D.C. Juvenile Detention Facility “Insecure,” Says Official After 3rd Escape


An escape by an 18-year-old by Monday from Washington, D.C.’s New Beginnings Youth Development Center in Laurel, Md.,l has heightened concerns about staffing and security at the state-of-the-art facility, which has had three escapes since it opened in May 2009, reports the Washington Post. “We’re having an intense revelation of how insecure the facility is,” said D.C. Council member Jim Graham.

Graham said the youth was being held on burglary and theft charges. He said the youth had been written up dozens of times since May for breaking facility rules, infractions Graham said should have sparked additional intervention. A guard with more than two decades’ experience was escorting a detainee back to his room from a bathroom break about 12:30 a.m. when he was attacked. “I was shocked. It was like a bad dream,” said the guard. Like other officers, he was by himself on a unit with 9 or 10 inmates on an overnight shift. “I wish we had more staffing on midnights,” he said. “It wouldn’t have happened if we had more officers.”

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