published: Friday, August 23, 2013
APYA returning to normal
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
AVON PARK -- Investigation and evaluation continue in the aftermath of Avon Park Youth Academy's riot Saturday night.
Meghan Speakes Collins, Department of Juvenile Justice's director of communication, told the News-Sun Thursday morning that the DJJ's office of inspector general, G4S - the private contractor administering the facility, and the Polk County Sheriff's Office are still investigating exactly what took place. "The lessons we learn from this incident," she said, "will be applied across all DJJ programs. It may be possible that once the investigation is complete, DJJ will adjust current policies and/or implement new policies and procedures to ensure what happened Saturday night never happens again."
The department has been adding video survellience at all its facilities, and will do so at APYA. There is no set date at this time.
Collins said that regarding pepper spray, DJJ Secretary Wansley Walters, "has made it clear that Florida's juvenile justice system follows industry standards and best practice as it relates to chemical restraints, such as pepper spray, and that will not be changing."
Collins said DJJ is pleased with G4S's response since the incident.
Repairs continue at APYA, she said. Because the facility is a vocational school, instructors and residents are making the repairs. "No outside vendors were brought in," she said.
Collins said, "G4S reported Tuesday the cost of replacing the windows was approximately $8,000. G4S has spent an additional $21,000 on light fixtures, Lexan (a shatter-resistent glass substitute), life safety equipment and other supplies for repairs."
The Fire Marshall has approved four living quarters to be opened Thursday morning, and the juveniles at the facility will be moved back into them Thursday afternoon. The five other dorms should be ready on Monday.
"Currently, the plan is for the remaining youth, who are currently being housed at (Frostproof) to return Friday."
Only one youth has been charged with felonies so far. He is at the Pinellas Juvenile Detention Center where he will remain until disposition. PCSO expects other juveniles to be charged in the near future as well.
Small Banner Ads