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Former Camp Sayla Employees Speak Out Amidst License Reinstatement

HENRY COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) —  Corey Bigbie worked as an advisor at Sayla Therapeutic Resources for four months in 2019 and 2020.

He says he was once an at risk teen, and that’s why he wanted to help the kids there.. But he says they were constantly abused.

“I saw that the program wasn’t designated to help them at all, it was more designated to keep them there,” he said.

Last month, Supervisor Kenyatta DeWayne Danzey was charged with 17 counts of child abuse.

Right after that, the state conducted a surprise inspection and found basic building violations, and shut them down.

Bigbie says he saw staff giving young people contraband such as cigarettes, forging paperwork, and not giving residents enough food.

Once, he says, teens got a Pop-Tart and two pieces of string cheese for their morning meal.

He says he witnessed violence, staff members pushing and shoving residents, calling them racial slurs, and says there was sexual misconduct against the teens by staff members.

“It just breeds an atmosphere that I don’t think the kids feel like they are not getting any help,” he said.

WDHN News tried to speak with anyone at Camp Sayla. They  did not reply to our phone calls, emails or respond to our contact form questions.

And nobody answered at the door.

But, Bigbie is not the only one to allege misconduct.

A former employee who wishes to remain anonymous says, “This is not somewhere I want my child to go.”

Their claims echo much of Bigbie’s concerns.

When the facility lost its license, Bigbie says he drove by and was happy to see it empty.

“I was very disappointed when I saw they were opening back up, but I was relieved that they did not have any clients at the time,” he said.

And Bigbie says what happened at Sayla is not unique. He and others are following similar stories at other facilities across the country.

And he’s worried about sayla re-opening.

“There is nothing there, in my opinion, that is legit, that is by the books, by the laws, and I would not be safe with anybody that I know or somebody I don’t know being there,” he said.

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