Lawsuits claim private prison company covered up youth sexual abuse
Two lawsuits have been filed alleging that a private youth prison operator in Florida actively covered up sexual abuse against young people in its care.
The suits claim that the company Youth Services International, frequently turned a blind eye to the misconduct.
According to a suit filed in October in federal court, the top administrator at one YSI youth prison regularly made sexual advances toward teenage boys held there in 2010 and 2011 and on at least one occasion brought inmates home with him and into his bedroom. A separate case filed in Florida court in November alleges that a female guard at another YSI facility in 2012 began an “intimate and sexual relationship” with a 14-year-old inmate.
According to accounts from mothers of the victims and documents obtained by The Huffington Post, Florida officials at the Department of Juvenile Justice did not investigate the alleged incidents until months after they occurred.
The lawsuits echo the recent findings of a recent Huffington Post investigation that revealed more than twenty years of abuse and neglect inside private prisons operated by Youth Services International and other companies run by its founder, James Slattery. The articles detailed multiple instances of young inmates at YSI facilities in Florida complaining of having suffered neglect, physical and sexual abuse by guards.
All of Florida’s youth prisons are privatized.
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