Report reveals sexual misconduct, list of concerns in juvenile jail

Updated: Jan. 31, 2018 at 10:52 PM EST
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This audit outlined a series of concerns inside JCYC. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
This audit outlined a series of concerns inside JCYC. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Dr. Ursula Mullins (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Dr. Ursula Mullins (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Dr. Ursula Mullins has been the director of the Louisville Metro Youth Detention Services for about a year.

A few months into her new job, the Center for Children's Law and Policy conducted an audit of the juvenile jail, JCYC. The 57-page report they produced afterwards wasn't exactly easy for Dr. Mullins to see.

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"I wasn't necessarily surprised," Mullins said. "But, I'll tell you just like anyone else, when you read about your organization, there is something that kind of gets you in the gut."

The document outlined a series of concerns, like reports of sexual misconduct, the lack of legally mandated education and mental health services, and a turnover rate of 38%.

"It can be a thankless job and that takes a toll on staff," Dr. Mullins said.

The list also noted the quality and timing of food services and need for heightened sanitation protocols.

"It's sobering," Dr. Mullins said. "It really helps us buckle down and remember why we do what we do and that we have a lot of work to actually do."

Maybe the most glaring spot in the report were six PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) incidents reported from Nov. 2016 to Aug. 2017.

None of the allegations involved abusive physical contact by staff.

"To me it says we've got the checks and balances to catch things so that we aren't talking about incidences of physical misconduct, which would be absolutely atrocious," Dr. Mullins said.

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The report did compliment Dr. Mullins on her leadership. She's inherited these problems and developed a plan in January to start fixing it.

"I can relate," Dr. Mullins said. "I've had a family member here long before, you know when I was a kid I had a family member here. So I'm deeply passionate about what I'm here to do."

The improvement strategies developed in January like food options for the residents are more immediate fixes, while lowering their turnover rate -- which Mullins mentioned is common in the corrections industry -- will take time.

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