Juveniles at DJJ break into building, climb over razor wire to roof

One of the group climbed to the roof using clothes and other items to get over the razor wire. (FILE PHOTO)
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 10:28 AM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) -The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is investigating how a group of children managed to break into a school building at the Broad River Road Complex (BRRC).

The department confirmed a group of seven youth gained unauthorized access during recreation on Sunday, July 10, 2022 . They were reported to have gone through several offices and took items which were later recovered. Multiple areas suffered property damage during the incident. Investigators said the group smashed a door to gain access.

One member of the group climbed to the roof with assistance from the rest. They used clothes and other items to get over the razor wire. Once on top of the Holly Dorm the juvenile threw items down. These included water bottles, drinks, electronics and toiletries.

Staff requested the assistance of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) due to a shortage in staff. On their arrival the youth on the roof surrendered. Investigators used a ladder to get him down. DJJ said nobody was injured the incident.

Sunday’s incident comes roughly a month after a ‘group disturbance’ sent two youth to the hospital in June. In that instance one of the individuals suffered a concussion and head trauma, the other required staples for a head injury. The family of one of the 16-year-old victims asked for a further investigation by SLED into the circumstances that led up to the attack.

In April the DJJ announced a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice over an investigation into the BRRC. The agreement required the DJJ to change policies, procedures, bring in consultants and evaluate punishment and use of force at the facility.

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