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Durham Leaders Want To Change Laws In Tracking Juvenile Escapees

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DURHAM, N.C. — County commissioners met with a delegation from the General Assembly Monday to discuss a proposal that would allow the pictures of juveniles to be released to the public if they escape from facilities.

Currently, authorities are not permitted to distribute pictures to the public unless there are special circumstances.

Last year, when three juveniles escaped from a Durham youth home, authorities were not allowed to release their pictures. A district court judge later ruled that the pictures should be released to the general public and the juveniles were recaptured the next day.

County commissioners said the new law would provide an advantage in tracking juvenile offenders.

"We know that that works because it worked before. Right now, the state forbids us from publishing pictures of individuals who escape from our youth home, and we want that [to change]," county commissioner Joe Bowser said.

Bowser also said that if changes are not made to the law, he may consider closing down the youth home.


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