Dec. 31 (UPI) -- The Maricopa County Sheriff's Department in Arizona will refer alleged incidents of staffers dragging and shoving migrant children at a shelter to county prosecutors for an investigation.
Videos published by The Arizona Republic showed the alleged mistreatment taking place at Southwest Key's Youngtown Hacienda Del Sol shelter in mid-September.
After initially reviewing hours of surveillance footage from the facility and determining there was no grounds for a criminal referral, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department reconsidered what it called a "thorough investigation" and said it would ask the Maricopa County Attorney's Office on Monday to review whether the incidents require criminal charges.
Southwest Key shelters are located in several states and were tasked with housing children who were separated from their parents after immigrating to the U.S. this summer.
In October, weeks after the incidents took place, the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement suspended operations at the Youngtown facility.
That shelter, as well as one south of downtown Phoenix were closed later that month as part of a settlement agreement with state health authorities.
"We wholeheartedly welcomed the Office of Refugee Resettlement's decision to suspend operations at Hacienda Del Sol and are working to thoroughly retrain our staff. We are simultaneously engaging the Child Welfare Consulting Partnership to do an independent, top-to-bottom review of our processes, procedures, hiring and training in our Arizona shelters," Southwest Key spokesman Jeff Eller told ABC News.
The children housed in Youngtown and Phoenix were moved to other Southwest Key facilities.
Arizona had threatened to revoke the operating licenses of all 13 Southwest Key shelters in the state due to the company's failure to do a timely check of staffers' fingerprint clearances, but the threat was later dropped as part of the settlement.