Five law enforcement agencies rushed to the Eastman Youth Development Campus on Sunday night, after a call for help from the staff. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office says a correctional officer was attacked by several inmates who tried to beat him with a broomstick. Inmates in one dorm set several small fires using bed linens and trash, and 60 others refused to return to their cells. It took more than an hour to get control of what the Sheriff’s Office is calling a riot.
Officers from Dodge County, Wilcox County, Abbeville Police, Eastman Police and Fire, and Middle Georgia College all helped YDC staff get the inmates back in their cells before leaving at 9pm.
Eastman has the highest level of security for juvenile offenders in the state, with 330 beds for young men, 17 to 20 years old, who are committed for serious crimes. Last May, a bigger uprising led to an escape at Eastman.
The Department of Juvenile Justice released only this brief statement about Sunday’s incident and would not answer questions:
On Sunday, January 30, 2011, a disturbance took place at Eastman Youth Development Campus. Initially some youth refused to comply with verbal commands given by juvenile correctional officers. Subsequently, local law enforcement was called in to assist in returning the youth to their housing units.
The situation was brought under control and no youth were injured. One juvenile correctional officer received minor injuries during the incident, but did not require outside medical attention.
The facility has resumed normal operations.