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State: 12-year-old repeatedly assaulted inside Wayne County juvenile facility

Wayne County  Dickerson jail
Posted at 4:16 PM, Jan 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-30 20:42:48-05

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (WXYZ) — A state investigation into Wayne County’s troubled juvenile detention facility has concluded that county employees failed to protect a 12-year-old boy from repeated cases of abuse.

An 18-page report issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services concluded that 5 staffers, including a supervisor, provided “improper supervision” back in March of 2023 when the young boy was repeatedly assaulted.

While the investigation concluded that the young man was physically assaulted, it did not speak to whether a sexual assault took place. The state report says the boy “did not allow” hospital staff to perform a sexual assault exam, but he maintained that a sexual assault had taken place.

A summary of surveillance video from the night of the alleged assaults said the 12-year-old 9:21PM ”wiping tears from his eyes and face.”

17 minutes later, it noted that two juveniles were observed punching the boy as his hands are up. Staff, the report notes, did not intervene.

Several hours later, the boy can be seen on video standing up on a table, according to the state, and that he appeared naked.

A minute later, two juveniles were again seen assaulting the boy. Nine minutes after that, he is assaulted once more.

Only then, the report says, do staff escort the 12-year-old out of his unit.

RELATED: 'We're outnumbered.' Understaffed Wayne Co. juvenile facility sees attacks rise sharply

7 Action News first reported on the staffing crisis inside the juvenile detention facility in August of 2022—seven months before the boy was assaulted.

We revealed how staff reported that juveniles and employees were routinely put at risk because the county couldn’t hire enough staff for the overcrowded facility.

“How often were you the only employee working on a pod?” asked Channel 7’s Ross Jones.

“Daily,” said Adria Johnson, who had spent more than two years working at the facility. “All five days of my shift. I was the only person on a pod and sometimes watching multiple pods."

Destany Moore, a probation case manager, said she would frequently enter the facility to meet with her juvenile clients without seeing staff present.

“I would literally go to the pods and there would be no staff at all and I’m like, hey, where’s the staff?” she recalled in August of 2022. “And the kids are telling me: there’s no staff over here.”

According to the state’s report, staff told investigators that “when there is not enough staff it is appropriate to supervise the youth through the windows” rather than going inside their pods.

The state concluded that five staffers, including a supervisor, provided “improper supervision" on the day the juvenile was attacked. Wayne County confirms that it forced out six staffers following the assault of the 12-year-old boy.

Contact 7 Investigator Ross Jones at or at (248) 827-9466.