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Posted at 6:33 AM ET, 06/21/2010

Disturbance at D.C. youth center

By Mike McPhate
New Beginnings Youth Center in Laurel. (Kevin Clark/Post)

D.C. police officers responded to a disturbance Sunday evening at the city’s juvenile detention center in Laurel, according to a report by WUSA 9.

Detainees at the New Beginnings Youth Center allegedly refused to enter their bedrooms about 7:20 p.m., a confrontation that escalated into a “riot situation," Tasha Williams, a spokeswoman for the facility's police union, told the news station.

A shift supervisor’s jaw was broken during the clash, sources told the news station.

Police who responded to the incident, including Police Chief Cathy Lanier, found young people on the roof and wandering through the hall, the station reported. No one escaped.

The $46 million New Beginnings facility opened with fanfare last spring in place of Oak Hill Youth Center, which was notorious for poor living conditions and violence. The new center has been troubled by overcrowding and security lapses that allowed two escapes last year.

-- Mike McPhate

By Mike McPhate  | June 21, 2010; 6:33 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, DC  | Tags:  crime, washington  
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I would like for all of the "experts" and DYRS leaders in Washington DC to answer to this. They all promoted their successes at a DC Council hearing with Tommy Wells last Monday morning the 14th of June. Mayor Fenty also needs to come before the public and tell us exactly why he ordered the MPD not to testify at that hearing - at the last minute. I have no desire to denigrate their successes, but with at least 9 individuals under the supervision of DYRS charged with murder this year the residents of the district deserve answers and solutions to the problems within this system. No more excuses and glossing over of these incidents, please. We are working to make these changes - have no doubt. DYRS and the juvenile justice sytem should be working with us.

Posted by: mjvdc | June 21, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

young savages getting restless.... gonna be a long hot summer....

Posted by: kglkgl06 | June 21, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

I think what is funny is that the two escapes was by the same juvenile!!!! And they still gave him home detention instead of keeping him in their physical custody and guess what? He was killed last month, thanks DYRS bunch of idiot. But I guess justice was served!!!!!!

Posted by: commonsense65 | June 21, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I think what is funny is that the two escapes was by the same juvenile!!!! And they still gave him home detention instead of keeping him in their physical custody and guess what? He was killed last month, thanks DYRS bunch of idiot. But I guess justice was served!!!!!!

Posted by: commonsense65 | June 21, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I think what is funny is that the two escapes was by the same juvenile!!!! And they still gave him home detention instead of keeping him in their physical custody and guess what? He was killed last month, thanks DYRS bunch of idiots. But I guess justice was served!!!!!!

Posted by: commonsense65 | June 21, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

DC is teaching these youths that rules don't matter and that they can do whatever they want.

Does anyone think that they will actually have successful futures?

Tommy Wells should be ashamed of himself for his lack of management skills.

Posted by: mikecapitolhill | June 21, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Spare the rod, spoil the child. What some of these "kids" need is a good whipping.

Posted by: TooManyPeople | June 21, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

How hard is it to make these young chumps go back to there bedrooms?

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | June 21, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

This entire generation is lost. I am seriously concerned that these kids with the "gang culture" so pervasive in every aspect of their lives has literally ruined these kids. They have absolutely no respect for anyone or anything and as long as they are barraged with this type of environment it just isn't going to change for the better. So, Thanks MTV, Thanks Rap and hip-Hop moguls, I am sure that your bottom line is just peachy while we have to bury these children on a daily basis. One day YOU WILL be held accountable for your destruction of our youth.

Posted by: | June 21, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

And we know "no one escaped" because what?????? This is the same facility that has been unable to keep track of its detainees who continue to "walk away" when they feel the desire to do so. Just how is success being measured here? In much the same way that we are counting crimes??? Voters, pay attention and vote accordingly.....

Posted by: joyful53 | June 21, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: | June 21, 2010 8:58 AM ........... One day YOU WILL be held accountable for your destruction of our youth.

These youth were already destroyed long ago by their parents. Ironically when the parents get in trouble, the court returns the kids to them - repeatedly. Yet some wonder why 10 years later, when these kids are out of control, the school system and police are supposed to miraculously reverse all the damage thir parents (and grand parents) have done.

Posted by: asmith1 | June 21, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The question is why can't the city properly manage these youth centers? The city is over flowing with money from all the white flight returnees and their tax dollars yet the schools and other such places for young people are in complete disarray. Fenty and Lanier both deserve to lose thier jobs. They had a chance and have both shown they are grossly incompetent.

Posted by: hughesbob19 | June 21, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The Calvin Schiraldi Hug-A-Thug justice system at work again.

Posted by: rael1313 | June 21, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

To klgklg: "Young savages?" This sounds like the kind of language used by folks that wish to de-humanize a group of people so they can murder them without remorse.( Native Americans, Blacks, etc...)

These are very troubled kids with little hope, no family ( as most of us recognize what a real family is), no education, raised in an enviornment of violence and degradation.

I don't know what the answers are to fixing this but I do know what it is not the answer: hate.

Posted by: YadaYada1 | June 21, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Wrong Bob. The city WAS overflowing with money. $1 billion in emergency reserves, Bob, kindly donated to the Streetcar-industrial-complex, the classroom-video-board cabal, the restore-friends-of-Fenty foundation, and the housing-development-someday-maybe mafia. Plus a few other *vital emergencies*.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | June 21, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

When Fenty says, "crime is down" note that this doesn't include stats of juvenile crime and they are the ones committing the majority of the serious crimes in the city.

The Fenty Administration has regularly released these delinquents back to the very neighborhoods where they commit crimes. The Fenty Administration regularly ignores judge recommendation for 24 hr supervision of dangerous youth.

Fenty, Wells, Lanier, Nickles are all culpable to the horrific management of the District's juvenile justice system.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | June 21, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

These youth centers should be a place for NON-VIOLENT offenders, not these little serial killers in the making. If you're 15 - 16 years old and have the frame of mind to kill someone because they looked at you too long (heaven forbid I'm in one of my stares and he thinks I'm looking at him), I say it's an adult crime, punish them with adult sentences. When they get finished with being Bubba's girlfriend in jail, they'll have a totally different outlook on life when they're released 30 years later.

Posted by: ksimms1 | June 21, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Seems like the new center that many people seemed to believe was some great solution to problems from prior youth detention facilities is not that far from the previous versions. Maybe they should reconsider the security at "New Beginnings".

Posted by: davidofhumans | June 21, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

There is no cure for this thuggery. Lock them up and throw away the key!

Posted by: lsf07 | June 21, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

People from DC are soooo funny... always blaming the Government for THEIR kids getting in trouble... the problem IS you!

Posted by: rockettonu | June 21, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

They need to be beaten, and beaten regularly, in case they are thinking of causing trouble.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | June 21, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

im sure some of these kids have been beatened and abused more than any of the self-righteous posters can imagine.

Posted by: ryjufox3 | June 21, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

With all the shootings involving youth that have occurred in DC over the last several weeks and now this story, I fear DC is in for a long, hot, violent summer.

The solution to this problem lies mainly in the families and communities from which it comes. DC does not lack for services. What DC lacks is people taking responsibility for their actions and their destiny.

Posted by: nomayo | June 21, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

And the lesbian left would have us believe that the "new" American family doesn't really need fathers. Tell that to the fatherless hoodlums at New Beginnings. They were doomed at conception.

Posted by: mckdarrenDC | June 21, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

unwanted children are the demon seed of society.

Posted by: djrhood | June 21, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I was sent up to Marylands facility for juveniles, Maryland training school in Cub Hill (Towson, Md.)I know what's it's like. Let me tell you something as a white boy ... until you've been locked up in one of those Maryland Juvenile torture cottages, no words could express, or convey the kind of animals that lurk behind those doors. I was a 17 year old middle class white boy who violated probation for breaking into a house. Montgomery Judge Alfred Noyes sent me up for an indefinite period to Maryland Trading School-Cub Hill, now Charles H. Hickey Jr. School in Baltimore County which is Cheltenham’s sister school. I was jumped several times by 4 and 5 of Baltimore City's finest. I was beaten trying to protect my rear-end. Being a paper boy, I was in great physical shape. The bleeding from both eyes couldn't be stopped for several hours in the clinic. I saw so many young white boys "go under".
An independent monitor faulted the juvenile justice department for not following past recommendations to reduce cases of assault and abuse. The report said further that there has been a "lack of cooperation" between investigating entities responsible for looking into incidents of abuse involving youths in the state juvenile detention center. "The level of abuse is simply grotesque," said Stacey Gurian-Sherman, who is director of JJ Fair, a community-based advocacy group for children that is based in Takoma Park.
I was released after I turned 18. From there I went to Vietnam .... I don't know which place was the worst, but I still remember the names of the animals who molested me. The governor said he closed it down, but it's not totally closed down. There’s a holding facility, and a sex rehabilitation center (what a coincidence) still located there. Because Maryland lacks residential treatment programs, many youths remain at Hickey and other detention centers for months while state officials try to find places in or out of state that will take them.

Posted by: reesemichael | June 21, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

It was predicted by experts that DC & MD juvenile and residential would loose control of their youth and the residential facilities would become increasingly and expodentially unsafe for staff and youth. While this outcome was predicted, we are truly sorry to hear that staff and youth are being injured and killed as a result.

There are 2 main reasons MD and DC implemented policies that cannot maintain a safe environment (1) the let your child rage out of control advocates started using press to put pressure on executive government officials and politicians where if a child bumped his head because he walked into a door they were calling it child abuse; (2) there is a lot more money to be exploited in child welfare then there is in corrections. The first thing the state does is hire a bunch of experts and University professors on the dole i.e. experts that come in and give the who's who a list of recommendations of what they need to do to fix everything. Then lo and behold the experts and University professors either have or design a program to fix all problems. The state (or district) then awards no-bid and sole source contracts to these self annointed experts and force the various entities and facilities to purchase these ill-conceived programs at exorbitant prices using OPM.

One additional comment, one of the reasons youth are waiting months for non correctional placements is that the residential centers are not taking the kids they once admitted because the let the child rage out of control while you stand by and do nothing advocates think that therapy and rehab can occur where safety does not exist. The facility, to protect themselves from liability, staff and other children from injury residential are simply not taking the kids they once used to take. Therefore, instead of moving youths into less restrictive settings, the let the child rage out of control advocates, have condemned these children to indefinite incarcerated placement.

This is called the unintended consequences of well-meaning persons without a clue.

Posted by: TPTalking | June 21, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind that MANY of our city's repeat violent juvenile offenders are currently placed in settings back in the community. Analyze the failures of dentention facilities until the cow's come home. And, most are right. Right now, New Beginnings is not safe and because of the failures of DYRS, CSOSA, group homes and the juvenile court system the community at large is not safe either. The kids in this city are scared and believe their violent peers run the system and think it is a joke. They don't believe that we can protect them and be trusted - these are those kids working to do the right thing. They are right.

Posted by: mjvdc | June 21, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

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