by Dave Thomas
As C is in week 10, a habeas corpus suit has been filed appealing to the US Federal District #3 Court to release C from the confines of KYC naming Lawrence County CYS and Cray Youth and Family Services Inc (KYC) as defendants.
The Education Law Center, Philadelphia, has also filed suit in US Federal District #3 Court naming New Castle Area School District responsible for not providing education for C while incarcerated at KYC. During the last 10 weeks C has been provided no education commensurate with his rights in violation of the McKinney-Vento Act.
Conditions at Krause Youth Center (KYC)
C has been jailed since April 3, 2015 having committed no crime, nor has he been adjudicated delinquent in any legal proceeding. He is being punished by Judge Motto, Lawrence County PA Court of Common Pleas, for refusing Motto’s order to return to his mother’s home where he has been abused by mother and her family. C has chosen jail over living with his mother where he is likely to be abused.
One of the issues is PA law provides that incarcerated minors without criminal history are not to be integrated with those jailed as criminal offenders. Contrary to law, C has been jailed in an integrated facility by Judge Motto.
C, although in custody of CYS, has been denied any personal freedom, denied education, and denied pursuit of religion. His caretakers have even denied C a haircut.
June 3, C was assaulted by an inmate at KYC. Fortunately he sustained no major injury.
The habeas corpus suit has provided an insight to daily conditions C endures at KYC:
- he may not wear shoes, may not have a belt, no books, no toothbrush, no comb or brush or use of a mirror
- one hot meal/day with insufficient food resulting in inmates regularly going hungry
- mail is withheld by staff for days at a time even though regularly delivered by USPS.
- 1 hour/week visitation by a parent only; and under supervision of CYS–no private conversations
- incoming and outgoing mail is searched and read/and or copied by KYC staff
- he may not have visitation of family, friends, teachers, etc.
- permitted one letter /week, outgoing, which is commonly held for days by KYC
- windows are covered at all times so no one can see outside
- movements are restricted by staff including going to bathrooms and sleeping quarters, which are only accessible under the direct supervision of guards
- he is forbidden from moving around in common rooms; and may not move to a different seating area or change seated positions without first seeking permission from the guards
- he is forbidden to communicate with other inmates except with the permission of guards and within their direct supervision
- subject to random searches of his person which can include body cavity searches
- must adhere to a fixed daily schedule regimented by the guards which includes 3 hours of school, time to eat, time to sleep
- outdoor exercise is permitted no more than 4 days/week
- outdoor exercise facility consists of only a basketball hoop
- outside exercise area is enclosed by a high chain link fence which until a few days ago had inside and outside barbed wire atop. The barbed wire brackets are still atop the fence
- there are no indoor exercise facilities, whatsoever
- one timed 7 minute shower/day in one of 3 shower stalls—only one of which has hot water
- 9 “Krause Bucks” maximum can be earned /week for behavior and chores. 3 “bucks” can be redeemed for a dessert or a treat; 7 “bucks” can get an extra 15 minute cold shower on Saturday if you are in line soon enough
Violation of McKinney-Vento Act
The second Federal suit has been filed by the Education Law Center of Philadelphia on behalf of C against the New Castle Area School District (NCASD) for not providing education for C since April 3 in violation of the McKinney-Vento Act.
Judge Motto’s order remanding C to KYC did not address or direct C be educated in any way. KYC has provided no education commensurate with C’s needs as an 8th grade honors student. The only education provided is by a K-6 certified teacher in a one-room school house environment, 3 hours/day where students range from 10-18 years old. His instruction was 7½ hours/day at his former school.
McKinney-Vento provides states with funding for educating “sheltered” or incarcerated youth and mandates the local school district is responsible for providing their education. NCASD has violated the Act by not providing C or any of the other inmates an opportunity for classroom education to prepare them for further education.
Dave Thomas is a retired electric utility operations manager, has been married for over 50 years to a woman who has served as a church secretary for over two decades. They presently live in Florida after living in same Pennsylvania community for 33 years. He is a former member of the Rotary International, Chamber of Commerce, and various state and national professional organizations.
Although it is not a part of the story of C, this is another story about the corrupt courts of Lawrence County. And then, of course, there is the thoroughly outrageous story of Jordan Brown, consisting of many posts, but summarized here.
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