• 5 Shelby County corrections officers suspended after 'on-duty failures' at juvenile detention center

    By: Kirstin Garriss


    SHELBY CO., Tenn. - Five Shelby County corrections officers are off the job this week. 

    The Shelby County Sheriff's Office said they were relieved of their duties with pay following allegations of on-duty failures at the Juvenile Detention Center. 

    SCSO said the officers were relieved on Wednesday, but officials haven’t released any information about what happened.

    FOX13 called the detention center and the juvenile court clerk, but no one could answer our questions about this investigation.

    Josh Spickler, the executive director of Just City, said the lack of transparency surrounding an ongoing investigation is troubling.

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    “We don’t know what happened, but this is about a situation that has changed rapidly,” said Spickler. “This is about situation in a facility that we know has problems - not just with the physical nature of the facility but in the past has had problems with conditions of confinement.”

    Spickler said one potential factor in the case may be the ratio between corrections officers and youth detainees. 

    In December, there were 65 children detained at the juvenile detention center, but as of this Wednesday, that number increased to 92.

    “And now five fewer officers today this is not a good situation. Something is happening that is not good, and it indicts that perhaps problems with the conditions of confinement that we haven’t been talking a lot about,” said Spickler.

    FOX13 filed a public records request with the sheriff’s office to find out how often on-duty failures have happened in the past.

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