State investigators announced Monday that an ongoing investigation into claims of abuse of illegal immigrant teens housed in a Virginia detention facility did not turn up any instances of actual abuse.
Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia ordered an investigation into the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in June following claims of severe physical abuse made by multiple teens housed at the facility.
In sworn statements, six immigrant teens described instances where they were strapped to chairs and had bags placed over their heads. The review confirmed that the detainment center uses restraints and even mesh head coverings at times, however, none of the techniques amounted to the legally defined threshold of abuse or neglect, reported The Associated Press.
Investigators with the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) were unable to interview the immigrant teens whose sworn statements originally kicked off the investigation since they had been either been deported out of the United States or possibly transferred to other detainment facilities, according to The Chicago Tribune. The alleged incidents occurred during both former President Barack Obama’s administration and President Donald Trump’s administration. (RELATED: GOP Senator To Propose Bill Subverting Illegal Aliens From Fleeing Into The US)
While the investigation resulted in no instances of beatings or other severe forms of abuse that was alleged in the lawsuit, the DJJ recommended various ways in which the detainment center could improve its facility, such as adding more bilingual staff members and enhancing mental health screenings.
“I applaud the quick and comprehensive examination conducted by the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Social Services, and encourage the facility to heed their recommendations,” Northam said. “The safety of every child being held there is of the utmost importance.”
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