Names released of YDC employees fired, demoted in November inmate beating death

Employees who were fired and demoted at Augusta Youth Development Campus last week in the fallout from the death of an inmate in November have been identified.

Fired were Natasha Neeley and Christopher Cann, both corrections officers, and counselor Sharon Taylor, according to an e-mail from Emily Gest, the director of communications of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Two assistant directors, Paul Cloutier and Kendra Strowbridge, were demoted and offered transfers. Gest did not know what position they were demoted to, or to where they were offered to transfer.

DJJ Commissioner Gale Buckner said Friday that the employees were fired because their violations “compromised the safety and security of the institution and, in effect, compromised the staff’s ability to objectively and safely supervise youth.” Cloutier and Strowbridge were not fired because “their violations did not rise to the level for termination, but I did not have confidence in their current supervisory positions.”

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