When "Casey A." graduated from high school at the Challenger Memorial Youth Center, he couldn't read a single word on his diploma.

"He didn't know what a diploma was, even though he was handed one," Mark D. Rosenbaum, chief counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said Thursday.

"And when we asked him where he wanted to have lunch to celebrate, he said `Denny's' because there were pictures on the menu and that was the only place he could order."

Hundreds of youths like Casey A. at the Lancaster youth camp will now be targeted for improved educational efforts under the settlement of a class-action lawsuit filed by the ACLU and other public interest law firms.

The groups sued the county in January alleging the county's largest juvenile detention facility had failed to