Disturbance at Graceville juvenile facility
Law enforcement and other emergency personnel gather outside the DOVE girls facility early Monday night in Graceville. A riot left several staff members injured; two inmates have been charged.
More than a dozen residents face charges after authorities had to call for backup during a disturbance involving multiple residents at a DOVE facility for girls near Graceville early Monday evening.
Two residents of the facility were charged, as adults, with inciting a riot. The women were identified as Broderica Jones and Tiquosha Ortiz, both 18 years of age. Jones turned 18 on Sunday, Ortiz turned 18 last April.
Officials say 11 others were charged, as juveniles, with inciting a riot. The other 11 were taken to a detention facility in Panama City following the incident. Two of the juveniles were additionally charged with resisting arrest.
One staff member was taken to an area hospital for treatment of an injury suffered while responding to the incident. The injury was not caused by any of the residents, and was not life threatening.
Multiple agencies responded to the scene, including the Florida Highway Patrol, the Graceville Police Department, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Fire Rescue and the Department of Transportation. Other agencies, including the Marianna Police Department, also offered to send units if needed.
Authorities assisted staff in helping restore order and security in the wake of the disturbance. It began in a fenced recreation area on the grounds of the facility, and progressed inside while continuing outside. Authorities say some furniture was disturbed and possibly damaged in the incident. Authorities with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office did not know Tuesday what led to the disturbance. DOVE representatives did not immediately return phone calls seeking further information on the incident.
Dove Academy and Dove Intensive Mental Health are privately run and operate under contract with the Department of Juvenile Justice.
According to the facility’s website, Dove Academy is a 50-bed, moderate risk residential program for girls 15 to 18 years of age. DOVE stands for Developing Opportunities through Vocational Education.
The site goes on to say that Dove Academy is “a therapeutic community” with behavioral programs. The website also notes that “youth who are physically aggressive, have serious mental health issues or educational limitations are not considered appropriate for placement.”
A sister program, Dove Intensive Mental Health, serves 32 girls “with intensive mental health needs,” according to the website. It serves girls from 12 to 18 years of age who have been placed with the juvenile justice system.