The District of Columbia has until May 10 to say how it will correct problems in its foster care program, characterized by a federal judge as a "travesty."

U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan on Thursday said in a 120-page opinion that the city is violating the rights of the 2,200 abused and neglected children placed in its care."The district's dereliction of its responsibilities to the children in its custody is a travesty," Hogan said. "Although these children have committed no wrong, they in effect have been punished as though they had."

If a plan is not submitted by the deadline, the foster care system could be placed under the supervision of a court-appointed administrator.