Teens Revolt at Nashville Juvie Where Several Escaped
Two dozen teens broke out of their dorms again on Wednesday, but unlike on Monday, none made it out of the prison yard.
The Woodland Hills Youth Development Center in Tennessee is going to need some tighter security.
Two dozen teenagers revolted Wednesday night at the Nashville detention center, just two days after 32 boys executed a mass escape under a chain-linked fence, authorities said.
The latest uprising involved six of the teens involved in the earlier outbreak, and they fled their dorms in the same way they did on Monday – by kicking through aluminum panels installed under the windows in a common area.
This time, none of the boys made it out of the prison's exterior perimeter, and authorities said the situation was "under control" by Thursday. Of the 32 teenagers who escaped on Monday, however, six remain at large.
A video posted by the Associated Press shows one teenager carrying a long stick and another shoving a security guard in the yard. The altercation ended quickly when the guard fled behind a set of bleachers. A police helicopter could be heard buzzing overhead.
There were no injuries among either the teenagers or staff, according to an update posted Thursday morning on the website of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services. Local police officers had formed a ring around the facility, and teams from the state Department of Corrections trained to handle uprisings had entered, put them in handcuffs and returned them inside.
The department said the 10 boys identified as "ringleaders" have been moved to another detention center, while the remaining 14 involved in the disturbance Wednesday remain at Woodland Hills with extra guards on duty.
The department's commissioner, Jim Henry, told reporters that officials would look to "renegotiate long-standing policies" that prohibit the locking of dormitory doors in the state's three juvenile detention facilities. The teenagers have access at all times to the common area, which is how they escaped the building in both instances.
From the update:
The youth are free to open their single-person room doors to enter common areas. This makes it especially difficult for staff to control youth in these types of situations.
Commissioner Henry also pledged to continue working rapidly to reinforce the aluminum panels beneath the exterior windows. The youth have kicked their way through the panels to get outside of the dormitories Wednesday and Monday nights."
A smaller disturbance occurred in May when seven teenagers fled their dorms into the yard, but they did not leave the exterior perimeter. The Associated Press reported Thursday that the Woodland Hills facility "has a long history of violence, accusations of sexual abuse and previous efforts to escape."