When the VisionQuest wilderness camp for juvenile offenders opened on the campus of the South Mountain Restoration Center in 1992, officials said that although the young offenders wouldn't be fenced in, they would be heavily supervised to prevent escapes.
Five years later, after a steady stream of escapes, including 12 in the past two months, neighbors say they've had enough. We agree with them; it's time for a change in security arrangements there.
Camp officials originally believed that the relative isolation of the Franklin County site would deter youths from running away, as they had at the rate of more than 30 a year in a similar camp in Reading, Pa. Intense community pressure forced the closing of that camp, and many of its workers were transferred to the Franklin County facility.
When the local camp opened in 1992, director Robert Sobolevitch said that despite escapes from other camps, he hadn't encountered much local opposition to the idea. But that was then.