Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Friday, November 28, 2008

No Wrongdoing At Greeley DYC?

Whenever you have staff talking off the record for fear of retaliation it's a problem. We should look back to when DYC was running the High Plains Facility and why they had to close down.
On a June afternoon at about 3 p.m., a girl at a Greeley youth detention facility had her wrist broken in two places by a security guard who used thumb restraints to calm her down.

A day later, a developmentally disabled youth at the same facility claimed he was injured when he was handcuffed for refusing to obey orders. Witnesses said a security guard sat on him for 20 minutes.

Both incidents may have violated state policy, employees at the Platte Valley Youth Services Center reported. Neither youth was immediately taken to a local hospital for treatment — another possible violation of state policy. Neither incident was reported to Greeley police because state policy allows state agencies to choose whether to call authorities.

An investigation by the Division of Youth Corrections, which runs the center, found no wrongdoing by its security guards. But the agency did commission an outside firm to look into the credibility of staffers who complained about the incidents — and other problems at the facility — to colleagues, supervisors and the news media.

George Kennedy, deputy executive director of the Department of Human Services, which oversees the Division of Youth Corrections, defended the department’s response to each incident at Platte Valley, which houses 130 youths convicted of crimes or detained for court hearings.

“In the first (incident), it was clear there was a need for a staff intervention,” Kennedy said. “Action was taken. From that action there was a break (of the girl’s arm). It was tended to medically. It was only one arm.”

According to counselors who asked that they not be identified, saying they feared retaliation by supervisors, the girl was forced to the floor after she refused to follow orders and began cursing. She returned to her cell, and counselors said the girl complained of pain in both her arms. The medical office was called. Counselors said medical staff gave her pain medication and splints for both arms.

The next day, the girl complained of pain, and she was taken to a Greeley hospital where it was determined she had fractures to her right wrist.

Kennedy said the boy who was handcuffed suffered no serious injuries, and administrators disputed a counselor’s claims that a security guard sat on the boy while he was handcuffed after he became aggressive.

A state official also found no wrongdoing in a third incident in which a boy nearly lost an eye.

In May, the boy told counselors he was afraid of being attacked by other youths because they believed he was a snitch. Instead of being taken into protective custody, he was allowed to remain with the general camp population. He later was attacked by other inmates.

The boy’s father said his son told him he believes he was set up by a staff member who tipped off gang members. He said his son asked counselors for protection, but they couldn’t prevent the attack.

“He said this was all instigated by a staff member,” the father said.

State officials say they found no evidence the youth was set up.

“We don’t dispute that there was an incident that occurred. We have not been able to locate any evidence from anyone who investigated, including people from outside the facility, that this was a setup by a staff member,” said Karen Beye, director of the Department of Human Services.

The Greeley Tribune


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately that is how it works in GReeley!!!!

Anonymous said...

FucK platte valley.! was !n there in there crooked..i was from a denver gang called gki n dan they tryd to set me up by havin them bitch ass sur rataz.so they pressd chargers on me KuZ i beat the fuck out of them.those guards be fuckn the kids up in there

Anonymous said...