COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - An employee of Spring Creek Youth Services in Colorado Springs faces assault and child abuse charges for an incident that happened at the youth detention center in September.
Dean Hawkinson turned himself in at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center on Thursday after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
The Colorado Department of Human Services, or CDHS, says Hawkinson is accused of grabbing the inmate by the arm and squeezing the inmates neck.
“The Division of Youth Corrections condemns the alleged actions in the strongest possible terms,” said Anders Jacobson, director of the Division of Youth Corrections. “The Division has welcomed the involvement of the Colorado Springs Police Department, El Paso County District Attorney’s Office, and the El Paso County Department of Human Services, and we will continue to cooperate fully with their investigation.”
The CDHS says the incident that prompted the arrest happened before Spring Creek was re-organized to improve staffing levels and safety. It says that as of October 1, Spring Creek is only used to house youth awaiting trial and capped the population of youth there at 51. It says that prior to the change, there was one staff member for every 10 youth at the facility. Now, there is one staff member for every five youth.
The CDHS says that the re-organization has resulted in a safer environment for inmates and staff. It says there were 21 fights and assaults at the facility in September and only four in January.
Dean Hawkinson is on administrative leave pending the outcome of his case.