Five boys at the Santa Maria Juvenile Justice Center were involved in a “disturbance” Wednesday night that involved damaged property and attempting to escape, the Santa Barbara County Probation Department reported Thursday.

About 6 p.m. Wednesday, five juveniles “destroyed property inside the unit, barricaded themselves on an upper tier, and attempted to escape by breaking windows.”

Deputy Probation Chief Kim Shean said the boys involved were ages 15 to 18. The department can’t disclose which of the Juvenile Justice Center units was involved, for security reasons, she said.

Probation personnel were “unable to secure cooperation from the youth” and called in the Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Response Team.

“After additional attempts by probation staff to resolve the situation through verbal communication were unsuccessful, SORT removed the youth from the unit. The five youth involved were then placed into secure cells under probation custody,” according to the Probation Department.

One Probation Department staff member had minor injuries from the incident and was transported to the hospital. None of the boys was injured, according to Probation.

Shean said the department is “definitely in the process of reviewing what charges we will be sending over to the District Attorney’s Office for review” in relation to the incident.  

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Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at