Joette Katz on Challenges and Changes at DCF
Our guest this hour, DCF Commissioner Joette Katz, was at the center of a public hearing this week at the state capitol in the wake of two reports critical of the state’s juvenile detention facilities.
Last month, the state child advocate joined Where We Live to talk about her report, saying that among other things, children in DCF’s care were being unlawfully restrained and put in solitary confinement.
The second report, by a national juvenile justice expert, and paid for by DCF, highlighted some successes of the state program, but raised questions about the adequacy of mental health services.
In response, DCF has put out their own action plan for reforms, including better suicide prevention practices, banning certain restraints, and better mental health treatment.
- Joette Katz - Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families
- Robert Kinscherff - Senior Associate at the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice and a former official in Massachusetts' juvenile court system and mental health agency. Consultant for DCF.