Strike Force team foils new escape attempt at Tennessee youth jail

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Nashville, TN, United States (4E) – Teens at a juvenile detention center in Tennessee rioted Wednesday night following Monday’s breakout by 32 detainees but a non-lethal team of prison staffs who were called in subdued the rioters.

Ten teenagers escaped from their dorm rooms at the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center in Bordeaux before midnight and attacked child service officers (CSOs), who were not allowed to use force against the youth offenders, according to officials of the Department of Children’s Services (DCS), which operates such facility.

The young detainees knocked out the bottom panel of their dorm rooms and got out from there, DCS Commissioner Jim Henry said.

The teenagers threw sticks and rocks at the guard inside the building before kicking out doors to get out. They also smashed windows of dorm rooms with fire extinguishers to let other teenagers get out.

The Department of Corrections responded by sending in an 18-member Strike Force One team, which handles such disturbance without using lethal weapons, including tasers. Officers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol also arrived and guarded the perimeter fence to prevent anyone from escaping.

Reporters covering the riot saw teens beating a CSO with broom sticks while others popped up on the roof and were running around. The scene lasted two hours before the Strike Force team handcuffed the rioters. At least two CSOs suffered minor injuries but none of the children were hurt, DCS officials said.

Ten ringleaders were taken by bus to the Middle Tennessee Juvenile Detention Center in Columbia, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services said.

The Strike Force One team stayed at the facility to help its staff guard the detainees.

Wednesday’s rioting and attempted breakout came two days after 32 detainees escaped from the facility through a weak part of the perimeter fence. The escapees were recaptured or were returned by their families but six remain at large.

A total 20 escapees pleaded guilty to escape at the Davidson County Juvenile Court hours before the rioting. Ten of them were the ringleaders in the Wednesday night riot.

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