3 teens escape youth facility in North County, police say
NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV) - Three teens escaped from a youth facility in North County Monday morning, police tell News 4.
Three teenage boys escaped from the Missouri Hills Youth Center, a state-run Division of Youth Services detention facility in the 13300 block of Bellefontaine Road around 5:00 a.m. Monday.
St. Louis County Police say they legally cannot say who the boys are, or whether they are considered dangerous. It isn’t clear how these juveniles escaped, but News 4 has learned there have been several similar incidents at this facility.
Since the beginning of 2022, there have been eight calls for runaway juveniles from the Missouri Hills Youth Center, dealing with 15 juveniles. These numbers include the three boys who ran away Monday. In St. Louis City, there have been four more escapes, according to St. Louis Police. Police say two of them occurred at the Hogan Street Regional Youth Center.
Kenya Brumfield-Young is a Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Saint Louis University. She says the juvenile justice system is at its best when it both holds youth accountable for their actions and rehabilitates them. But she says there can be a lack of resources.
“One of the largest contributors to these types of things is the opportunity,” Brumfield-Young said. “We are faced with massive staffing issues at this current time, and that’s not just in the family court and juvenile justice system.”
She says it’s unlikely the boys are dangerous, saying police would have released that information had that been the case.
Police are still looking for them.
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