DCS: Recent escape at Woodland Hills facility due to staff failures

DCS: Recent escape at Woodland Hills facility due to staff failures (Image 1)

The Woodland Hills Youth Development Center in northwest Nashville said Monday an internal inquiry into the most recent escape indicates staff members did not adhere to policies and procedures.

Last Friday, 13 teens escaped the facility on Stewarts Lane after taking a guard’s keys and radio, getting out of the perimeter gate and breaking into a security office to open the gate for others.

All 13 of the teens have since been recaptured.

Monday, Woodland Hills stated they are continuing with security upgrades including purchasing new locks, pouring concrete at the base of the perimeter fence and reinforcing glass windows with steel mesh.

They stated an internal inquiry is being conducted into Friday’s escape and the preliminary indications are that some of the staff members did not adhere to policies and procedures.

The Department of Corrections Strike Force has been assisting Woodland Hills in recent weeks but were not there the night of the escape.

They responded soon after and remained through the weekend to assist DCS staff at the facility.

One thing Woodland Hills stated they have already changed is how quickly they notify outside authorities or Metro police.

“Woodland Hills’ policy was to call Metro police only after there had been escape beyond the fence. This month, we have changed that policy to summon police much sooner. That change has proven effective,” they wrote on their website. “In the second incident this month, the students did not escape the fence.”

That second incident was when over 20 teens escaped the building and rioted in the yard but did not make it through the perimeter fence.

All of the security upgrades, policy changes and investigations into how matters are handled comes after 32 teens escaped the facility on Sept. 1.

Most have since been recaptured but two remain at large: De’Mario Fisher and Kuyvonta Cain, both 17.

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