Teen escapes from Lane County Juvenile Justice Center

Benjamin Chambers with the Oregon Youth Authority said the teen was convicted of burglary and theft charges on Sept. 7.

Posted: Sep 13, 2018 7:21 PM
Updated: Sep 13, 2018 7:22 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Officials are reviewing policies and procedures at the Lane County Juvenile Justice Center after a teen escaped over the weekend.

Jason Davis, a spokesman for Lane County, said the teen stole a security badge from a staff member during a routine visitation procedure. Davis said the security badge allowed the teen to open doors and run off.

“I think anytime something of this nature happens, we take a step back and we say, 'Is it human error, procedural or policy error?'” Davis said. “Certainly, we’re examining all those different possibilities and trying to drill exactly what we can do to preserve public safety and also the safety of the youth."

Davis could not confirm or deny if any staff members were injured during the escape, citing privacy laws.

Benjamin Chambers with the Oregon Youth Authority said the teen was convicted of burglary and theft charges on Sept. 7 and was scheduled to be transferred to a state facility the day after he escaped. Chambers said a warrant has been issued for the teen's arrest.

Davis said their first priority is getting this youth back to get the help he needs.

“This youth has his whole life in front of him, and we want to do everything we can to get him on the road to recovery,” Davis said.

Davis said staffing levels had nothing to do with the teenager's escape. He said there were four staffers on hand and six inmates. He also said the facility had not reduced staffing levels in four years.

Chambers released the teen's name to KEZI 9 News, but we are withholding the information due to his age.

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