Juvenile justice panel back here next week

First Posted: 12/3/2009

A state panel investigating failures in the juvenile justice system in Luzerne County will hold hearings in Plains Township next week.

The Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice previously held hearings at the Best Western East Mountain Inn on Nov. 9 and 10. During that time the panel heard testimony from Luzerne County Judge David Lupas, who is a former district attorney; District Attorney Jacqueline Musto Carroll, and Chief Public Defender Basil Russin, among others.

Among those scheduled to appear before the panel Monday and Tuesday are juveniles whose cases were adjudicated by former county judge Mark A. Ciavarella, county commissioners, school officials, victims of juvenile crimes, juvenile probation officers, assistant district attorneys and assistant public defenders. Also scheduled to appear are officials from the state’s Judicial Conduct Board.

The hearing, which begins at 9 a.m. Monday, is open to the public.

The Interbranch Commission is conducting a noncriminal investigation into the circumstances that led to failures in the juvenile justice system in Luzerne County. Its prupose is to determine the causes of the failures, to restore public confidence in the administration of justice and to make recommendations to prevent a recurrence of a similar situation in Luzerne County or elsewhere.

Superior Court Judge John M. Cleland, of McKean County, chairs the commission.

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