Exclusive details on Mobile abuse investigation - FOX10 News | WALA

Exclusive details on Mobile abuse investigation

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MOBILE, AL (WALA) - The Mobile Police Department and the Department of Human Resources removed more than 30 girls and boys from two youth facilities after a complaint of abuse and finding a sewage leak and expired food.

Mobile Police are calling it an abuse investigation. At this time no one has been charged.

Pastor John Young, who runs these facilities called “The Saving Youth Foundation” says he believes there was not sufficient evidence to remove the children from the centers.

“There was no abuse with the kids. The kids are well taken care of. There's 24-hour supervision. At no time are the kids left alone. Everything they need is here and they eat well. There was no sufficient evidence,” Young said.

Michelle Fadgen says she's been in the Saving Youth Foundation program for a few years. She says she's never felt mistreated.

"The staff are very sweet, very nice, but if you disrespect them they kind of put you back in your place because you're here for a reason, so it's not to be mean, it's a respect level because some kids don't have respect," Fadgen said.

Taylor Wagner, 17,  has a different take on the organization.  She says she was at the center for 6 months and she was once in an isolation room for 22 days for writing her mom a letter for help.

“They would put you in handcuffs and shackles if they felt like they wanted to,” she said. “Sometimes they would strip you down to your bra and underwear and you were in there 24 hours a day. Sometimes they would barely let you out to use the restroom."

Wagner says she was also physically abused at the center and was delayed medical treatment.

Young says, though kids could be punished with multiple days in isolation, the rest of it isn't true.

"There's no need to have a kid in shackles in isolation. The only reason why a kid would be in leg shackles if they're running," said Young.  “And when we put a kid in isolation that's because they're really doing something dangerous to themselves or others."

Young says because it's a center for troubled youth, kids will say anything to get out of the facility and back into trouble.

"I don't really blame the kids. They want their freedom. They want to go smoke their pot and go out on the streets and go on Facebook and everything and a facility like this is a controlled environment," he said.

A sign on the wall at the boys' facility shows the punishment received for certain offenses. For lying, stealing or threatening, after three offenses, punishment is no less than 25 days in an isolation room.
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