Massachusetts lawmakers are outraged following reports that the state’s Department of Youth Services (DYS) refuses to report assaults on staffers by juvenile offenders. A new bill before the Legislature could change all that, according to a report by the Boston Herald. The measure would require DYS officials to report all assaults on staff members to prosecutors or state law enforcement in order to pursue charges.
State Rep. Thomas Golden (D), the author of the legislation, said DYS officials have even tried to convince staff members not to report violent assaults to police. A spokeswoman for the agency said they were not aware of any such instances.
Under the current law, it’s the responsibility of the individual staffer to pursue charges. Critics claim the present law places the reporting staffer in a precarious position, increasing the likelihood of an assault or retaliation.
Juvenile offenders who attack a staff member could face a range of consequences from being assigned an individual therapist to being relocated to a different facility, the Herald reports.
Read the full story from the Boston Herald.