BOSTON — The commissioner of the state Department of Youth Services (DYS) is defending the department’s “day pass” program after a teenager prosecutors say was out on a pass was charged with murder.
Because juvenile records are not public, DYS Commissioner Jane Tewksbury won’t comment about Ricardo Arias, who’s accused of fatally shooting 18-year-old Alex Sierra in the South End Saturday.
Prosecutors say Arias was committed to DYS custody nine months ago and was released on a day pass Saturday to attend a Red Sox game. Tewksbury says the passes are part of preparing youths for release.
“It’s been a very successful process in preparing a youth to return to the community,” she said.
Tewksbury says one out of three DYS-held youth are arrested as adults within a year of their release.