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5 youth inmates attempt breakout at Santa Barbara County Juvenile Justice Center

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Posted at 12:39 PM, Nov 10, 2022

According to officials at the Santa Barbara County Juvenile Justice Center in Santa Maria, on Wednesday evening, five youth-in-custody attempted to break out of the facility.

Kim Shean, the Deputy Chief Probation Officer at the Juvenile Justice Center, says at approximately 6 p.m. Wednesday, the juvenile inmates "engaged in the disruption of one unit."

She says the inmates destroyed property inside the unit and barricaded themselves on an upper tier of the facility. Shean adds that they tried to escape from the juvenile hall by breaking through windows.

She says on-site probation staff and personnel attempted to resolve the situation but were unable to get the youth inmates to cooperate.

At around 8 p.m., Shean tells KSBY the Juvenile Justice Center probation staff requested assistance from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office's Special Operations Response Team (SORT).

She says that after multiple unsuccessful attempts by probation staff to de-escalate the situation verbally, SORT deputies were eventually able to remove the youth inmates from the unit. They were then detained and placed in secure cells.

Shean says one probation staff member sustained minor injuries during the incident and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. She says there were no injuries to the youth inmates involved.

The Juvenile Justice Center is yet to release details on the reasons behind the attempted breakout, nor could they provide the approximate time in which the situation was resolved.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff officials tell KSBY that they are unable to comment since they were only called out to assist with the incident.