Investigation finds security lapses at Cheltenham

Chronic staffing shortages and a dearth of security equipment such as radios plague some of the state's youth detention facilities, problems that extend beyond the Cheltenham Youth Facility where a teacher was killed in February, according to a report by an independent monitor.

The Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit, which reports to the Attorney General, warns that eight months after Hannah E. Wheeling was bludgeoned to death, allegedly by a 13-year-old detainee at the Prince George's County center, "All staff still do not have basic, essential security equipment at their fingers."

Marlana R. Valdez, the chief monitor, wrote that improving safety "is not about money, it is about choosing to make safety of staff and youth the fundamental priority."

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