BOISE -- Documents filed in a whistleblower lawsuit against the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections show what appears to be an inconsistent approach to investigating allegations of staffers behaving inappropriately with kids.
A group of current and former employees filed the lawsuit in 2012, alleging some staffers at a Nampa juvenile detention facility sexually abused incarcerated youths. Their lawsuit also contends that the department is rife with cronyism and that managers failed to take effective action when one juvenile was caught inappropriately touching another. A few months after the lawsuit was filed, the detention center's safety and security supervisor was charged with sexually abusing a child at the facility. The woman later pleaded guilty to felony lewd and lascivious conduct.
Department director Sharon Harrigfeld has said she's confident that the state's detention facilities are safe and that allegations of misconduct are appropriately handled.