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Report Cites Security Failures In Md. Detention Center Slaying

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By Patrick Madden

The slaying of a teacher at a Maryland juvenile detention center was the result of "multiple systemic security failures," according to a report released today by the state.

Hannah Wheeling, 65, was found dead in February outside a cottage at the Cheltenham Youth Facility in Prince George's County. She had been beaten, sexually assaulted and choked.

A boy detained at the center, then 13 years old, is charged as a juvenile with homicide and attempted rape.

The Maryland Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit's scathing 27-page report cites confusing policies and protocols, scarcity of security equipment, staff shortages and fatigue among overworked staff as contributing to making Cheltenham "as a whole a dangerous environment" at the time of Wheeling's death.

The report stressed that more improvements are needed at Cheltenham to ensure the safety of employees and residents. Additional surveillance cameras to cover public space, as well as radios and personal distress alarms for all staff members were mentioned as examples.

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