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New Leadership

Director of juvenile center fired after investigation.

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Kenneth Currie, superintendent of the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center (YDC), was fired last week after an internal-affairs investigation cited nine concerns with the center and its management. The report came after 22 juveniles at the facility attempted a March escape and injured several staff members during an altercation in the center's courtyard.

Kathy Bell with the Davidson County Department of Children's Services (DCS) office has been selected to replace Currie, who had held his position at Woodland Hills for the past seven years. "The change in leadership is the first step toward making this a safe, treatment-oriented facility for our youth," said Viola Miller, DCS commissioner.

Bell will address the concerns of the report which listed problems with student-to-staff ratios, a crisis plan, and staff communication. The facility had adopted a corrective plan after the March incident.

Woodland Hills, located in Nashville, is one of four YDCs in the state. It houses 112 violent juvenile offenders, including 24 females. A separate female facility is under construction adjacent to the existing unit.

E-mail: jdavis@memphisflyer.com

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