Two teens being held at Lynchburg Juvenile Detention Center who ran off from program have been found

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Two teenagers who were being held at a juvenile detention facility and ran off from a program at a park last week have been found.

Two 17-year-old boys ran off from a program being held at Riverside Park. A group of eight teenagers from the Lynchburg Juvenile Detention Center were attending a program at the park on Aug. 11 when they ran off.

One of the 17-year-olds was found earlier, and the second one was found Friday morning. They have both been returned to the Lynchburg Juvenile Detention Center.

On Aug. 12, representatives from the State Department of Juvenile Justice visited the Lynchburg Juvenile Detention Center to review policies.

No violations were found, but the detention center is changing the following policies:

• At least two staff members will accompany juveniles from the Post-D Program during all planned community activities;

• When there is a mixed group, a female youth counselor will accompany all female juveniles;

• When appropriate, the department will reduce the number of juveniles who participate in community activities at one time;

• The department will ensure continued dialogue with all individuals involved with the juveniles who participate in the Post-D Program; i.e., probation officers, counselors, parents, teachers, family services specialists, etc.

Here is the news release from the City of Lynchburg:

UPDATE: As of this morning, Friday, August 19, 2016, authorities have apprehended the last male juvenile, and he has been returned to the Lynchburg Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

On Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 1:36 p.m., eight juvenile detainees from the Lynchburg Post-Dispositional Program (Post-D) were attending a planned outing in Riverside Park under the supervision of a Youth Counselor. Three of the detainees, one female, age 16, and two males, age 17, ran from the basketball court and into the woods. The Youth Counselor, following established procedure, immediately notified the Lynchburg Regional Juvenile Detention Center as well as the Lynchburg Police Department (LPD). Descriptions of all three juveniles were given to LPD. A short time later, the female detainee was picked up by the LPD and returned to the Detention Center. To date, one of the male detainees has also been returned to the Detention Center and the remaining male is still at large.

The Post-Dispositional Program (Post-D) offers Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judges an option that meets both the juvenile’s need for rehabilitative services and the need to ensure public safety. Lynchburg’s Post-D Program provides a dispositional alternative for court-ordered juvenile offenders who may benefit from local, short-term confinement and treatment. The juveniles remain in the community in attempts to foster family and community involvement. Typically, juveniles involved in the Post-D Program are non-violent offenders.

Following procedures, a Serious Incident Report was completed and forwarded to the State Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). All other pertinent individuals involved with the three detainees were informed of the incident – the 24th and 10th Judicial District Court Services Units, DJJ Certification Unit, parents, Lynchburg Division of Social Services and Bedford County Department of Social Services.

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On Friday, August 12, 2016, representatives from DJJ Certification Unit visited the Detention Center to review the incident to determine if any standards or procedures had been violated. They concluded that no violations had occurred during this incident.

Although there were no violations, the Human Services Department will be taking the following actions immediately to minimize the potential for these types of incidents in the future:

• At least two staff members will accompany juveniles from the Post-D Program during all planned community activities;
• When there is a mixed group, a female youth counselor will accompany all female juveniles;
• When appropriate, the department will reduce the number of juveniles who participate in community activities at one time;
• The department will ensure continued dialogue with all individuals involved with the juveniles who participate in the Post-D Program; i.e., probation officers, counselors, parents, teachers, family services specialists, etc.

“Due to the fact that this incident involved juveniles and there are laws strictly governing the release of information pertaining to juveniles, no other information will be made available at this time,” said Human Services Director Tamara Rosser. “We want to ensure the public that all efforts are being made to locate the remaining teen and to reduce the chance of this happening again.”