Five Youth Inmates Attempt Jailbreak at Santa Maria Juvenile Hall

Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Response Team Called In to Quell Disturbance

Susan J. Gionfriddo Juvenile Justice Center in Santa Maria | Courtesy Santa Barbara County Probation Department

Five youth inmates at the juvenile hall in Santa Maria are back in custody following what authorities describe as an escape attempt at the facility on Wednesday evening that left one probation staff member injured, according to a statement released Thursday afternoon by the Santa Barbara County Probation Department.

On November 9 at around 6 p.m., five youth in custody at the Susan J. Gionfriddo Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) “destroyed property inside the unit, barricaded themselves on an upper tier, and attempted to escape by breaking windows,” according to Probation Department Public Information Officer Karyn Milligan. Following several failed attempts by Probation personnel to get the situation under control through verbal commands, the Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Response Team (SORT) was called in. The SORT removed the five youth from the unit and placed them into secure cells under Probation custody.

According to Milligan, one probation staff member was taken to the hospital with “minor injuries.” None of the youth were reportedly injured in the incident.

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