In her own testimony, India Jones admitted that she overheard a female resident at the Bob Richard RYDC state that she was going to assault another resident and failed to take precautions to prevent the assault, DJJ Commissioner Gale Buckner said in a news release Monday.
The assault occurred on Dec. 6, 2011, according to the news release.
The investigation began after a female resident was so badly beaten by another resident at the center that she was sent to the hospital with severe facial injuries.
Haley Bonds, the mother of the victim, alleged that YDC officials encouraged residents to fight with each other.
“There are so many different kids that told them this was going to happen,” Bonds said.
Officer Jones, Bonds said, had overheard a resident saying she was going to attack Bonds’ daughter and was going to pretend she hadn’t heard that.
“I think they’ve got two more officers they need to fire,” Bonds said. “They should have had the GBI do the investigation from the beginning and not have done their own internal investigation.”
Her daughter, who is being held for trial on armed robbery charges, was first reported as being an aggressor and later a victim in consecutive assaults.
She claimed that assaults involving her had been pre-arranged by corrections officers in exchange for contraband food and other favors.
“This was a disturbing allegation,” Buckner said. “We would not tolerate that kind of officer misconduct at any of our secure facilities.”
Buckner added that she ordered the immediate and comprehensive investigation at the center to ensure the safety and security of residents in custody.
According to the news release:
Statements from some staff and residents portrayed the accusations to be based on rumors. The accused officers maintained their innocence from the beginning and volunteered to be polygraphed.
None of the three officers showed any indications of polygraph deception when they denied their involvements in promoting or encouraging fights between the residents.
Investigators also interviewed more than 25 residents and staff, collected and documented more than two dozen witness statements, reviewed scores of logbook entries and scanned hours of closed circuit security tapes, Buckner stated.