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KY Teen Suit Alleges Abuse, Poor Conditions At Detention Center

Two teens who say they were kept in isolation at a Kentucky youth detention center, denied basic hygiene, and tortured by being forced to listen to a version of "Baby Shark" on a loop have filed a class-action lawsuit against the facility and its administrators. The lawsuit details alleged incidents of abuse at Adair County Juvenile Detention Center against the two teen girls and others held there, USA Today reports. The lawsuit details alleged incidents, including a teen who spent days soaked in menstrual blood, while at the same time, staffers insulted her about her hygiene. Other allegations include a suicidal child held in a padded cell without a toilet for weeks. A child was also held in an insect-infested room, and girls were forced to expose their naked bodies to members of the opposite sex.

The teenage girls in the lawsuit were isolated with limited showers during their entire stay at the Adair facility. One girl, who was 17 and seven months pregnant, said she was allowed out of her cell five times a month. The other girl was kept in isolation for four months. The lawsuit names state officials Kerry Harvey, Vicki Reed, and others. Harvey, currently the Justice Cabinet secretary, will retire at the end of the month, while Reed, former Department of Juvenile Justice director, retired on Jan. 1.  David Kazee, the division director of the Office of Detention in the Department of Juvenile Justice, and George Scott, an executive director in the Department of Juvenile Justice, were also named in the suit and were demoted in November 2023. "Talking to these girls, it's just so tragic, just the entire experience. It's intolerable to treat people the way they've been treated," said an attorney for the teens who filed the lawsuit.


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