Tell Gov Bevin: Shut it down !
It's been three months of stressful days and sleepless nights for Gynnya McMillen's family and community as they continue to grieve her death. Frustration grows as reports continue to expose the neglect and abuse Gynnya and other children were exposed to at Lincoln Village Juvenile Detention Center, where Black youth are four times more likely to be detained.1
Two detention staffers, Reginald Windham and Victor Holt have been indicted for falsifying records detailing how often they checked on Gynnya while she was in their care, but no one is being held responsible for her death. At most, Windham and Holt’s charges could result in a small $250 fee and only 90 days in jail. Gynnya’s life is worth more than these measly, slap on the wrist charges.2
The state is being lackadaisical in their investigation into her death and are refusing to give the simple justice of admitting what her family and community know - that the lying, violence, and lack of oversight at the detention center contributed to Gynnya’s death.3 With several LincolnVillage staff under investigation, suspension or indictment and Governor Bevin’s refusal to fire center Superintendent Michele Grady, we must call for the center’s full shut down.
Governor Bevin must immediately close Lincoln Village to ensure that the lives of more children are not put at risk!
Gynnya was one of too many girls arrested for behavior linked to domestic abuse. She needed services, not jail. She fell victim to the abuse to prison pipeline, where girls, particularly Black girls, are funneled into the juvenile justice system as a result of abuse. Instead of being treated as victims, girls are too often criminalized for responding to their trauma. Once in the system, these girls risk further traumatization, and in Gynnya’s case—her life.
In Peace and Solidarity,
Arisha, Scott, Enchanta and the rest of the ColorOfChange team
- "Sen. Westerfield plans push for additional juvenile justice reform, synthetic drug legislation," CN|2 02.04.2016 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/6179?t=7&akid=5675.1942551.odPLku
- “Two Juvenile Detention Center Employees Indicted On Misdemeanor Charges In Gynnya McMillen Case,” Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting March 18, 2016 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/6177?t=9&akid=5675.1942551.odPLku
- “Brother Doubts Claim Teenage Sister Died In Detention From ‘Rare’ Heart Disease,” Final Call 3.30.16http://act.colorofchange.org/go/6178?t=11&akid=5675.1942551.odPLku