599. Highlands Youth Academy
Highlands Youth Academy formerly known as Avon Park Youth Academy located in Avon Park, Florida became the center of local media coverage as the Sheriff condemned the conditions and management of the facility. A private security company G4S were responsible for the security at the facility and they did a poor job.
Among the incidents happening at the facility the last couple of years were riots, sexual misconduct, sexual and physical abuse by guards. The buildings were poorly maintained and there were lack of staff members talking the fact into consideration that there were lack of cameras and locks.
The responsible people are those who made the choice of selecting G4S for the job. G4S is a private company with no remorse if people suffer when they target profit before anything else. When you hire private operators you need to supervise every step just as close as if you ran the operations yourself. Private firms who outsource knows that. The public sector needs to learn.
Of course you have to place juveniles somewhere they were convicted of breaking the laws but the punishment should be metered by the courts and not by employees at the prisons. It could not have been fun to be serving time under the poor conditions G4S gave these children.
- Sheriff: Highlands Youth Academy is ‘unequivocal train wreck’ (Fox 13 News)
- Report: Highlands Youth Academy is a ‘disgrace’ (Greenville Onlne)
- Former youth academy staff members arrested for child abuse, neglect (WTSP news)