Sequel: 7 escapees from Owens Cross Roads facility in last 18 months

Source: WAFF
Source: WAFF(Source: WAFF)
Updated: Aug. 18, 2019 at 6:39 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala. (WAFF) - Sequel TSI’s juvenile detention center in Madison may be dominating the headlines with the consequences of its escapes, but its sister facility in Owens Cross Roads is facing similar challenges.

Sequel is a company that owns and operates five youth rehabilitation clinics in Alabama, and has contracts with the Department of Youth Services, Department of Human Resources and the Department of Mental Health.

It operates facilities in Madison (the Three Springs Detention Facility), Owens Cross Roads, Courtland, Montgomery and Tuskegee.

Owens Cross Roads Police Chief Jason Dobbins estimated his officers have responded to 5 to 10 escapes at the Hamer Road facility in the last year.

Sequel sent WAFF 48 News a statement that read in part: “In the past 18 months, we have had four reports involving a total of seven students who improperly left our campus.”

The Owens Cross Roads facility is not a juvenile detention center, but is described as “locked” and “secure” on the Sequel website.

It describes the youth it services as:

  • Females, ages 12 to 18 years old
  • Full-scale IQ above 70
  • Is impulsive/irresponsible
  • Denies and/or justifies negative behavior
  • Has problems with anger and aggression
  • Demonstrates a low degree of empathy and self-esteem
  • Lacks self-discipline
  • Exhibits poor coping skills
  • Is non-compliant with authority
  • Is amenable to a normative culture

Chief Dobbins estimated his officers have responded to 6 to 10 assault calls at the facility in the last year, where the girls attacked a staff member.

However, he said the escapees have rarely been violent toward law enforcement.

He said most escapees just “walk out” due to a lack of security.

Sequel’s full statement:

At Sequel TSI Owens, our highest priority is the health, safety and well-being of the students in our care. In the past 18 months, we have had four reports involving a total of seven students who improperly left our campus. In every case, we work closely with the Owens Cross Roads police to return the students without incident as quickly as possible. We are grateful for the department’s support and remain committed to ensuring all our students receive the care and help they need to live productive, fulfilling lives.

The majority of the neighbors who spoke to WAFF 48 News said the facility and the girls have not been a major problem, but seeing Owens Cross Roads police officers searching for escapees is fairly common.

Sharon Herrin lives roughly 200 yards from the facility, and said she would like to see more security around the building.

“Now a days you don’t know what kids will do you know? There needs to be security, maybe put up more fences,” she said.

Herrin said she’s been following the news of the Madison facility. The Madison City Council pulled the facility’s business license after multiple escapes, including a 2017 escape where two escapees allegedly killed a construction worker.

“I don’t want to see that going on here, you know? You never know,” she said.

Neighbors were concerned that the juveniles at the Madison facility would be moved to the Owens Cross Roads facility as a result of the pulled business license.

Sequel said it would not be moving any of the male juveniles into the female facility.

It’s unclear where the roughly 50 juveniles will end up, but the facility has until the August 21 to place the youth in a new location.

Copyright 2019 WAFF. All rights reserved.