7 Garland Co. Detention Center Employees Disciplined After Juveniles Escape

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HOT SPRINGS, AR – Seven detention center employees have been disciplined after two juveniles escaped from the Garland County Juvenile Detention Center on Feb. 10 when Sheriff’s Office deputies failed to ensure security doors were properly locked, according to a Sheriff’s Office internal investigation.

In the wake of the investigation six Sheriff’s Office Juvenile Detention Center employees were suspended without pay and the shift supervisor was fired, according to Sheriff Mike McCormick. The two juveniles who escaped were recaptured within 24 hours.

“Since taking office on Jan. 1, I have worked to improve standards, training and accountability in the Garland County Sheriff’s Office,” said McCormick. “It is our duty to protect the public at all times by ensuring the security of our detention facilities. We have rules to ensure the facilities remain secure and it is the duty of our employees to follow those rules and regulations.”

The investigation said that the two juveniles breached five security doors in their escape shortly after 3 a.m. on Feb. 10. The two were able to open their cell doors after jamming the locks. According to a report they then made their way through doors, left unlocked, and then ran out a side entrance of the building.

Sheriff McCormick said he ordered the internal investigation immediately after the escapes and released the results of the investigation as soon as the investigation was concluded. Chief Deputy Mark Chamberlain said in his recommendation for disciplinary action that “staff complacency and non-compliance with JDC policies and procedures exacerbated the situation.”

According to a report additional training is underway to ensure that all detention center employees know, and are capable of following, the policies and procedures in place to ensure the security of the detention center.

No other specifics details can be released due to the fact that this incident involved juveniles.

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