Cheltenham Youth Center: Report on Escapes Cites Multiple Failures.
Post, 3 Oct 2008 (Rein ).
Multiple security breakdowns and poor staff supervision, including a failure to respond to an alarm, allowed three teenagers to escape from the Cheltenham Youth Center in Prince George's County in August, a report by an independent monitor said.
The report released yesterday by Juvenile Justice Monitor Marlana Valdez also found that the facility had no camera surveillance in place around a fence that the youths cut through. The residential staff failed to notice that one of the detainees had stolen a wire cutter from the wood shop.
The weekend escape was the 11th in 16 months from Maryland's secure detention facilities. A total of 30 youths fled in those incidents.
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Brown said the facility's perimeter alarm was ignored because a large number of false alarms preceded the escape. And the camera surveillance system was in place, Brown said, but had not been reset after a test.
[Full report ]