It is probably best that the Miami Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center is now shuttered. While juvenile detention is supposed to be a rehabilitative experience for troubled youth, it seemed more important to the guards there that the kids hurt each other. In a recent report by the Miami Herald, five staffers at the lockup, including three supervisors, were fired for “failing to oversee detained children and falsifying official reports.” An investigation into allegations that the staff used honey buns and other snacks as bounties for inmates to attack other inmates is being currently being conducted.
The allegations were borne by the death of Elord Revolte, 17, who was booked at the lockup on August 27th for armed robbery. Four days later, he was jumped by as many as 20 other detainees, and beaten badly. Revolte died a day later.
Now, lawyers for the children and Revolte’s foster mother told the Herald that it was common for officers to use treats as an enticement for kids to carry out vicious attacks and punish them. The Herald writes:
The Herald first learned of the alleged connection between honey buns and beatings the day after Elord died, when his short-term foster mother described the practice in detail to a reporter, who then asked the public defenders in Miami-Dade and Broward counties if they were aware of it.
The next day, an assistant public defender told Osborne, his boss, that detainees at the Miami lockup — most of whom are represented by their office — had disclosed being offered honey buns by guards looking for someone to hurt another detainee.
“When I asked [the lawyer], ‘Why honey buns?’ he stated these kids are incarcerated, so they don’t get anything like that in here. In here, a honey bun is like a million dollars,” Osborne told the Herald.
The kids who accept the bounties, Osborne said, serve an important purpose: “Guards can get around Abuse Hotline charges in an unorthodox way and maintain order and control in a situation where they are seriously outnumbered.”