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"To The States, or any one of them, or to any city of The States: Resist much, Obey little; Once unquestioning obedience, at once fully enslaved; Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, ever afterward resumes its liberty." from "Caution" by Walt Whitman

Monday, September 1, 2014

Youth Prisoner Uprising at Woodland Hills detention center in Tennessee

Throughout the Cold War, it was said the GULAG system of rehabilitative prisons were part of the system of tyranny which the United States fought against, and that prison uprisings were to be supported because the GULAG prisons had terrible human-rights abuse. The majority of inmates in the old GULAG rehabilitative prisons were petty criminals, and their treatment by prison authorities was described as justifying prison uprisings. There were no youth prisons in the GULAG, as young offenders were incarcerated in educational facilities and given jobs after release.

Photo 2014-09-01 from "The Tennessean", showing "Startling images from the hours-long riot after teens try to escape from Woodland Hills detention center"

"History of trouble at Woodland Hills"
2014-09-04 from "The Tennessean" [http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2014/09/03/woodland-hills-escape-dcs/15046057/]
(Photo: Samuel M. Simpkins / The Tennessean)

Monday night's escape at Woodland Hills is only the latest sign of trouble there [http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2014/09/03/dcs-guards-assaulted-woodland-hills-escape/15022223/]. Tennessean reports have chronicled issues there for years.

March 2004 -
Juveniles armed with improvised weapons such as broken mop handles, trash-can lids and bricks attacked staff during an escape attempt.
Two nurses and 18 other staff members, including guards, teachers and counselors, suffered minor injuries. The most seriously hurt was a nurse who possibly had her nose broken.

February 2010 -
A Tennessean investigation uncovered a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from a veteran supervisor at Woodland Hills alleging incidents of sexual abuse by female staffers. One case, verified in separate documents, involved a guard who continued to work at the facility after she married a youth she had met at Woodland Hills.

May 2012 -
Kendall Oates suffered a seizure and died in May 2012 at age 18 at Woodland Hills [http://www.tennessean.com/interactive/article/99999999/INTERACTIVES/130810015/Timeline-death-Kendall-Oates-DCS-custody]. A Tennessean investigation found that Oates may have lain sick or dead alone in his room for hours, undetected by a security guard [http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130811/NEWS01/308110042/Family-fights-answers-year-after-Brentwood-High-student-dies-seizure-DCS-lockup]. In 2014, the state agreed to pay Oates' parents $250,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.

July-September 2012 -
DCS saw a sharp spike in violence involving children and youths, that prompted an internal review of Woodland Hills. Over July, August and September, there were 102 youth-on-youth or youth-on-staff assaults that involved teachers, staff and guards at Woodland Hills. Officials launched a retraining program for newly hired staff there that included lessons in de-escalating violence.

May 2014 -
Six or seven teens at Woodland Hills broke out of their dorms and made it to the outdoor courtyard.
Staffers called for backup from Metro police, who set up command post outside the facility. Staffers and case workers were able to talk the teens into going back inside by 6 a.m., Johnson said.

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