(WMC-TV) – Major problems were exposed at the Shelby County juvenile detention center when it came to preventing troubled teens from harming or killing themselves.
According to the Commercial Appeal, consultant Lindsay Hayes spent three days at the Shelby County Juvenile detention center in August to inspect the jail and to review how suicide threats are handled.
According to Juvenile Judge Curtis Person, the detention center for juveniles hasn't had a suicide in nearly 40 years, but teens have certainly harmed themselves.
According to the Commercial Appeal, detainees have chewed off their own flesh, repeatedly banged their heads against walls, and about six months ago, a detention officer grabbed a detainee who was about to jump from the second story.
After Hayes inspected the jail, he found the suicide prevention training to be inadequate, saying it requires immediate action to improve it.
The paper reports he is recommending periodic suicide or serious-injury drills, more screening and treatment of troubled youths. Hayes also recommends that the Detention Center undergoes an overhaul of the center's medical and mental health system.
This is all in response to a five year investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, which found that juvenile court denied children due process. This investigation also found that the court handled black and Hispanic teens differently than their white counterparts.