Training school head steps down after 8 hurt in disturbance

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CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — The executive director of Rhode Island's juvenile detention center, where two children and six staff members were injured in a disturbance a week ago, has stepped down, a state official said Tuesday.

The Department of Children, Youth and Families also is conducting a 60-day review of the Rhode Island Training School and bringing in a state police captain to provide additional security for 90 days, the agency's director, Trista Piccola, said.

Kevin McKenna, who became head of the training school in 2015, has resigned and will be replaced temporarily by Kevin Aucoin, who previously served as acting superintendent at the school, she said.

Five people, including the two juvenile residents, had to be taken to a hospital after the incident last week. The department has not released details of what happened.

Police also were called to the training school in May after four workers were injured in a melee. Workers have complained they're understaffed and underprotected.

The Cranston facility houses around 80 juveniles.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced last week that it has settled a lawsuit filed in 1971 about conditions at the training school. The group said Rhode Island is the first corrections system in the country to comply with standards recommended by the Annie Casey Foundation, which aims to reduce youth incarceration and improve detention conditions.

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