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Changes Could Come After Sex Scandals

COLUMBUS (Ben Garbarek) -- Changes could be coming to the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Facility after a series of sex scandals involving guards and underage inmates.

A former guard is accused of showing a teenage inmate a video of him having sex with another guard he was dating.

Another guard resigned after getting caught writing racy love letters to another inmate.  A third guard is being investigated for allowing a teenager to touch her butt.

"There's always one or two bad apples in the barrel," said Toni Brooks, superintendent of the facility.  "Certainly those one or two bad apples don't taint every apple in that barrel."

Brooks said every employee in the building must go through three weeks of sexual harassment and other training.  She said they should know this kind of behavior is unacceptable.

"Zero tolerance," she said.  "Anyone who is with direct contact with the youth must complete this training."

People at the facility also have to go through Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) training.  It's common in adult prisons, but relatively new at the Juvenile Detention Facility.

Brooks said it paid off when another officer brought the love letters to light.

The facility will also be reviewing how it hires people to make sure the right people are brought in to work with the juveniles.

"The staff here are professional," Brooks said.  "They're committed.  These blips on the radar, these nasty blips on the radar, are disappointing."

The third guard accused of allowing an inmate to touch her butt will have a hearing on Wednesday.  That's when she'll find out if she will be fired as well.

 
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