Heavy Law Enforcement Presence at DJJ in Columbia, SC: SLED

Youths at a Colombian State Department of Juvenile Justice detention center assaulted a staff member and damaged vehicles and property with hammers on Tuesday morning, DJJ executive director Eden Hendrick said. , in a press release.

The staff member’s injuries are not life-threatening.

A minor was also injured in the incident, South Carolina Division of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Renee Wunderlich told The State. The miner’s injuries were not considered life-threatening, according to Hendrick.

Further information on the conditions of the staff member and the minor was not available.

The disturbance drew several dozen law enforcement officers to the center of Broad River Road. The facility was declared secure around noon.

“All miners and personnel are taken into account,” Wunderlich said.

The facility is located in Columbia near the South Carolina Department of Corrections facilities and SLED headquarters in the area between Interstate 20 and the Broad River.

djj-edits150.JPG
Emergency officials and law enforcement officers appear outside the Columbia Department of Juvenile Justice on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. Tracy Glantz [email protected]

There was a heavy law enforcement presence at the facility, Wunderlich said. This included Richland County Deputiesthe sheriff’s department told The State, and Columbia police were also spotted at the scene.

The FBI did not have agents on the scene, but Columbia field office spokesman Kevin Wheeler told The State the agency is aware of the incident and ready to offer assistance if needed. necessary.

SLED is investigating, according to Wunderlich.

The incident happened at DJJ’s Birchwood School, but there was no word on how many people were involved.

Kezia Jordan, the daughter of a DJJ employee, was on the phone with her mother during the incident.

During the conversation, Jordan said his mother had dropped the phone and she could hear someone in the background saying he “had to go.”

Jordan’s mother was barricaded in a room and there was an “uproar” in the facility as inmates smashed windows.

They weren’t threatening, the inmates were just trying to get out, Jordan said.

“It’s frustrating to have a working mum here…it’s scary…I only have one mum,” Jordan said.

A similar incident happened at the DJJ about a month ago, according to Jordan.

The widespread issues plaguing DJJ were detailed to an SC Senate panel in April 2021. They included staffing shortages, misdirected salary increases, poor training, and violence because the agency was not equipped to adequately supervise the minors in her care.

“It sounds like a dumpster fire to me,” SC Senator Dick Harpootlian said after hearing the report in 2021.

A previous report in 2017, which led to the resignation of the agency’s former director Sylvia Murray, revealed that the juvenile prison at the Broad River Road complex in Columbia was unprepared for the riots, which had plagued the facility, and that security policies and procedures were outdated and in need of revision.

BEHIND OUR REPORTS

This is breaking news

In a breaking news situation, the facts may not be clear and the situation may still change. The State strives to provide the public with important information as quickly and accurately as possible. This story will be updated as new information becomes available, and some information in this story may change as the facts become clearer. Update this page later for more up-to-date information.

djj-edits147.JPG
Emergency officials and law enforcement officers appear outside the Columbia Department of Juvenile Justice on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. Tracy Glantz [email protected]

djj-edits148.JPG
Emergency officials and law enforcement officers appear outside the Columbia Department of Juvenile Justice on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. Tracy Glantz [email protected]
djj-edits149.JPG
Emergency officials and law enforcement officers appear outside the Columbia Department of Juvenile Justice on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. Tracy Glantz [email protected]

djj-edits151.JPG
Emergency officials and law enforcement officers appear outside the Columbia Department of Juvenile Justice on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. Tracy Glantz [email protected]

djj0498.jpg
The Department of Juvenile Justice of Columbia, SC. Tracy Glantz [email protected]

This story was originally published October 18, 2022 10:58 a.m.

Noah Feit is a live reporter with The State who focuses on breaking news, public safety and emerging trends. The award-winning journalist has worked for several newspapers since the start of his career in 1999.
Support my work with a digital subscription

Profile picture of Alexa Jurado

Alexa Jurado reports on the University of South Carolina for The State. She is originally from suburban Chicago and recently graduated from Marquette University. Alexa has previously written for publications in Illinois and Wisconsin.