New allegations of overcrowding, unsafe conditions at Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility

Two to three offenders are being housed in one cell, leading to tensions and inappropriate sexual behavior

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – A formal complaint was sent to the Wayne County Circuit Court alleging overcrowding and unsafe conditions for both the juvenile offenders and staff at the William Dickerson Detention Facility.

Last year the county was made aware that conditions at its juvenile detention facility had to be addressed immediately.

Not having enough staff led to young people being left in their rooms for days without showers, recreation, or services to help them get on a better path.

The decision was made to move the juvenile detention facility to the empty Dickerson facility in Hamtramck, which had been an adult jail to combat the problem. Now, a staffer inside Dickerson is alleging overcrowding and unsafe conditions.

A letter to the Wayne County Circuit Court alleges two to three offenders are being housed in one cell, leading to tensions and inappropriate sexual behavior.

The juveniles are destroying cells, causing a shortage; A claim that at least one offender has escaped but was caught, and violent offenders are allowed to roam around, putting the female, unarmed staff at risk.

Wayne County has been made aware of the allegations.

“After being made aware of the complaint, our administration immediately initiated an internal review which is ongoing,” said Communications Director Tiffani Jackson. “Upon completion of the review, we will take appropriate action as necessary. The County’s highest priority is the safety of the residents and staff of the Juvenile Detention Facility.”

These are the alleged problems at the local level. The more macro issue is a lack of beds in secure facilities for court-ordered treatment.

The problem is statewide, not just a Wayne County issue. Add on top of that, some of these juveniles could be let out on bond to family, but family will not come and get them.

About the Authors

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.

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