Authorities investigating two escapes at youth detention facility

Authorities investigating 2 escapes at youth detention facility
Juvenile escape (Source: WAFB)
Juvenile escape (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Authorities are investigating two similar escapes only days apart at the youth detention facility behind Juvenile Court near Baton Rouge Metro Airport.

The first happened on the morning of August 6 and the second on the morning of August 14th. In both instances, males under the age of 17 breached the perimeter fence while outside during recreational time, according to Interim Director Deron Patin. One was injured by razor wire and both were recaptured within twenty minutes.

“Baton Rouge City Police did a wonderful job in supporting our department in having numerous officers out in the community to apprehend these kids so quickly,” Patin said.

Investigators say it's unusual for two incidents to happen so close together. The last escape and re-arrest happened in 2010.

“With the current investigation, we're trying to determine if the incidents were linked or not,” Patin said. “We're currently investigating the entire situation to determine exactly what happened, how it happened and why did it happen so that we can put measures in place to prevent any type of future escapes from the facility.”

The detention center has 52 beds, but is rarely full. Most of the youth are 14 to 16 years old and stay for an average of 15 days while awaiting trial or transfer to a state facility, Patin said. A ratio of one officer per eight youth is always maintained and during Thursday's escape, three staff members were in the yard, he added.

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