If a guard has to leave a unit, Stephenson said many times the only option is to lock everyone in their cells. He admitted to Wright they are not in their cells all day, but they can be locked up for several short periods throughout the day.
Both Trent and Stephenson testified Jones center Director Todd Hayes knew of the issues and the court order and decided to do nothing.
"It was common knowledge that we wasn't going to comply with (the order) until we was forced to," Hayes said.
The officers also said there was an issue with the Jones' center director of security. Stephenson identified him as "Sgt. Traci Leonard." Stephenson didn't spell the name; Milnes confirmed the spelling of his last name, but did not know his first.
Stephenson said he saw Leonard sexually assault another employee. He reported the abuse, and said there is an ongoing investigation into the matter at the center.
Trent and Stephenson said they were testifying under a subpoena. Both, along with the juvenile offender, said they were worried about retribution they could receive for testifying.
In addition to this testimony, Milnes said their investigation has revealed serious leadership issues at the center. She asked Aboulhosn to make a decision concerning those positions, but he declined. He did point at Bond and say, "the buck stops there."
"We're just hopeful that (Aboulhosn's) strong language during the proceeding is sufficient to make sure the vision addresses the immediate safety concerns," Milnes said in a phone interview.
In the hearing, Bond said Hayes is in the process of transferring to the Department of Corrections. Thornton said the department typically does not comment on personnel issues.
"All I can tell you right now is Todd Hayes is currently the director of that facility," Thornton said.Judge's decision
Following about three hours of testimony and questioning from attorneys, Aboulhosn agreed with Mountain State Justice that there was sufficient evidence of serious problems at the facility. In particular, he expressed concern about an alleged abuse of 15-year-old offender by a 20-year-old offender.
While Wright said the accusation was later recanted, Aboulhosn said he was shocked to learn the facility kept adult and youth sex offenders in the same units.
"I'd be shocked if you could find someone to say that's a good idea," Aboulhosn said. "It's a bad idea. It's a terrible idea. It's horrific to think that that's going on."
That's part of the juvenile system across the state, Thornton said. An offender committed to a juvenile facility can be forced to stay there until he or she turns 21 according to state law, he said. There aren't many offenders at the Jones center who are older than 18, he said.
All parties agreed they want to continue to work to improve conditions at the Jones center and other juvenile facilities. Meeting the Sept. 30 mandated move or closure could be challenging: Both Thornton and Bond have said they've had trouble finding a suitable new location for the facility.
"Deadlines are tough, we all have to deal with them in life," Thornton said. "We want to make sure we don't make decisions in haste."
Bond told Aboulhosn her division is committed to making changes at the facility. They have already asked for the Department of Corrections to send staff members from the now-adult Salem facility to cover at the Jones center until they can come up with a permanent solution, Bond said at the hearing.
Although Aboulhosn scolded Bond for not knowing who is in charge of scheduling those employees, he said she has done a great job with the division in the past.
Aboulhosn said he would issue the official order about the Jones center by the end of the week. Everyone will come together again in early August to discuss progress with the Jones center and the new adult center at Salem.
The state expects the new Salem Correctional Center to open Aug. 1.
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