Crossroads Juvenile Center, Brooklyn, New York
April 12, 2020

An uprising involving at least eight detainees occurred on the evening of Sunday, April 12, 2020, at the Crossroads Juvenile Center in Brooklyn, New York. The incident was in response to a recent policy to transfer youth detainees due to COVID-19.

According to the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE), youth detained at the Center “managed to break out of their cells, access a supply room, turn mops into weapons and beat several guards, one so badly they needed stitches.” JJIE reported that one detainee removed hinges from his door using a tool he hid in his room, and then freed five other detainees. The detainees then attacked a guard (“youth development specialist”) to gain access to the supply closet keys to access equipment, and then attacked several other guards. About 50 NY police were called to the Center.

The New York Daily News reported on the police radio during the uprising: “I got about eight kids fighting with the [Administration for Children’s Services] guards here. I got one injury. You got one ACS guard with injuries to the face.”

The uprising comes directly after a “juvenile transfer policy” was implemented in response to the rising COVID-19 cases inside NYC juvenile centers. The policy aims to transfer, separate, and consolidate detainees with COVID-19 symptoms between two centers – Crossroads (Brooklyn) and Horizon (Bronx). The youth detainees involved in the uprising were reportedly just transferred from Horizon to Crossroads. The Administration for Children’s Services would not disclose injuries from the uprising, nor how many detainees or staff had tested positive for COVID-19.

JJIE interviewed a parent whose son is detained in the juvenile system, stating, “I haven’t heard from my son since April 6. I don’t know how he is at the current moment…the likelihood of people staying healthy is low since they are transporting kids and staff back and forth, which has proven to be dangerous because people can be asymptomatic.”

The incident occurs amidst a growing wave of protest at jails, prisons and detention centers across the country in response to a growing outbreak of COVID-19 among incarcerated people.

Citations:

Riot at NY Juvenile Facility Stemmed From Coronavirus-related Move, Sources Say“, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, April 15, 2020.

“‘Gang riot’ erupts at juvenile detention center where detainees had been transferred amid coronavirus fears“, New York Daily News, April 15, 2020.

A ‘dangerous decision’: NYC is putting all juvenile delinquents with coronavirus symptoms under one roof“, New York Daily News, April 3, 2020.

Article published: 4/29/20

Header photo source: New York Daily News