center, says
he disagrees with the report's conclusions. He says when the most
serious juvenile offenders in the county are in one facility,
"you're going to have some issues."
Hicks says the commission's employees don't understand when room
confinement is appropriate because they have not had the experience
of operating a juvenile detention center.