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Md. defends jump in assaults at juvenile jail

SABILLASVILLE — The Maryland Department of Juvenile Services says a sharp increase in reported assaults at the Victor Cullen Center in Sabillasville largely reflects the larger number of children housed there.

The Frederick News-Post reported Thursday on the agency’s response to a report released earlier this week by a watchdog agency in the state attorney general’s office.

The report says assaults by students on both other youths and staff more than doubled from 20 in the first quarter of 2012 to 43 in the first quarter of 2013.

Juvenile Services spokesman Eric Solomon says the average number of students housed at Cullen rose from 39 to 47 in the same period. That’s a 21 percent increase.

Solomon says the center plans to install more cameras to monitor student behavior.