DENVER (February 10, 2017) – An employee of the Spring Creek Youth Services Center has been arrested on the charge of assault in the second degree, a class four felony, and child abuse, a class one misdemeanor. That employee has been placed on administrative leave.
The charges stem from a September 12 incident in which a Correctional Youth Security Officer II at the facility was accused of grabbing a Spring Creek youth by their arm and squeezing their neck. The incident was first reported to authorities the same day. The youth involved was medically cleared after the incident and is no longer at the facility.
“The Division of Youth Corrections condemns the alleged actions in the strongest possible terms,” said Anders Jacobson, director of the Division of Youth Corrections. “The Division has welcomed the involvement of the Colorado Springs Police Department, El Paso County District Attorney’s Office, and the El Paso County Department of Human Services, and we will continue to cooperate fully with their investigation.”
The Division takes seriously any allegation involving its employees and the youth in their care. When the Division uncovers allegations, they take whatever swift and legally appropriate action is called for in accordance with Division policies. With allegations such as abuse and neglect, they also report them to the proper authorities and initiate internal actions to ensure the youth in their care remain safe.
“The Division of Youth Corrections not only encourages employees to report incidents of abuse and neglect – we require it,” Jacobson said.
The alleged incident occurred prior to a re-organization at the Spring Creek facility designed to improve staffing levels and safety at the facility. On October 1, the Division of Youth Corrections re-organized Spring Creek to house only detained youth awaiting trial, which capped the population of youth there at 51. Prior to the change, there was one staff member for every 10 youth at the facility.
Now, there is one staff member for every five youth at the facility.
The re-organization has greatly improved safety measures. In September 2016, there were 21 fights and assaults at Spring Creek (1.06 per 100 beds). In January 2017, there were just four fights and assaults (0.29 per 100 beds).