Juvenile probation head to serve on state panel
Tim Hardy, Yuma County's juvenile probation director, has been named by Gov. Janet Napolitano to serve on a panel that will seek ways to overhaul the state's youth corrections system.
The creation of the Task Force on Juvenile Corrections comes in the wake of a federal report that outlined deficiencies in the juvenile correctional facilities in Arizona, among them understaffing, poor security and failure to meet youth inmates' education and mental health care needs.
"I think it's exciting," Hardy said of his appointment. "I look forward to reviewing the system, because we want to do what is best for the kids."
Hardy said the experience he had of moving his department into a new state-of-the-art building should lend itself to his service on the panel, which, among other things, will be examining the physical condition of correctional facilities.
The task force will perform two functions, one of which will be to oversee the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections in carrying out reforms in response to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act report, which outlined the deficiencies. The other task of the panel will be to advise the department on a broader variety of juvenile justice issues.
Hardy, a Yuma native, served as a Yuma police officer before joining the county in early 1990s as a juvenile probation officer. He rose through the ranks to become director of the department.
Several youth suicides in state correctional facilities over a one-year period prompted an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. The result of the probe was the CRIPA report.