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Death at CYA

June 28, 1998

In his June 23 letter, California Youth Authority Director Francisco J. Alarcon states that CYA takes kids and turns their lives around. That's certainly what I was told. Instead, after my son received a traumatic brain injury in a fight, he lay in bed, dying, for 7 1/2 hours, without seeing a doctor or being taken to an emergency room. So I guess I'll never know what the outcome could have been if they'd had competent medical staff.

Juveniles fail at prior levels because there is little commitment to providing adequate staff for supervision, nor funding for programs such as intense drug and alcohol rehabilitation. If the system willingly spent the money to rehabilitate that it spends to incarcerate, fewer parents would be left wondering whether their teen is in more danger at CYA or in an out-of-state placement.

MARY SCHRIEVER, Cypress

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