Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections Death Was Suicide, Inside Sources Say

Categories: News

suicide.jpg
Jamie Peachey
A suicide prevention kit at Adobe Mountain School.
​Staff at Adobe Mountain School in Phoenix are reporting that the death of a youth yesterday was a suicide.

And they wonder if the incident is tied to the "hush, hush" suicide earlier this month of a corrections officer from the same facility.

The boy was found in his cell at the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections' Adobe Mountain at 6:30 am May 25, according to Laura Dillingham, spokeswoman for the department.

She would not reveal any other details. Next of kin has not been contacted yet, she said, adding that an investigation is under way by the Department of Public Safety, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and the Department of Juvenile Corrections.

Dillingham refused to respond to questions regarding whether the incident was possibly a suicide. Two current employees of Adobe Mountain and one former employee of ADJC have contacted New Times to say the boy likely took his own life.

According to the employees, one of whom works on the unit Crossroads, where the boy was living at the time, the boy was found with a plastic bag tied over his head and a blanket over that. He was reportedly dead for quite some time when the morning shift staff found him.

Dillingham said department policy calls for welfare checks every 15 minutes through the night, and said the checks were, in fact, done in this situation. She said the childrens' faces cannot be kept covered, raising questions about whether the checks were done correctly.

She also said that Adobe Mountain School is fully staffed. Employees strongly disagreed.

Until very recently, the employees said, the boy had been placed at Triumph, the mental-health unit at Adobe Mountain, where he'd been for at least a year. The Crossroads employee said the boy was moved to Crossroads -- Adobe's unit reserved for violent kids -- after he was involved in an assault.

The employee said it was well known that the boy had "suicidal ideations" and added that the boy reportedly told the school superintendent recently that he wanted to be moved from Crossroads and would "do something" if he was not. The employee said that Crossroads staff wasn't informed of that conversation until after the boy had died.

Within the last several days, a youth corrections officer at Adobe Mountain took his own life. Dillingham confirmed this but refused to release details. She said the staff and kids have been receiving counseling since the officer's suicide, but employees said the event has been kept "hush, hush" and there has been no counseling, though word has gotten out. They also say that ADJC director Michael Branham came to the facility and told them not to fly the flags at half-staff, saying the man did not die honorably.

It is unknown whether that suicide led to the possible suicide yesterday, but experts stress the importance of providing immediate counseling in such situations. ADJC's statements emphasize the counseling they are providing in the wake of yesterday's youth death. The statements do not mention the older man's death.

In 2002 and 2003, there were three suicides at Adobe Mountain School. The suicides, along with an investigative series by Phoenix New Times, led to a federal investigation into conditions at the agency's facilities, including Adobe Mountain. Last year, New Times published a story about continuing problems -- including mental health issues -- at ADJC.

 


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21 comments
Sillygirl_2006_2008
Sillygirl_2006_2008

Dang it's 2012 and i still miss my brother. i wish he never left.....Presley you left to early , you might as well take me with you... cuz you left me here struggling.......... tears cry because im lost:( my heart beats slow and steady.... i wish i can pass a few beats to you cuz i want you to see the fmaily once more....  we all miss you.... this i say while i sit in my treatment center of me trying to be solber.....im getting solber from drugs  cuz now that your eyes are closed forever , my eyes is open to the world , this is because of you...... you always said we would never seperate from one another.......you broke that promise....:( any more commits please pass to me Silynthia Austin from Arizona

Masterron74403
Masterron74403

bull shit i was there when this happend and yes it did  he was the best so shut your fucking mouth and that boy was my friend

Sykeam Gatlin
Sykeam Gatlin

Presley was a coo niguh I had his back in st. lukes like he had mine. There was nothin wrong wit him so I dont kno why he was locked in adobe anyway. he was a good kid and a lil off buh shit who isnt. fuck any niguh who fucked wit em in adobe, they too bitch to fuck wit a real niguh.R.I.P Presley Austin

MISTIKA 35180
MISTIKA 35180

I REMEMBER THIS DAY WHEN IT HAPPENED EVERYBODY LIED TO US ABOUT SOME WATER PIPE BREAKING OR SOME S****....I WAS ON YEMAYA AND THEY DIDNT WANT ANYBODY TO KNOW ABOUT IT EXCEPT THE PEOPLE WHO KNEW HIM AND THEY TOOK US TO THIS ROOM AND HALF THE PUPLE THERE DIDNT EVEN KNOW HIM...IT WAS SOO DUMB ... RIP AUSTIN HE IS MISSED BY MANY...

Anthonypaez
Anthonypaez

Hi" well let me jus say I wS actually there at adobe mountain school wen the "officer committed suicide" it was kept hush hush " this is a reely bad place. They are not well with staff in the 5 months I was there in 1 month they let go over 300 employees no lies all facts. They should close this place down". Beside all the corrections officers are juror anyway. I would know.

deasnutz k#26348
deasnutz k#26348

Hi Amy I'm Heather deasy aka cheasydeasy n I have alot of insight for dat place. I was one of da oldest pvs there n I've seen. Alot shit in dat place so plz get back 2 meh .

deasnutz k#26348
deasnutz k#26348

I was in there my first time n I stayed over six months . They always make up excuses 2 keep ppl in there. They brainwashing. Ppl to make them like da system that's y they r never caught cuz they think they have power over everyone.

deasnutz k#26348
deasnutz k#26348

HeLl yea I agree I'm h.deasy I was at bcs. Since I was 14 n I agree dat they should get shut down ASAP.

deasnutz k#26348
deasnutz k#26348

I think presley had a good heart,but no support from staff. I remember talkin 2 him in da library at. Adobe n. I understand why he felt dat way n can say from experience from bein a former black canyon girl, dat staff is 2 blame cuz they r more shady than ever. Cause of staff bein so fuckin comfortable. I really do think blackcanyon n adobe needs new staff or will end up gettin shut down.Those places r for help not for a pay check. If staff were really there only for da pay check then fuckin kick rocks , n no wonder y most staff r gettin fired or leaving cuz da system is corrupted. I hope black canyon really gets shut down really soon staff r fuckin rediculous, I hope all da corrupted staff learn one day if not its UR burdon 2 pay 4 :) have a nice day.

K#25064
K#25064

wow.. wow ...wow..... lets just say that place is a joke and polocies are not followed and or kept in order.... i am a former inmate there and i have seen alot of crap go down at that place from staff to youth..... i'll be honest and actually say that the kids arnt innocent but the staff sure as hell aint either... they mess with your heads, go against policy extremely, dont do welfare checks properly or in the correct manner that they are supposed to be done.... i dont want to hear anymore excuses from the staff for real, although some of the staff are decent working people and follow the rules.... but that certain few like swift who used to work in unit nova and oliver o'hanno torres, all unit nova plus u got some other staff in other units that were real against the rule pricks also...the kids didnt treat staff right or do what they were told, that place is just one big joke and it needs to be revised as soon as the goverment has time, which will be never sooo all in all its fucked... R.I.P AUSTIN PRESLEY .....

SORRY YOU WENT THROUGH WHAT YOU WENT THROUGH...IF I WAS STILL THERE I WOULD HAVE HAD YOU BACK MY FRIEND...

Brandon Stanley
Brandon Stanley

damn right man! man look me up on facebook we gots to talk

Brandon Stanley
Brandon Stanley

who are you? I was on triumph with presley and he was gay but he was a good person! and he should have never went to crossroads!

Brandon Stanley
Brandon Stanley

duude who are you? I was on unit triumph with him too and possibly you...man this sux bout presley

Brandon Stanley
Brandon Stanley

wow omg i knew that kid! I was on unit triumph at adobe with him! he was a great person holy freakin crap this sucks i cant believe it was him who had killed himself....how did he do it?

chandler
chandler

Man RiP AuStIn pRsley..... i was In jaIl with Him It WAS very sad you brought of joy and happiness to my life when i was in your class.. hes a good person and a good kidd always in my prayers.. never ever forgotton much love and respect to austin it was very sadd..

Xjoeyxedgex
Xjoeyxedgex

haha presly killed himself? hahaha hilarious

LULU SENTENO
LULU SENTENO

HEY WATS UP H.DEASY ITS ME S.MORENO #26236  AND YUP I AGREE TO SHUT THAT BITCH DOWN ASAP

Brandon Stanley
Brandon Stanley

who are you man? I was locked up on triumph with presley too!

deasnutz k#26348
deasnutz k#26348

Wat a cunt. UR unbelievalble. How can u say dat shit. Bout Austin. I was his friend. U fuckin prick u need help ,immediately

Brandon Stanley
Brandon Stanley

I'll fuckin laugh when you die you piece of shit.....your a disgrace to mankind you fuck!

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