Oct 28 2012
01:32 pm

Youth violence soars in months after DCS shuts 2 detention centers

The rash of assaults reported at DCS facilities follows a controversial decision by agency Commissioner Kate O'Day to shut down two of the state's detention centers on July 1 as a cost-saving measure.

PREVIOUSLY: Officials make case to save Taft Youth Development Center

If Taft Youth Development Center is closed, Juvenile Court judges and East Tennessee lawmakers are worried not only for its teenage inmates, but also for the more vulnerable residents at the other facilities where Taft's "worst of the worst" may be sent. [..] Gov. Bill Haslam told [DCS] to present a fiscal 2013 budget that cuts $40.3 million in state funding across Tennessee.

Bonus question for discussion: Why are the Nashville and Chattanooga papers reporting on this and not the Knoxville paper?

gonzone's picture

An obviously rhetorical

An obviously rhetorical question? But, in the vernacular of today, Haslam duh!

Tamara Shepherd's picture


From the article:

DCS officials provided internal data on assaults for The Tennessean. When questioned about the number of times police responded to Woodland Hills, DCS officials were surprised and requested a chance to review the data themselves. Thursday, after reviewing the police records, DCS said the information prompted them to order a full review of incidents at the facility.

Since this had been a concern prior to July 1, when the facility at Pikeville was closed, why was DCS not already monitoring the effect of the closure throughout July, August, and September--including the number of times staff had needed to contact law enforcement for help?

It should not have been the case that DCS officials were "surprised" by the data presented to them by media.

They should have themselves collected that data already.

Factchecker's picture

I'm sure Greg Johnson will be

I'm sure Greg Johnson will be all over this.

reform4's picture


only if he can figure out a way to blame it on Madeline.

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