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Corrections officer fired from Columbus YDC

Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 11:32 PM
Last updated Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012 11:04 PM
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The latest YDC firing as part of a continuing state investigation came Thursday, but it was in Columbus, not Augusta.

Juvenile Corrections Officer Mike Brown was terminated from the Aaron Cohn Regional Youth Detention Center based on misconduct policy violations for improper use of physical intervention techniques, Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Gale Buckner announced in a news release Thursday evening.

Brown was also cited for failure to accurately document the incident, which was first reported as a sports-related injury on a basketball court. As a result of the incident, a Columbus YDC resident was treated at a hospital and released, the release says.

The termination is the latest personnel action in the commissioner’s continuing crackdown on staff misconduct, security breaches and policy violations at DJJ secure facilities statewide. Immediately after her appointment in November, Buckner assembled safety and security teams to launch unannounced facility inspections and investigations. The teams began their work at the Augusta Youth Development Campus following the November beating death of 19-year-old Jade Holder.

Eight employees, including Director John Brady and several corrections officers, have been fired since November. One has resigned, another has said he will resign and two were demoted.

The investigations into the Augusta YDC have stemmed not only from the death of Holder, but also allegations of sexual misconduct and physical abuse by corrections officers, as well as corrections officers helping with smuggling contraband, including cellphones, to residents.

The DJJ special inspection teams have examined 26 DJJ secure facilities throughout the state in seven weeks. Some facilities, including Augusta YDC, have been the target of repeat inspections.

“Through surprise inspections and staff interviews we have uncovered violations of policy and contraband and misconduct repeated at other facilities and we’re wasting no time taking these administrative actions wherever they’re needed,” Buckner said in the release. “As we expected, our statewide security sweeps and facility inspections have already had a positive impact, improving conditions at our secure campuses across Georgia.”

Buckner predicted more violations to come to light as the investigations continue. She promised that DJJ will respond with more terminations, suspensions and other disciplinary measures in cases of misconduct, or follow-up with restaffing, retraining and refresher courses where needed.

“We’re taking immediate steps to fix those DJJ problems we can control now and the Department continues to fast-track administrative and corrective actions wherever state investigators find our corrections staff have committed misconduct or violated any safety and security policies,” Buckner said.

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Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 01/27/12 - 01:50 am
Long overdue.

Long overdue.

southiegal 01/27/12 - 02:05 am
I agree, way overdue. But

I agree, way overdue. But most of all that it had to take a death to bring things to light.

single parent
single parent 01/27/12 - 03:30 am
Some people on any job might

Some people on any job might need to be checked for actions, but if you have ever worked in this particular type system any where you would know that 90% of the youth in these places should never see the light of day ever again. The first option is " YOU SHOULD NOT BE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE". Why does parents/society decide to become tough after a mishap? We as a society care more about the criminals rights than the victims rights. As far as youth detention, they are at a happy house and consistantly violate policy and act as though nothing is wrong like a badge of honor. They can beat, molest and threaten staff, but when they are put in there place it is wrong? I admit some are there because of an honest mistake of a poor decision, but most are there because they are just rotten! ! ! Just because it is a teenager means nothing to me, these days those are the worse ones. Look around you people. 12 - 20 year olds having more fire power than the authorities and when they get caught at it " They are only kids" Until you are in a situation where you are holding some 6 year olds insides in your hands because of some knuckle heads senseless actions then we as a society should stop protecting the idiots. It is the laws which allow this to continue to happen and it filters to the inside actions of these institutions! These are not your innocent scared teenagers anymore these days that are locked up, these are today's new MONSTERS!

farrowtrent 01/27/12 - 08:17 am
What is up with YDC? Just

What is up with YDC? Just because these kids have behavorial problems doesn't mean that they should wind up dead, ESPECIALLY under the hand of a "correctional" officer.

junkyardpig 01/27/12 - 12:13 pm
I agree with single parent. I

I agree with single parent. I had worked there in the past and have seen the rotton behavior of these kids. The technics that are taught at the academy at forsyth ga do not work in controlling all of the youth. correctional officers are paired 2 for every 20 so called kids. although I had pretty good repore with the kids, I did have major difficulties with some. those some are currently in the phinizy road facility as adults. those some are the ring leaders that control the rest. those who voice their opinions about correctional officers need to apply for the over 60 positions that are open at aydc and give it your best shot. of course due to the long hours (16-20) daily and the pay rate, you may come out financially better at the fast food establishments. if parents would connect the belt to bare rear end when the kids are young, these young people wouldnt be so bad. Unfortunately I wish my health conditions were better so I could still be there .

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