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Different Strategy in Play at Detention Center

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Today, Cook County’s long-troubled Juvenile Temporary Detention Center inaugurated a new program meant to improve how guards and residents interact.

Juvenile center administrators held a reception honoring the staff who took part in six weeks of training for the new program. The idea of it is that they will work over time with the same residents. Usually guards don’t consistently work in the same section of the five-floor facility. Earl Dunlap has led the juvenile center for the past year. He says big changes have been needed at the center.

DUNLAP: We started this journey, we’ve come to our first bridge, we built the bridge and we’re going forward. This group of people we brought on are energy and excitement and I think we got a real shot at making a difference.

Dunlap says eventually the whole center will be staffed using this model, which he expects will take a year to implement. The juvenile center has long been plagued by accusations of mismangement and staff abuse of young people.

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