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NORCOR Juvenile Center Says Reports Of 'Psychological Harm' Are Exaggerated

<p>NORCOR is making changes as a result of the report. These include: journals and flex pens will be allowed in rooms; the rules stopping youth from looking around or asking the time are being eliminated; and visits and phone calls won&rsquo;t be suspended during disciplinary actions.</p>

Disability Rights Project

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NORCOR is making changes as a result of the report. These include: journals and flex pens will be allowed in rooms; the rules stopping youth from looking around or asking the time are being eliminated; and visits and phone calls won’t be suspended during disciplinary actions.

The Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities issued a letter Friday saying reports the juvenile detention center is “psychologically harmful" are exaggerated.

A report from Disability Rights Oregon earlier this month found NORCOR deprived children of human contact and the tools for healthy development.

 acknowledges there are areas it needs to improve. But it said the report was inaccurate and exaggerated.

Several jurisdictions stopped sending children to the facility in The Dalles after the report. Benjamin Chambers with the Oregon Youth Authority said he’s not sure when they’ll start sending kids back.

“We’re glad to see the letter. But we will need more time to coordinate our response,” he said.

The detention center says it has made changes since the report. It no longer removes books from children's rooms as a disciplinary tool; it has increased the amount of time kids are allowed to socialize; and it’ll now allow kids to look around or ask what time it is.

Disability Rights Oregon issued a statement saying, "We stand by the findings of our Report."

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.