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Attack Monday evening at Warren County Juvenile Detention Center injures staff member

Lisa Autry

A staff member at the Warren County Juvenile Detention Center is recovering from injuries received during an attack at the facility on Monday night.

A state agency says three youth offenders are responsible for the incident.

According to the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, all youth in the Warren County facility had been ordered to return to their rooms for the evening around 9:00 p.m., which is protocol.

A statement from the cabinet said three youth refused to cooperate and began attacking staff members by kicking and punching them in the head, face, and back.

The youth were eventually restrained and one employee was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The offenders who carried out the attack were being held on charges of murder and first-degree robbery. Staff at the local facility referred all questions to the state. Morgan Hall, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, declined an interview request.

The attack follows a series of problems at Kentucky’s juvenile detention centers, including assaults, riots, and vandalism. Last week, Gov. Andy Beshear announced juvenile justice workers would be receiving protective equipment to defend themselves and youth offenders during attacks.

The state has taken other steps to improve such as moving female inmates to a single facility and holding male inmates according to the age and level of offense.

A resolution is pending in the Kentucky General Assembly that would create an emergency work group to examine the state’s troubled juvenile justice system.

State Sen. David Givens of Greensburg sponsored the resolution.

“Crisis is not an adequate word for what’s going on here," Givens said during a floor speech. "Crisis doesn’t even start to touch the depth of this problem.”

The resolution cleared the Senate earlier this month and will go to the House for a vote when the legislature reconvenes on Feb. 7.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.