NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Department of Children's Services Commissioner Kathryn O'Day is defending Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's decision to close the Taft Youth Development Center in Bledsoe County.
O'Day appeared before the House Government Operations on Wednesday to answer a series of questions from a bipartisan group of lawmakers who oppose closing the juvenile detention center in Pikeville.
An overflow crowd attended the hour-long hearing, and extra security was on hand to limit access to hearing room.
O'Day argued the state's five juvenile jails are not full and that Taft is the oldest and least efficient among them. The other facilities are located near Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville.
Taft supporters noted the facility is the most restrictive in the state because it holds serious and repeat offenders.
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Bigom's sentence for the murder is life in prison; the additional four years is the abuse of a corpse.
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