DYS worker injured at Springfield facility after altercation with juvenile

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) has confirmed that a staff member was injured at the Western Region facility on Tinkham Road in Springfield last week.

The 22News I-Team received information that a youth at the facility had an altercation with a staff member on June 30, 2021. 22News contacted DYS, the Center for Human Development (CHS), the Hampden District Attorney’s office and the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) for confirmation.

Kathryn Laverriere, Director of Communications for DYS, sent 22News this statement:

The Department of Youth Services has been notified of an incident involving a youth and a provider staff in our Western Region. The matter is under investigation by law enforcement; DYS cannot comment further at this time. At this time, the staff member is hospitalized. Further questions should be directed to the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office.

Kathryn Laverriere, Director of Communications, Department of Youth Services

An email forwarded to 22News was sent to staff informing them of the incident:

James Leydon, Communications Director for the Hampden District Attorney provided 22News with this statement:

An employee at the DYS facility on Tinkham Road in Springfield is under medical care and supervision at Baystate Medical Center after an incident with a juvenile housed within the facility. The incident occurred last Wednesday, June 30, 2021 and is under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office.

James Leydon, Communications Director, Hampden District Attorney

The Center for Human Development (CHD) oversees the DYS program at Tinkham Road and forwarded a statement on the situation:

CHD continues working with law enforcement and the Department of Youth Services to respond to a violent event on June 30th at the DYS program that CHD administers on Tinkham Rd. in Springfield. Our primary focus at this time is providing resources and support to the family and colleagues of the CHD employee who is the victim of the incident. As with any serious adverse event, and in partnership with DYS, we are reviewing processes and operations to make sure that we are maintaining the highest-possible level of safety for our workforce.  CHD is not able to comment on specifics of the event or the accompanying criminal investigation.

Benjamin Craft, VP of Community Engagement, Center for Human Development

22News has not received a response from the State Police. We will continue to update this story on air and online as more information becomes available.

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