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Consultant: Juvenile justice system on the right track

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BATON ROUGE- Problems like escapes and fights at Louisiana juvenile justice facilities have made headlines in recent years. 

However, a consultant from a state considered the model from youth reform says that is no reason to give up.

Former Missouri Youth Services Director Mark Steward said today reform does not happen overnight.  He said it took his state several years to implement therapeutic programs which made their juvenile justice system successful. 

Dr. Mary Livers says improvements have been made in recent years in Louisiana.  She says efforts in recruiting have cut down on personnel problems. 

Livers and Steward says the state needs to develop new facilities.  Steward says current facilities, like Jetson, are too similar to prisons.  He says it is not a good environment for the smaller, group therapy goals.

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