The newly appointed head of D.C.'s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services is reviewing all 900 juvenile criminal cases that fall under the agency's jurisdiction, sources told The Washington Examiner.

The result could be to place more young criminals in secure facilities that are already overcrowded, the sources said.

Robert Hildum's review of the files reflects a change in direction for the agency, which has focused heavily on community placement as a tool for rehabilitation over the past five years.

It comes on the heels of a D.C. attorney general's investigation in which Hildum played a key role as the former director the attorney general's publics safety division. The investigation was used to topple the agency's previous chief on July 19. An ensuing report concluded DYRS needs to focus its attention more on punishment to produce better results.

The Washington Examiner has reported that at least 10 DYRS wards have been accused of murder so far this year and at least six others have been murdered.

The report's No. 1 recommendation for the agency is that arrest information -- even when there isn't a conviction -- be included in determining a juvenile's rehabilitation path. Sources said Hildum's review is closely following that recommendation.

DYRS spokesman Reggie Sanders declined to comment.

By adding more criminal information to a juvenile's files, it is likely that many youths will be pulled from community housing and placed in secure facilities such as the newly built $46 million New Beginnings detention center in Laurel, the sources and youth advocates said.

But New Beginnings often has more committed offenders than it has beds. The facility is set up to hold 60 people, but late last month there were 70 people in custody when an hourlong riot broke out. It took a SWAT team to help bring the overcrowded juvenile detention center under control.

"[Attorney General Peter] Nickles wants more youths in the secure facilities so he can get support for more of those facilities to be built," said Daniel Okonkwo,executive director of D.C. Lawyers for Youth. "More secure facilities will support his 'punishment first' model."

Nickles' report on DYRS recommended two new secure facilities that would add between 35 and 50 beds for offenders.