In an exclusive interview with News4 Investigates following the escape of four juveniles from her detention center, Judge Shelia Calloway said there is enough blame to go around.
A series of stories from News4 Investigates documented the mistakes made by staff of the detention that allowed for the mistakes to happen, including leaving the four unsupervised and allowing them to ride the elevator in order to escape, thinking that a staff member was with them.
The staff is hired and trained by the private company Youth Opportunities.
“Are you upset with this company? Are you upset with how easily this happened?” asked News4 Investigates.
“When I think about the things that happened, I’m upset with everybody involved. I’m upset with myself. I’m upset with the company,” Calloway said.
Calloway said ultimately, she is the one that approved the hire of the company.
Video released Tuesday documented how it only took 29 seconds for the four juveniles to escape from the elevator to exit the building.
“Is it hard for you to watch that video and see how easily they got out?” asked News4 Investigates.
“It's definitely hard for me to see the video. And see the things that happened that allowed it to happen,” Calloway said.
“I want to ask a question on behalf on the people of Nashville: can we feel safe that these won't get out in the future if you don’t get a new building?” asked News4 Investigates.
“I’m confident that this was an eye opener for the contractor. They have to step up their game,” said Calloway.
But beyond the mistakes, there are problems with the rapidly aging courthouse.
On the weekend the juveniles escapes, there was a sewage leak in the basement of the courthouse.
“You literally had sewage water in this basement,” said News4 Investigates.
“We did. Unfortunately, we have sewage leaks on a regular basis,” Calloway said.
The detention center itself is also proving to be a problem, given that the structure of the building does not allow for cameras to document every area where the juveniles are housed.
“Do you feel that this building - and the detention center - are simply not secure enough?” asked News4 Investigates.
“I definitely believe this building and the detention center are not secure enough,” Calloway said.