The overnight staff of the DeKalb County Regional Youth Detention Center has been removed following a three-week investigation into safety and security violations, the Department of Juvenile Justice said Tuesday night.
Three of the juvenile corrections officers who were accused, including the shift sergeant, resigned their posts while their reviews were still under way, according to DJJ spokesman Jim Shuler. The four remaining officers, who previously were suspended, were dismissed.
“The shift supervisor and several of these night shift officers actually watched the youths enter and exit the detention center housing units at-will and without staff supervision after lights-out,” Commissioner Avery Niles said in an emailed statement. “This level of disregard for DJJ Safety and Security Policy is intolerable. We expect our corrections staff to strictly enforce our security policies as a priority of their daily duties.”
The Georgia Department of Corrections discovered the possible policy violations. DOC has been conducting DJJ internal investigations since the U.S. Department of Justice reported early last month that four state juvenile detention centers were among the 13 with the highest percentage of young inmates reporting inappropriate sexual contact with staff or other detained teenagers.
“The DOC Investigators determined the case they were originally assigned at DeKalb RYDC was unfounded and unsubstantiated,” Niles said. “But by being alert and thorough in their observations, the investigations team uncovered evidence of a night shift staff security problem which required immediate examination.”
Specific details about the security problems were not released.
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