ACLU-KY Asks DOJ To Investigate Kentucky Juvenile Detention Center

The ACLU-KY legal team requested the Department of Justice investigate the Adair Regional Detention Center, citing multiple issues that put children there at risk of physical and mental harm.

Earlier this month, the legal team at ACLU-KY wrote the Deparment of Justice requesting they open an investigation into the the Adair County Regional Detention Center (ACRD) and/or Kentucky's juvenile detention system writ large. 

When the Louisville Metro Youth Detention Center closed in 2019, children incarcerated in Louisville were transferred to ACRD, nearly 2 hours from their homes and families. Community members and former ACRD employees shared their accounts of witnessing dangerous treatment of youth at ACRD, including:

  • children held in lockdown for 24 hours a day without food, mental health treatment, education, or access to religious services;
  • children confined to cells for extensive periods of time, against the advice of medical professionals; 
  • staff withholding medications as a punitive measure;
  • staff accusing children of faking mental illness;
  • and more.

In addition, ACRD is out of compliance with Kentucky law, because the facility had no ombudsman for most of 2022, so staff had no one to whom they could file complaints. 

The juvenile justice system is flawed and no one who is incarcerated should be subject to physical or emotional turmoil. Read our full request to the DOJ at the bottom of this page.