Madison residents thankful for closure of youth detention center

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MADISON, Ala. – Neighbors in Madison say they finally have peace after the long fight to have Three Springs Youth Detention Center shut down. The Madison City Council unanimously voted to revoke the business license two weeks ago following ongoing security concerns.

After the city revoked Sequel TSI Three Springs business license on August 14, they gave the facility a week and two days to close up shop and relocate the 51 juveniles staying there. That means this is the first week Three Springs has been closed.

Sequel TSI, also known as Three Springs is a facility that houses over 50 boys, some of whom are in the foster system, and some who are in trouble with the law. Community members and public officials have long called for it to be shut down.

“I’m thrilled to death. I’m happy it happened, and it should have happened much sooner,” says Jana Samlowski.

People say they felt unsafe with Sequel in the neighborhood. They pointed to the history of escapes, the amount of times a police SWAT team showed up in their yards, and the way they worried about their children.

“We had police walking through our neighborhoods telling us to come inside and letting us know that they had escaped,” says Vince Gray.

Residents say they were shocked that stronger action wasn’t taken after two runaways allegedly killed a man behind Publix in 2017. Concerns resurfaced after three teens ran away from the facility last month.

“Obviously we have had several times that they have escaped so its been kind of concerning with our kids and worrying about them breaking in the house. and I travel a lot so it’s sometimes concerning when I’m gone so yeah, it’s a really good feeling. we’re glad to see it closed down,” says Gray.

Several homes in the neighborhood backed up to Three Springs property in Madison have visible security measures such as video cameras and Ring doorbells. Neighbors tell me, the facility closing has been a relief.

“It feels safer. It feels comfortable and the neighborhood feels more secure and at ease,” says Samlowski.

Madison City officials say all 51 juveniles who were staying at Three Springs have been placed in other facilities.

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