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Proposed settlement calls for Rader Center improvements

Oklahoman Modified: December 2, 2010 at 5:19 pm •  Published: June 14, 2008
TULSA- A proposed settlement with the U.S. Justice Department calls for Oklahoma to improve safety and suicide prevention at its only maximum security prison for juveniles.

A 30-page agreement submitted Friday to U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell outlines 90 requirements to improve conditions at the L.E. Rader Center in Sand Springs, where 1,277 assaults were reported in a recent three-year span. There also have been suicide attempts and claims of sexual assaults among juveniles and inappropriate sexual relationships among juveniles and staff members.

The three-year settlement, subject to Frizzell's approval, would require the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs to ensure youths admitted to Rader have proper screening for mental health disorders, suicide risks and substance abuse problems. It also calls for implementation of a radio tracking system intended to prevent inappropriate behavior in bathrooms, sleeping quarters and showers.

The agreement comes more than four years after the Justice Department announced it would investigate the Rader Center after allegations of improper conditions in confining juveniles.

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