A youth committed to the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) escaped from Camp Florence Youth Transitional Facility the evening of June 1, 2019. Brandon Hansen, 20 (shown at right), had been committed to the legal custody of OYA in January 2017 on a charge of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. At about 8 p.m., Hansen told staff that he was going to check on the dogs kept at the facility — a job routinely performed by youth at the camp — but left the grounds without permission.
Staff quickly located the youth on a nearby bridge but were not successful in apprehending him. It is believed the youth jumped from the bridge into the Siuslaw River. Police and the Coast Guard were notified immediately and joined in a search. They were unsuccessful in locating him. Law enforcement has been notified to be on the lookout for the youth.
“We sincerely hope Mr. Hansen is all right and want to locate him quickly to ensure his safety,” said Benjamin Chambers, an OYA spokesperson. “If members of the public encounter the youth, please call 911.”
Hansen was transferred to Camp Florence Youth Transitional Facility from MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn on May 23. Camp Florence is one of four step-down transitional facilities designed to prepare youth for their return to the community. Transitional camps have lower security than youth correctional facilities like MacLaren, and are reserved for youth who have made significant progress in their treatment and reformation plans.
“We work with a very high-risk, high-needs population of youth, prone to impulsive behavior,” Chambers said. “Escape is always a risk in our facilities and OYA adheres to mandatory procedures and protocols to minimize that risk. We will be undertaking an internal review to determine which, if any, procedures can be changed to prevent an incident like this from happening in the future.”
NOTE: Mr. Hansen was arrested in Portland on June 15. Learn more here.