Sorry folks: this is from almost two weeks ago. I've been caught up in my own personal and family crises since the night of the 19th; unless someone was covering this for me, we didn't post this from the New Times - Amy Silverman does pretty good work.
I'll look for follow-up, and post updated info on the ADJC as soon as I can. I probably won't come in for a landing myself until sometime next week. Once I'm settled, I'll be more on top of things again.
Folks particularly interested in Juvenile Corrections should check out Juvenile Prison Watch - it's new, can use some more research and development; we'd love to have a few family members work collectively on maintaining it. Contact myself or the International Prison Watch staff listed on their websites for more info.
And they wonder if the incident is tied to the "hush, hush" suicide earlier this month of a corrections officer from the same facility.
The boy was found in his cell at the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections'
She would not reveal any other details. Next of kin has not been contacted yet, she said, adding that an investigation is under way by the Department of Public Safety, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and the Department of Juvenile Corrections.
Dillingham refused to respond to questions regarding whether the incident was possibly a suicide.
Two current employees of
According to the employees, one of whom works on the unit Crossroads, where the boy was living at the time, the boy was found with a plastic bag tied over his head and a blanket over that. He was reportedly dead for quite some time when the morning shift staff found him.
Dillingham said department policy calls for welfare checks every 15 minutes through the night, and said the checks were, in fact, done in this situation. She said the childrens' faces cannot be kept covered, raising questions about whether the checks were done correctly.
She also said that
Until very recently, the employees said, the boy had been placed at Triumph, the mental-health unit at
The employee said it was well known that the boy had "suicidal ideations" and added that the boy reportedly told the school superintendent recently that he wanted to be moved from Crossroads and would "do something" if he was not. The employee said that Crossroads staff wasn't informed of that conversation until after the boy had died.
Within the last several days, a youth corrections officer at
Dillingham confirmed this but refused to release details. She said the staff and kids have been receiving counseling since the officer's suicide, but employees said the event has been kept "hush, hush" and there has been no counseling, though word has gotten out. They also say that ADJC director Michael Branham came to the facility and told them not to fly the flags at half-staff, saying the man did not die honorably.
It is unknown whether that suicide led to the possible suicide yesterday, but experts stress the importance of providing immediate counseling in such situations. ADJC's statements emphasize the counseling they are providing in the wake of yesterday's youth death. The statements do not mention the older man's death.
In 2002 and 2003, there were three suicides at