D.C. officials say security at Forest Haven center is improved

September 16, 1994

U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer said yesterday that District of Columbia officials have assured him security has been beefed up at Forest Haven, a district youth detention center near Maryland City.

Mr. Hoyer, a 5th District Democrat, said Dr. Vincent Gray, head of the district's Department of Human Services, has told him mesh wire and bars have been placed on all windows in a Forest Haven pre-release center where juveniles are being held. Also, the number of youths held in the program at Camelia Cottage was cut from 20 to 10.

At least 10 youths have walked away from Forest Haven since Aug. 6. The escapes prompted an angry letter from Mr. Hoyer to district Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly last Monday.

"We are making progress," said Mr. Hoyer. "But I will not be completely satisfied until the escapes stop and, in the unfortunate circumstance of an escape, community leaders are notified of the incident."

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