Metro judge takes responsibility for escape of four teens

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro Nashville’s Juvenile Court Judge is taking responsibility for the four teens who escaped the Juvenile Detention Center over the weekend.

Four teenagers escaped Saturday from that downtown Nashville facility.

Two are behind bars, but two haven’t been caught.

“I take full responsibility of the entire incident,” said Calloway. “This is the facility I’m supposed to run and I’m supposed to make sure that our children are being cared for and treated and taken care for and the people that we hire to take care of that job, failed to do it.”

The company that operates the facility, Youth Opportunity, was approved by Calloway.

“It was a mistake after mistake after mistake that ended up in catastrophe,” she said, referring to the teen’s escape.

Calloway said the series of mistakes started when the teens were reportedly left cleaning, unattended after their supervisor was called away to a fight inside the jail.

“The children should have never been out there by themselves at that time of the evening in the first place,” said Calloway.

Second, the teens managed to take an elevator.

“Not only do they get into the elevator, but they get the elevator operator to move the elevator to an unsecured part of the building,” said Calloway.

The teens then used a series of doors to ultimately exit the facility.

“It’s frustrating to think that you have a community on edge because of some mistakes that were made that clearly should have not been done,” said Calloway.

Judge Calloway said preventing this from happening again is now her number one priority.

She said Youth Opportunity recognizes it is partly responsible – its contract with Metro tasks them with operating the facility, training staff, and hiring and firing employees.

“They recognize that they will have to re-train and re-group probably from scratch, all of their employees to make sure that everybody understands because the four of them in one night got it wrong, then they got to make sure that everybody understands what their responsibilities are,” said Calloway.

Youth Opportunity has suspended four employees pending the results of an internal investigation.

There’s now a $5,000 reward posted by Youth Opportunity for information leading to the arrests of the two remaining escaped teens.

The company’s contract with Metro is set to expire in 2020.

Calloway said talks are in the works to determine next steps.

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