By CLYDE FORD
Staff Writer, Charles Town
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia is looking at spending $63.7 million on juvenile offenders in the 1997 fiscal year, including $23 million to out-of-state agencies because of a lack of in-state services, a state official said recently.
"I think it's clear there's a broad-based agreement the structure needs to be changed," said Scott Boileau, acting commissioner of the Bureau for Children and Families at the West Virginia Health and Human Resources. "I think there's agreement the state resources need increased."
Local prosecutors in Berkeley and Jefferson counties said the juvenile justice system is in a state of crisis because judges are sentencing young offenders to out-of-state facilities that are declining to accept the youths because the state has not been paying the bills.