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Official: Staffer hurt, 2 youths arrested in center ‘riot’

August 21, 2021 GMT

PAHRUMP, Nev. (AP) — A sheriff’s official in Nevada reported Friday that a melee last weekend involving young people at a residential psychiatric treatment facility seriously injured one staff member and two juveniles who escaped were found the next morning about 45 miles away.

Nye County sheriff’s Lt. Adam Tippetts called the late Aug. 15 disturbance at the state-licensed Never Give Up Youth Healing Center in Amargosa Valley a riot and mass escape attempt involving 84 young people fighting with staff members.

Tippetts said deputies and Nevada Highway Patrol troopers were called to the facility and one staff member was flown by medical helicopter to a Las Vegas hospital for treatment.

No other serious injuries were reported.

The two juvenile escapees were taken into custody at a gas station in Pahrump, Tippetts said.

Amargosa Valley is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northwest of Pahrump and 88 miles (142 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas.

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A state report says Never Give Up has a capacity of 91 young people and employs up to 41 full-time and contract staff members.

A January 2020 review by the state Legislative Auditor found shortcomings in facility policies and procedures including inconsistencies in treatment plans, medication inventory and documentation.

The audit also cited inadequate or incomplete policies relating to the safety and security of keys and “ensuring the facility is secure to discourage running away or unwelcome intruders.”

Administrators responded that they made changes to address issues raised by inspectors.