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YOUTHS IN STATE FACILITIES FACE NEW CODE OF CONDUCT

The state Division for Youth is establishing a new code of conduct to deal with what its administrators say is a new generation of troubled youths -- more hardened, disruptive and potentially dangerous.

"We want them to know that they can check at the door the same negative behaviors that got them into trouble, because they won't continue inside the facility," said James Cotter, Division for Youth spokesman.

"We want them to understand that this kind of behavior is not in their best interests," he explained. "It won't be tolerated within our community."

The rules lay out 21 categories of misbehavior that can result in punishment for residents of the state facilities.

These range from the obvious, such as sex offenses or assaults on other residents or on staffers, to less overtly violent behavior, such as tattooing other residents.

Cotter said the tattooing rule is designed to curtail gang activities and affiliations in the facilities.

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