Las Vegas Sun, January 11, 2000

Guards fired over broken bones, knocked out teeth and other assaults on youth
By Associated Press

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Seven guards from Maryland's boot camps for juvenile offenders have been fired for assaulting delinquents in their care, state officials said.

The guards were among 14 from three camps placed on administrative duty last month because of accusations they assaulted teens for more than three years.

Officials from the Department of Juvenile Justice told the guards Friday that they were being fired for violating the agency's excessive force policy because there was credible evidence that the allegations were true.

"These terminations are the direct result of investigations by the governor's task force," said Bob Kannenberg, an agency spokesman.

Juvenile justice officials would not release the names of the guards or describe the assaults that led to the firings.

The (Baltimore) Sun reported today that three of the guards oversaw 14 juveniles whose five months at the Savage Leadership Challenge were described in a series of Sun articles.

Youths assigned to the camps told state officials they were routinely kicked, punched and slammed to the ground for little or no reason. Some juveniles had their teeth knocked out and, in one case, a juvenile's wrist was broken on his first day.

Friday's firings bring to 12 the number of state employees who have lost their jobs because of assaults at Savage. Maryland State Police are investigating whether to file criminal charges against camp guards, while the FBI has opened a civil rights investigation.

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