DYA facility in dilapidated state

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Guam – Dilapidated office buildings and outdated locking systems plague the island’s Department of Youth Affairs (DYA), according to Director Melanie Brennan on Newstalk K57’s Mornings with Patti.

Brennan said when she visited the facility on Jan. 22, she noticed that the ceiling in one of the buildings was partially caving in. This part was covered in plastic to prevent the termite drippings from dropping onto the desks of some of the employees.

Brennan said an inspection made by the Department of Public Works did not deem the dilapidated buildings condemnable.

DYA is currently awaiting the Department of the Interior’s approval of the previous administration’s request for capital improvement grant, which Brennan said would provide funding necessary to address the issues present in the facilities.

Brennan also said the facilities’ antiquated locking mechanisms for cells within the compound force officers to use of padlocks to secure the buildings.

In accordance with the Juvenal Justice Reform sweeping the nation, the prison model for youth facilities such as DYA will end. Instead of a youth correctional and detainment-type setting, residential-type settings more suitable for youth clients will be implemented.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.