FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 18, 2020 Communications Department Teamsters Local 700 1-847-939-9700 firstname.lastname@example.org
TEAMSTERS DENOUNCE LAX SAFETY MEASURES AT THE JTDC AN INDICTMENT OF SUPERINTENDENT DIXON’S INDIFFERENCE TOWARD JTDC STAFFER SAFETY
Chicago, IL: On June 15, 2020 at 11:00 p.m. Youth Development Specialist, Joseph DeMarco of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) was on his second consecutive day of mandated overtime. While working the overnight shift he was brutally attacked by multiple detainees of JTDC. As a result of the violent attack, Brother DeMarco suffered serious head wounds and other bodily injuries.
The leadership of Teamsters Local 700 is outraged that this was allowed to happen to Brother DeMarco and our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family as he recovers from this vicious assault. DeMarco’s circumstance is especially distressing due to his ongoing health conditions of which he sought Family Medical Leave Act benefits (FMLA) but was denied by his employer. We are also aware that this is not the first attack on a vulnerable JTDC member.
We are furious at the lack of culpability exhibited by JTDC Administration and Office of the Chief Judge. As of this communication, we have heard nothing from Superintendent Leonard Dixon or Chief Judge, Timothy C. Evans.
In February of 2015 in an article posted to the Juvenile Justice Initiative, Dixon said “I believe as a leader for JTDC, I am compelled to a moral imperative to exhibit those skills of elevating the human spirit and organizing human endeavors in ways that inspire behaviors that are above the level that people even expect of themselves.”
With all due respect Mr. Dixon, Teamsters Local 700 says the time for action is now! We demand that you invoke your brand of “moral imperatives” and address some of the needs and safety concerns of your staff at JTDC. Superintendent Dixon, and by extension Judge Evans, perpetuate the attacks against JTDC staffers and other detainees by their lack of disciplinary response to violent juveniles. They are complicit in these assaults by not demanding and executing daily debriefs so that high-risk detainees can be identified and their behaviors noted. They encourage a culture of hoarding information that effectively puts staffers at risk and subsequently causing our members to manage juvenile delinquents blindfolded.
Local 700 is conducting our own investigation and we are gathering evidence to protect Brother DeMarco from an employer that may intend to blame him for his attack. We will absolutely pursue this matter and demand action from Dixon and Evans to address other security and benefit issues as well.
In the meantime, we can confirm that Brother DeMarco is receiving the best of care during his hospitalization and recuperation. We encourage all members of JTDC to seek Union representation on all issues of safety and concern and to…
Stay Strong and Stay United.
Teamsters Local 700