The Indiana Department of Correction responded to problems that included excessive force at a juvenile corrections facility near Indianapolis by firing its superintendent and replacing her for up to six months with a team of senior agency officials, reports the Associated Press. Correction Commissioner J. David Donahue fired Superintendent Jane Burns of the Pendleton unit for “unacceptable practices” and “missteps of management.” Three guards face criminal charges over their actions at the facility.
The actions came after a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department this month in which the state agreed to correct civil rights violations at three state juvenile facilities dating to 2003. The violations included physical abuse by guards, physical and sexual abuse by other inmates, and mental health and special education problems. Donahue promised to apply the terms of the settlement to all of the state’s seven juvenile facilities. Donahue appointed Wendy Knight as the interim superintendent at the Pendleton facility. A videotape showed an employee lifting a handcuffed and shackled 15-year-old boy off his feet and dropping the boy on his face. The boy suffered broken teeth and cuts to his chin.