Law enforcement was dispatched Saturday to Saint Johns Youth Academy in responce to a call from the Department of Juvenile Justice reporting an incident inside the detention facility with capacity for 70 high-risk male residents ages 14-18.
Historic City News learned that an undetermined number of detainees became “unruly” and refused to return to their individual rooms when directed by officers on duty.
“The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice takes the safety and security of youth in our custody as our top priority,” a published response to First Coast News reported. “Today, the contracted provider for St Johns Youth Academy notified us of a disturbance at the facility. The Department appreciates the quick response of law enforcement to resolve this incident, and we are currently investigating this matter.”
No injuries were reported during the incident.
The program at St Johns Youth Academy is operated by Sequel TSI of Florida, LLC. They provide mental health overlay services and utilize an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral approach in the delivery of mental health and substance abuse treatment services. Case management and psychiatric services are also available on site. The length of stay depends on the individual’s pace of success in completing the treatment plan and goals.
The facility, located at 4500 Avenue D, also provides educational and vocational training to its residents through the St Johns County School District. In addition to English, math, science, and social studies, the Youth Academy serves as a GED test site.
Facility Administrator Orvando Freeman cautioned, “Should it become apparent that a failure to follow policy and procedures contributed to this incident, staff will be held fully accountable for their actions.”