Detention Unit Rendered “Completely Unusable” After Hours Long Incident

On Sunday, May 1st, 2022, at approximately 6:45 pm, the Grants Pass Police Department received a phone call from a Josephine County Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) employee. The employee reported a male juvenile being housed on the detention side of the facility just assaulted one of the other juveniles housed at the facility. The male juvenile refused when ordered to get onto the floor or return to his cell. The situation escalated quickly, with other housed youths joined in open defiance to JJC staff.

Within moments of the original call to the Police Department, two male and one female resident of JJC began destroying the common area of the secured side of the facility. The youths pushed items against the doors leading into the secured area to prevent law enforcement intervention. Every police unit from Grants Pass Police responded to the facility. Deputies from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office assisted, along with medical personnel from AMR and Grants Pass Fire/Rescue.

In addition to the three main participants of the disturbance, five other youths were present but secured inside their respective cells. The youth suspects attempted to break glass leading into the facility’s control room and individual cells of other youths that were not involved. Officers assigned to the Crisis Negotiations Team and Options Mental Health professionals responded to the scene to de-escalate the situation.

When the youths refused to negotiate and armed themselves with make-shift weapons, The Grants Pass SWAT Team was activated for additional personnel and equipment to resolve the incident. Pepper ball munitions were introduced into the environment to encourage the youths to surrender. At one point, near the end of the incident, two of the youths threatened the life of the third youth by holding a make-shift-edged weapon to the neck of the third involved incarcerated youth. 

Officers and Deputies forced their way into the barricaded space and took all three youths into custody. Nobody other than the initial assault victim was injured during the incident. During the nearly two-hour standoff, the facility suffered several thousands of dollars in damage. The facility was rendered completely unusable, forcing all of the youths residing on the detention side of the facility to be moved to other regional facilities. 

All three offending juveniles were arrested on new charges and transported to regional juvenile facilities.

Courtesy of GPPD

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