Public hearing Wednesday in Madison could determine Three Springs facility’s future

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MADISON, Ala. – Madison residents will get the chance Wednesday night to speak their minds about a controversial facility for at-risk youth in their city.

On Wednesday, Madison City Council will look at safety and security requirements at Sequel TSI’s Three Springs youth facility and determine whether they were violated. They could possibly revoke or suspend the facility’s license.

“We are working diligently to get all of our ducks in a row for Wednesday night,” said Madison Mayor Paul Finley. “We have had discussions with the state, with Sequel, we will continue to do that. The public is being heard. Each email they send, we’re reading.”

Sequel’s Three Springs is a residential treatment facility for at-risk male youth. They are assigned to the program through the Alabama Department of Youth Services and the Alabama Department of Human Resources. Representatives from the facility have argued previously that they serve and care for youth that many others will not.

Sequel most recently is being sued by the family of Van Johnson. Authorities said two Three Springs runaways killed Johnson during a robbery behind Publix on County Line Road in 2017.

After that escape, the Madison City Council was divided on the decision to approve Sequel’s business license, with conditions, to operate in the city of Madison. The conditions had to do with safety and security, including community notification during escape or runaway situations.

Concerns resurfaced after three teens ran away from the facility last month. Law enforcement located them a short time later.

The public hearing on the business license is Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Madison City Hall council chambers.

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