DOUGLAS COUNTY, GA — Two juveniles were left locked in a bare courthouse holding cell for 3 straight nights with no food, no water, no lights, no toilet paper, and no supervision.
It happened at the Douglas County Courthouse over the weekend. One of the teens was in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
The teens were left in a holding cell on Friday, June 20th at 1:30 p.m., WXIA reported.
For nearly 3 full days, the boys were left trapped in the dark without anything to eat or drink. Guards somehow managed to miss the fact that they were in custody at all. They were not discovered until Monday morning.
According to Sheriff Phil Miller, 8-10 officers neglected to check the cells, as they were supposed to on an hourly basis and before the end of every shift.
“Simply, as a parent and politician, I am grieved within my soul over this matter,” said Douglas County Commissioner Kelly Robinson. “For 16 and 17 year old juveniles to be solitarily locked in a closed building, as massive as our courthouse, in a cell, without food, sworn officer oversight, county personnel presence or access to the outside world, for 3 nights is unfathomable.”
The sheriff said he is “embarrassed” and intends to investigate.
An ‘accident’ such as this would assuredly amount to criminal child neglect charges for any parent or guardian. Will equivalent criminal charges occur after the government’s neglectful act?
Sadly, that seems unlikely. When a California man survived 5 days of being forgotten in a cell, drinking his own urine to survive, no one was even fired, much less criminally charged.
Here is the sheriff’s statement after the incident in Douglas County: