New Chairman Appointed to Juvenile Justice Commission
Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Workman announced Tuesday the appointment of a new chairman for the West Virginia Juvenile Justice Commission.
Twenty-Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge Phillip Stowers of Putnam County will replace Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge Omar Aboulhosn of Mercer County.
Aboulhosn will step down as circuit judge on December 31 and become a federal magistrate on January 1.
The Supreme Court Juvenile Justice Commission was established in 2011, in large part due to concerns with events at the West Virginia Industrial Home for Youth in Salem. The facility was closed after a lawsuit claimed poor conditions and a lack of rehabilitative services at the home. After the closure, juveniles were reassigned to other facilities around the state.
Chief Justice Workman made the announcement at the Donald R. Kuhn Center in Boone County. Earlier this year juveniles armed with aluminum pipes at the facility attacked and injured several staff members.
Since the commission was established, housing juveniles in West Virginia has been re-evaluated, redesigned, and monitored, most recently with help from the Pew Charitable Trusts.