OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma mother said she thinks her daughter may be in danger at the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center and she’s in fear for her daughter’s life.
Christy West said she wants the center to be closed down completely.
“It’s to the point where I’m afraid for my daughter’s life,” West said. “I don’t feel she’s safe at that facility.”
West’s 17-year-old daughter Solei has been a resident of the center for seven months, and she said in that time, the teen has had two incidents with guards and staff. The most recent instance has the teen recovering from surgery at a local hospital.
West said she got a call from a nurse at the center late Thursday night saying Solei would be transported to a hospital in Shawnee after complaining about leg pain. She was then transferred to a medical center in Oklahoma City.
When asked about the incident, Michael McNutt of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenila Affairs gave the following statement:
“A female resident of Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center attempted to escape the facility last evening. While running on the grounds within the secure perimeter fence, she fell and injured herself. She was restrained by staff and taken to a local hospital for medical care. Following agency policy, the incident has been turned over to the Office of Juvenile Affairs’ Office of Public Integrity for investigation.”
But West said Solei tells a different story.
“When I made it to the hospital around 6:30 this morning, my daughter told me she was abused,” West said. “Her and two other girls were just messing around, they were trying to run off and talk to the boys. My daughter ended up getting tackled to the ground, that’s how her hip got knocked three inches out of place and got a bruise on the side of her head.”
She said her daughter said she was handcuffed and laying on the concrete floor, in pain, screaming for someone to help her for hours.
Now, she says Solei is afraid to return. As a mother, West is worried that if her daughter returns, she may not get the post-operation attention she needs for her healing hip.
“I understand juveniles, they get in trouble, they have to pay for that, I understand that,” West said. “I’m afraid this is going to keep happening and I’m going to have to bury my daughter.”
West said she filed a complaint with the Department of Human Services but fears nothing will come of it. She added that Solei’s first incident with guards at the center involved head injuries and a busted lip. West said after that first incident, Solei’s probation officer filed a complaint with DHS, but she’s heard nothing more about it.
“I want to see that facility shut down completely,” she said. “These girls are still kids and they do not deserve to be abused like that. Nobody does.”
The COJC made headlines in January after an 18-year-old female offender died there in January following what the OJA calls a ‘critical incident.’ The details of that death and the identity of that deceased offender were never disclosed.