NAACP calls for audit of Richmond Juvenile Detention Center

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Unsafe and dangerous! That's how some employees are describing conditions at the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center on Oliver Hill Way.

Monday morning, the local chapter of the NAACP announced it wants city council to conduct an audit of the facility.

NBC12 spoke with one employee at the detention center. He requested we not reveal his identity.

"A youth assaulted a staff member beating him so severely he was laying in a pool of blood and there was no one there to respond," he said.

He calls the condition of the facility dangerous and gave a list of safety problems.

"Doors not working, locks not working, the security system malfunctioning," he added.

The unidentified employee says after voicing concern to management for months -- and nothing being done -- he along with two dozen other employees took their concerns to the NAACP.

The organization is asking the city to immediately launch an investigation.

"We want our children to be safe. City council and this administration have a responsibility. No facility of this kind should be in such disrepair," said King Salim Khalfani, Executive Director with the NAACP.

Councilman Marty Jewel, who's on the public safety committee, says he's received phone calls about improper staffing and other issues at the 60 bed detention center.

"Some of them are disturbing. I've been getting them over the last few days," said Jewel.

Shelley Jennings-Bey says her son was attacked by five inmates during a visitation last month.

"I was enraged. I was scared. There wasn't enough staff to get all those boys off my boy,"she added.

Meanwhile, the unidentified employee says something needs to be done now.

"We need someone in there that's going to have the best interest of students and kids," he said.

NBC12 reached out to the city for a response. None of our phone calls were returned. Late in the day the city issued a statement that says in part, "Recent audits have all found dramatic improvements in the center's operations over the past 24 months. We take all employee concerns seriously. We would also welcome an additional review of the operation and plan to ask the city's auditor to conduct such an audit."

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