Juvenile Rehabilitation Lawsuit

Teen's lawsuit alleges discrimination against regional correction center

A 16-year-old girl has filed a federal lawsuit accusing a multi-county juvenile corrections center in Hamilton of discrimination because it won't accept girls. A lawyer for the Hamilton teen says the Butler County Juvenile Rehabilitation Center offers services the girl needs -- but only to boys. The suit filed yesterday in US District Court in Cincinnati alleges illegal discrimination because the center provides education and counseling to "similarly situated boys" but excludes girls. The lawsuit alleges the girl's exclusion from the facility violated her constitutional right to equal protection under the law.

The girl, convicted in May of stealing from her mother's home, was instead sent to the state's only juvenile prison for girls -- the Scioto Juvenile Correctional Facility near Columbus, which her lawyer described as horrible. Officials at the Hamilton facility blamed budget cuts for closing its six-bed unit for girls.