Assembly passes bill mandating audits of juvenile centers | NevadaAppeal.com

Assembly passes bill mandating audits of juvenile centers

The Assembly Friday passed its first regular bill of the 2009 session, Sheila Leslie’s legislation mandating performance audits of Nevada’s juvenile detention and child welfare centers.

Leslie, D-Reno, said the Legislative Counsel Bureau’s audit division will handle the audits of Nevada Youth Training Center, the Caliente center, China Spring and other facilities where youths are sent by court order.

The action came from a federal civil rights investigation dating to 2001 that found youths incarcerated at Nevada Youth Training Center in Elko were being abused. She said reports of abuse included punching and kicking the teens, banging their heads against doors and verbal abuse.

“Things have improved but we need to remain vigilant,” she told fellow Assembly members.

AB103 requires periodic reviews of the estimated 26 centers that take young offenders ordered incarcerated by the courts.

Minority Leader Heidi Gansert, R-Reno, joined Leslie in urging support for the bill, saying a “check on the system is very important.”

“We need to keep an eye on these facilities,” said Elko Assemblyman John Carpenter, also a Republican.

The vote was unanimous with Assemblyman Joe Hardy of Las Vegas absent.

AB103 goes to the Senate.

– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.