Police and state juvenile justice administrators are investigating the death of a 17-year-old boy at a Pembroke Pines drug treatment center for delinquent youths.
The teen had been court-ordered into treatment at a privately run program under contract with Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice in Pembroke Pines, one called the Broward Youth Treatment Center. A DJJ incident report said he was driven at 11:40 p.m. to Memorial Hospital in Pembroke Pines, where he was pronounced dead at 12:28 a.m.
A news release from the Pembroke Pines Police Department on Tuesday said an autopsy had been conducted, and, pending the completion of toxicology tests, “there is no foul play suspected at this time.”
“On behalf of DJJ, I first wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family,” DJJ Secretary Christina K. Daly told the Miami Herald in an email. “His unexpected and untimely death has been devastating to not only them, but to the youth and staff at the program as well as all of us at DJJ.”
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“The Department will be working collaboratively with local law enforcement to assist in their investigation of the circumstances surrounding this untimely death. The Department also immediately had staff on site to begin an intensive review of all records and actions by contracted personnel to ensure that all measures were taken,” Daly wrote. “ It appears at this time, following a preliminary review, that staff were performing routine checks as required to monitor the youth.”
Daly said DJJ’s Inspector General’s Office would conduct “a comprehensive and thorough investigation” of the boy’s death, and make the findings available to the public. The Pembroke Pines Police Department also is investigating.
On behalf of DJJ, I first wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family. His unexpected and untimely death has been devastating to not only them, but to the youth and staff at the program as well as all of us at DJJ.
Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Christina K. Daly
“At the present time, our focus is on the youth and staff at Broward Youth Treatment Center and ensuring they have the needed supports in place to deal with the overwhelming grief and shock of this loss,” Daly added.
At around 11:30 p.m. on Monday night, staff members at the facility were called to the teen’s dorm room where, they were told, “something was wrong with [the] youth.”
When a shift leader arrived to check on the boy, “he was non-responsive to voice or touch, and was not moving.”
“The facility nurse immediately initiated CPR and ordered staff to contact 9-1-1,” said a report. The nurse also tried to revive the youth with a defibrillator while awaiting rescue. The boy could not be resuscitated.