Report on Tennessee teen inmate suicides released

Aug 28, 2014




DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — A report out Wednesday says two teenagers who hanged themselves at a juvenile detention center in East Tennessee had a history of suicidal behavior.


The report by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth notes that having more guards to watch the inmates at Mountain View Youth Development Center might have helped prevent their deaths.

Commission Director Linda O'neal says she’s encouraged by recent changes at the Department of Children’s Services, which oversees the detention facility, but she also says the agency could use more resources.

“Tennessee often has very good policies related to children, but because we’re such a low tax state we most of the time do not have the level of resources that are really needed to improve outcomes for children and that’s certainly has been true in juvenile justice.”

Sixteen-year-old Brandon Greene of Mountain City hanged himself at facility in mid-July. Eighteen-year-old Frank Cass of White County, Tennessee, hanged himself two weeks later.

The suicides are the first at Mountan View in 20 years. The Tennesseans reports that two guards at the facility were fired earlier this week and a security supervisor resigned in reaction to the report.