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State workers union protests juvenile center staff vacancies

SABILLASVILLE — The Maryland state workers union says staff vacancies are creating dangerous conditions at the Department of Juvenile Services.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is holding an event Wednesday to highlight what it calls “an acute employee shortage” at the Victor Cullen Center in Sabillasville.

The facility in northern Frederick County is a high-security commitment center for boys.

The attorney general’s office says there were 21 youth-on-youth assaults and seven attacks on staff members there from January through March.

Department spokeswoman Audra Harrison denies that staff vacancies are to blame. She says the department meets its mandated staff-to-youth ratio for every shift, even when large numbers of workers call in sick.

Harrison says the department is working to fill staff vacancies.