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Security At D.C.-Run Juvenile Justice Center In Question

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The city's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services operates the New Beginnings Youth Development Center in Maryland.
The city's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services operates the New Beginnings Youth Development Center in Maryland.

Authorities say an 18-year-old escaped from the New Beginnings Youth Development Center in Laurel Monday morning after attacking a guard and then stealing his vehicle.

"I mean if it's possible for someone to assault a guard, move through about seven different locking stations, and then scale a wall with a ladder that was left out, I think we have to conclude the facility is not secure," says D.C. Council member Jim Graham.

Graham oversees the city's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, which is in charge of New Beginnings.

This is the third escape from New Beginnings since it opened in 2009. It has been billed as the anti-prison for its campus-like setting and emphasis on rehabilitation.

Graham says police have spotted the escaped juvenile in Southeast D.C. and he expects it's only a matter of time before the teenager is back in custody.

CORRECTION: Original reports said the escapee was 17. More recent reports say the teenager is actually 18.


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