Governor Francis Sargent appointed Jerome Miller as the DYS commissioner in 1969. Miller attempted to reform the training schools by implementing new and innovative concepts in treatment. However, veteran institutional personnel met his ideas with great resistance.

Frustrated, yet committed to reform, Miller closed the Institute for Juvenile Guidance at Bridgewater in 1970, and by 1972 had dismantled the Lyman, Shirley and Oakdale training schools. Facilities in Westfield, Roslindale, Worcester, Lancaster and Brewster remained. The closing of targeted training schools effectively separated property offenders and "status offenders" (i.e. runaways, truants and stubborn children) from serious offender juvenile populations. However, many high-risk youth had been discharged into the community without services or supervision.

Miller left the Department to accept a position in Illinois. In January 1973, he was succeeded by Joseph Leavy.



This information is provided by the Department of Youth Services.

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