Superintendent, others terminated/demoted at Indian River Juvenile Correctional Facility

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An internal investigation has resulted in the termination of Indian River Juvenile Correctional Facility Superintendent James Darnell and two others.

Following an investigation last fall, Darnell along with Deputy Superintendent Charles Wilson and Gang Intervention Specialist Shawn Anders were all terminated from their positions. All three were placed on administrative leave on Sept. 23, 2022.

Charlie Ford will continue serving as the acting superintendent for the facility.

A news release from the Ohio Department of Youth Services states that Darnell was terminated after a September investigation found he was “negligent” in supervising administrators and failing to fulfill his duties. It was also discovered that he used his state provided cell phone to record the youth inside the facilities.

Deputy Superintendent Wilson was also found “negligent” for his supervision of a unit administrator, his assigned administrative duties, and in the use of his assigned state cellphone. As a result, Wilson’s unclassified position was revoked and he is returning to his last classified position.

According to the release, Gang Intervention Specialist Anders misused state equipment and created an unsafe condition for staff and youth. He was terminated from his position.

Throughout the investigation, it was learned that “staff and managers failed to provide youth on I-Unit their proper programming and recreation needs.”

As a result of the investigation, Director Amy Ast and her team have made several changes that improve staff training, personal safety, hiring and retention, and security within the facility.