A child’s sexual assault allegation reportedly occurring at a Michigan juvenile detention center last week resulted in significant personnel changes at the facility Friday.
Mark Roland, now ex-deputy director of the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility, was ousted following the report of the alleged sexual assault of a minor. Another administrator, facility Director Brandon Barber was “reassigned to another position in the county,” Detroit News reported.
The 12-year-old-boy alleged he was sexually and physically assaulted at the facility, according to WXYZ.
Wayne County has fired one top official and reassigned another following a 12-year-old boy’s claim that he was sexually and physically assaulted inside the county’s juvenile jail. https://t.co/01B5BRs29z
— WXYZ Detroit (@wxyzdetroit) March 17, 2023
Furthermore, seven additional employees faced suspension in the wake of the report, according to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Elizabeth Hertel, who told the outlet that there are “seven other licensing investigations underway.” (RELATED: Josh Duggar Gets Child Pornography Prison Sentence Extended)
Hertel told the outlet she could not comment further for human resources purposes.
The allegation caused the state to intervene on location. State workers showed up at the facility to spend time with the children as well as “add enhanced oversight and work with leaders to ensure the facility is implementing changes.”
“The awful sexual assault of a child is a clear demonstration that there was incredibly improper supervision occurring in this facility,” Hertel told Detroit News. “We absolutely feel that we need to take some more proactive steps by providing that additional staffing support from our state staff.”
Administrators at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility have reportedly been seeking state intervention to help mitigate problems pertaining to a lack of beds at the facility. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services had gotten involved with Wayne County to address “overcrowding” at the detention center, albeit a spokesperson for Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, Tiffani Jackson, characterized the line of communication as too little too late and a ramification if a neglected issue by the executive branch of the Michigan state government, according to the outlet.
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans lays blame for the overcrowding and dangerous conditions plaguing the county’s juvenile jail on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration in harshly worded letters sent in recent weeks and obtained by the Free Press. pic.twitter.com/Lzfzm91I95
— Michigan News Source (@MINewsSource) March 15, 2023
“In retrospect, it’s clear that state officials were too slow to take decisive action as they were closing down long-term stay beds,” Jackson said in a statement. “That inaction left way too many young people in an overcrowded facility — and Wayne County has been left to carry the consequences.”
The juvenile detention facility has a capacity of housing 50 youth offenders but as been forced to go beyond that capacity, accounting for up at 150 delinquents at most. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the average stay period at the facility was 21 days. Post-pandemic, that figure rose to 127 days, Jackson noted. One child has been in custody there for nearly 900 days. (RELATED: Juvenile Arrested For Allegedly Stabbing Student On Middle School Campus)
The Michigan State Police are currently conducting an investigation into the child’s sexual assault allegation.