Contract employee arrested, fired after gun found in juvenile evaluation center

FILE PHOTO - Staff discovered the weapon in the employee’s belongings and notified DJJ Public...
FILE PHOTO - Staff discovered the weapon in the employee’s belongings and notified DJJ Public Safety Officers and the Inspector General.
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 7:59 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) said a contract employee was fired after a gun was found inside the Midlands Evaluation Center.

The DJJ operates three evaluation centers in the state. Their website says,

“Each of the agency’s evaluation centers provide court-ordered evaluations for adjudicated juveniles from the midlands area prior to final disposition of their cases. The facilities provide comprehensive psychological, social, and educational assessments to guide the court’s disposition of cases. The facilities serve youth ages 11 to 17. By law, the length of stay for adjudicated juveniles cannot exceed 45 days.”

Executive Director Eden Hendrick said in a statement that on June 20, 2022 a non-DJJ contract employee brought a gun into the facility on Shivers Rd. Staff discovered the weapon in the employee’s belongings and notified DJJ Public Safety Officers and the Inspector General.

Hendrick said the gun was confiscated and that the employee was limited to the control room and did not interact with any of the minors in the building. The employee was arrested and terminated.

The statement said contract staff at the gate let the employee in without going through a metal detector. “DJJ has been and continues to retrain all contract and DJJ staff on gate and facility entrance procedures, to include expanding and enforcing clear bag requirements,” wrote Hendrick.

This is a developing story and WIS will update it as we learn more.

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