DYS Defends Day Pass After Teen’s Murder

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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.

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  • Imagemaker

    I’ll bet if a cop was shot instead of a random 18 year old , the program would be under tighter scrutiny.

  • gardenia

    What in the world were they thinking when they gave this kid a day pass?  I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison.  Day passes may be appropiate for some kids but maybe DYS has to be much more careful and astute.

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