Palm Beach Youth Academy, West Palm Beach, Florida
September 21, 2018
At least six juvenile detainees reportedly grabbed staff who were trying to take another boy back to his cell, leading to a disturbance. During the melee, the boys flipped tables and threw chairs, threatened staff and destroyed property. Specific details remain unclear.
Following the event, at least eight detainees were charged with battery.
Palm Beach Youth Academy is a private juvenile detention center operated since the late 1990s by Youth Services International (YSI). In March 2016, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice announced that it would end its contracts with YSI. Palm Beach Youth Academy is now operated by Sequel Youth and Family Services.
The disturbance occurred a year after the Miami Herald released a series of investigative articles exposing the violence and corruption of the Florida Juvenile Justice System. The articles, and a series of lawsuits filed on behalf of juvenile detainees, exposed guards arranging fights between youths and betting on them, guards beating youths, maggot-infested food, unsanitary conditions and more.
“NEW: Six arrested after riot at Palm Beach juvenile detention center“, The Palm Beach Post, October 1, 2018.
“At this juvenile justice program, staffers set up fights — and then bet on them“, Miami Herald, October 10, 2017.
“Whistleblower suit sheds light on decision to dump youth contractor“, The Palm Beach Post, March 18, 2016.
“Dark secrets of Florida juvenile justice: ‘honey-bun hits,’ illicit sex, cover-ups“, Miami Herald, October 17, 2017.
Fight Club: Miami Herald Investigation into Florida’s Juvenile Justice System, Carol Marbin Miller, Senior investigative reporter, Miami Herald.