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Orange County

Grand Jury Finds Ways to Improve Joplin

Juveniles: Boys home needs full-time special-ed teacher, weekend nurse but gets high marks overall.

June 13, 2002|DAVID HALDANE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Orange County's home for delinquent boys needs a weekend nurse and a full-time special education teacher, according to a grand jury report released Wednesday.

With these and a few minor adjustments, however, the report gives the Joplin Youth Center high marks.

"We liked it very much," said Jenny Rue, an Orange County Grand Jury member and the report's primary author. "The center is well-run. We felt that they are really trying to help the kids and doing a good job at it."

The center, in the hills above Rancho Santa Margarita, is home to 64 boys, ages 14 and 15, in the custody of the Orange County Probation Department. Besides offering a disciplined guidance program, the center has a fully accredited high school.

The report recommended having a nurse work weekends, when the boys engage in sports and could be injured, and a full-time special education instructor for those with learning disabilities.

The facility already has nurses on site during the week and part-time special education instructors.

Other suggestions offered by the grand jury included hiring a clerk to help process student transcripts and scheduling monthly coordinating meetings between the center's director and various program specialists.

"It was more of a complimentary report than a negative one," Rue said. "None of these are major problems, but things that could be changed."

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