Juvenile Center to be Investigated

News 8 WISH-TV/February 11, 2002

The News 8 I-Team confirmed Monday that Child Protective Services is investigating a juvenile center in Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Training Center houses more than 100 juveniles. Some of the children are there by court order, others are sent to the faith-based program by their families.

There are strong allegations -- including kids put in solitary confinement with no food and kids beaten with a wooden board. Allegations that the public defender called "disturbing."

"Tara" was sent to the Indianapolis Training Center by the Marion County courts when she was only nine. She has spent the last ten months there. Monday, the News 8 I-Team sat with the family in court when they learned that Tara was going back home to her mother.

The public defenders office called Child Protective Services after hearing that Tara had been spanked 14 times with a wooden board, had been locked in a prayer room for days at a time and had three leaders -- who are teenagers -- sit on her stomach, legs and shoulder restraining her.

And Tara is not alone. The News 8 I-Team has talked with others who allege the same abuses. Some former residents are voicing new concerns for the other children inside. On the way out of court, one of the administrators of the center had no comment on the allegations.

The Indianapolis Training Center is the old Stouffer Hotel on North Meridian.

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