In 1986, a group of plaintiffs filed the Jerry M. lawsuit in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, alleging violations of basic health and safety standards at the District’s Oak Hill Youth Center. The lawsuit resulted in the Jerry M. Consent Decree that set standards regarding services provided at the District’s juvenile secure facilities.
DYRS negotiated a Final Work Plan in 2008. The Work Plan established consent decree indicators and requirements that would release the agency from Jerry M. when fulfilled.
The overall structure of the Work Plan included 12 goals. Since the establishment of the Work Plan, DYRS fulfilled several performance standards, and in May 2015, the parties reached a partial settlement agreement. Five years later, on December 20, 2020, DYRS vacated all Work Plan goals and was free from court oversight and monitoring.
Mayor Bowser issued Mayor’s Order 2020-115 to establish the Office of Independent Juvenile Justice Facilities Oversight. This office will monitor DYRS secure juvenile facilities for three years to ensure that the progress made throughout the lawsuit will be sustained and continuously improved in the best interest of court-involved youth and their families.