Juvenile director responds to lawsuit, says facility is safe

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The director of the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections has responded to a lawsuit from department employees to say that juveniles in state custody are safe.

Sharon Harrigfeld released the written statement Tuesday, saying that while government agencies don't typically respond to lawsuits outside of court, she felt it was important to reassure the public that the department's detention facilities are safe.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court earlier this month by a group of employees who alleged that a detention facility in Nampa was rife with safety problems and that managers failed to properly address reports of juveniles having sex or of staffers having sexual contact with juveniles.

Harrigfeld said she's confident the department's staff and procedures focus on the safety and protection of juveniles.