Overnight officer staffing will be increased at the New Beginnings Youth Development Center after an 18-year-old beat a guard and escaped from a D.C. youth detention facility, authorities said Wednesday.
Citing security reasons, Christopher Shorter, chief of staff for the District’s Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services, declined to discuss specifics of the increase.
Neil Stanley, interim director of DYRS, announced the plans at a Wednesday morning news conference two days after the man escaped from New Beginnings Youth Development Center in Laurel. He is still on the run.
“My personal prayers and thoughts are with him and his family,” Stanley said of the officer, Sylvester Young, who was badly bruised and must undergo surgery for a broken bone in his face.
In an interview, Young said the attack and escape would have been avoided if he was not guarding nine or 10 inmates on the overnight shift by himself.
Shorter said the changes are for the safety and security of the staff and residents.
“We have to take immediate steps,” Shorter said. “The increased staff deployment will be in place until further notice.”
The department is reviewing all staffing and security procedures to figure out whether other changes need to be made, Shorter said.
As for the inmate who escaped, Shorter said: “We are working extremely closely with police. We are optimistic.”