Bowling Brook counselors will not face criminal charges

March 29, 2012 Counselors from a former school for troubled youths in Carroll County will face no criminal charges in connection with the death of a student at that school. Isaiah Simmons of East Baltimore was 17 years old when he died back in 2007. He had been sent to the Bowling Brook School in Carroll County, after being found responsible for a robbery. Investigators found that at least five counselors from the school restrained him for more than three hours, and when he stopped breathing, they didn’t call 911 for more than 40 minutes. The medical examiner ruled Isaiah Simmons’ death a homicide back in 2007. But the counselors who restrained him were not charged with murder — just reckless endangerment, for not calling 911 fast enough. Now, even those charges have been dropped. “I have no faith in the justice system right now,” said Felicia Wilson, Isaiah Simmons’ mother. “It’s not fair. It’s not fair. I have seen no fairness in the system of Carroll County as of yet.” Carroll County State’s Attorney Jerry Barnes says there are several problems with the case. The lead investigator, Det. Douglas Epperson of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, faces an[…..]

Studies Show High Rates of Abuse in Juvenile Correctional Facilities

In recent years, the alarming issue of both physical and sexual abuse occurring in juvenile facilities has garnered attention. Lack of oversight and nationally accepted standards for tracking these abuse cases makes it challenging to know exactly how frequently abuse is occurring. However, a 2007 Associated Press study in which juvenile correction centers in each state were contacted to find out the number of juvenile deaths and alleged and confirmed cases of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse by staff members revealed that there were 13,000 claims of abuse in centers across the country since 2004. One of the primary culprits of physical abuse in juvenile facilities, and an issue that has sparked much controversy, is the use of physical restraints and devices. There have been quite a few cases of restraint-related deaths, including a Florida teen that was restrained while several guards repeatedly struck him and a 17-year-old in Maryland who lost consciousness and died after being held to the floor face down. In the latter case, prosecutors stated the staff waited 41 minutes after the teen was unresponsive to call for help. Maryland attorney, Steven H. Heisler represented the family of the 17-year-old in a wrongful death case against[…..]