"That has disturbed many people who are familiar with the operations at Salem," Canterbury said.
Juvenile Services Deputy Director Denny Dodson said the partial settlement came about because of good cooperation between his agency and lawyers from Mountain State Justice. The legal aid firm represents two Salem inmates identified only as "D.L." and "K.P."
Their lawsuit alleges, among other things, that Salem residents are illegally locked in solitary confinement, strip-searched and denied access to educational material.
Additional hearings are scheduled for November but the Monday settlement order resolved many issues.
"This order is significant in that we have positive outcomes that I feel will surely come about because of two sides — two sides becoming one side, in fact — working together to make changes that can be agreed upon," Dodson said.
Cindy Largent-Hill, a former director of the Division of Juvenile Services, was hired earlier this year by the Supreme Court to review the juvenile services division's operations.
She was not involved in the settlement and had not read it or the expert's report until Tuesday. But she said its findings jibed with concerns she and a separate court-appointed commission had also found. She is expected to help prepare an additional report on conditions in juvenile facilities in coming months. That report could raise additional issues.
Right now, Largent-Hill said there's doubt about whether Salem residents receive any face-to-face psychiatric services or whether services are provided by some kind of teleconference.
"I've got conflicting information if a psychiatrist actually goes to the Industrial Home," she said.
Canterbury said the state needed to work on rehabilitating troubled youth. Otherwise, they turn into troubled adults.
"Make no mistake, every incarcerated person — juvenile or adult — who ends up simply going back into an institution is not just a statistic under recidivism, but that person is a failed investment of taxpayer dollars," Canterbury said.
"We invest to try to turn these lives around; when it fails, it's literally a failure of taxpayer investment. It's a failed investment. It comes up short. You've just got to bleed more money into it."