Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Thompson: Need for legislative intervention with juvenile centers continues after troubling report
RELEASE|April 19, 2024

State Rep. Jamie Thompson, of Brownstown, today issued the following statement after a Detroit News report detailed issues involving staff misconduct at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility in the past year.

Of the 60 violations found by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) at the facility in the last year according to the report, 50 involved staff errors. These missteps included a staff member slamming a child’s head onto a table, an hours-long delay in getting a child needed medical attention, and staff allowing children to watch pornography that was running on a television instead of properly intervening. DHHS noted that many of the issues are repeat violations.

Thompson serves on the House Health Policy Subcommittee on Behavioral Health and has consistently called for the panel to hold hearings on a clear pattern of mistreatment and procedural concerns at state-run juvenile centers:

“This problem is not going away, despite continued inaction by legislative committees to give these heartbreaking accounts the platform, examination and solutions they deserve.

“Many legislators are parents, including myself. It angers me that a child’s head being slammed into a table and porn running on a TV in front of children with adults nearby does not rise to a level of needing legislative hearings. These aren’t isolated issues. What are we doing for these kids if we aren’t going to address that in a hearing? Oversight and due diligence with how children in these facilities are looked after falls on the state, and the state is clearly failing in this role.

“No child should be subjected to the physical and psychological mistreatment that has been detailed in these reports, and no parent should have to endure the pain of these actions. It’s past time the state does more to address these failings – and I will continue pushing for accountability.”

Michigan House Republicans

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