Hickey workers disciplined after rape of counselor

November 30, 1994|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,Sun Staff Writer

The private operator of the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School for juvenile delinquents has fired a staff member and disciplined several others after the recent rape of a counselor in the school's sex offender program.

A 19-year-old inmate who was left alone with the woman at the high-security unit -- in apparent violation of the operator's contract with the state Department of Juvenile Services -- has been charged with rape and other offenses.

Joan S. Stephens, spokeswoman for Youth Services International Inc., promised both in-house and independent reviews of security procedures in the program. "You just cannot let procedures break down," she said.

Officials of the Baltimore County school say the 26-year-old counselor was alone with the student Nov. 20 while three other staff members took the other 23 students in the sex-offender program to breakfast.

Youth Services' contract with the state stipulates that at least two staff members be at the unit at all times.

Ms. Stephens said the senior staff member at the unit on Nov. 20 was fired; several supervisors, who were not working that day, were required to take several days off without pay.

In addition, she said, all program staffers will be retrained and reminded of the contractual requirements.

Department of Juvenile Services spokeswoman Jacqueline Lampell said the state has not yet finished its investigation of the incident or determined what action it might take against Youth Services. She said, however, that "they're doing what they need to do."

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