Green Hill School security guard caught laughing after detectives say she facilitated attack on teen

A state-run facility, long under scrutiny following a number of issues, is now under the spotlight after a security guard is accused of not only allowing a fight to take place – but facilitating it.

According to newly obtained investigatory documents, Michelle Goodman, was captured on camera laughing with inmates as they mimicked the punches thrown at a teenage inmate inside the Green Hill School – a youth detention facility in Lewis County that is meant to rehabilitate young adults who committed crimes as children.

Detectives began their investigation after a lawyer at the Lewis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office learned about the beat-down a teen inmate suffered. 

Michelle Goodman, captured on security footage, laughing with inmates after a teenager was beat up on her watch as a guard. Detectives believe she "facilitated" the attack, which has led to multiple charges.

According to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, they didn’t learn about the incident until January 16th – more than two weeks after the incident took place. However, a doctor noticed bruising more than a week prior.

A DCYF spokesperson told FOX 13, that they did not refer the incident to law enforcement because it did not rise to the level of law enforcement referral. 

While a former nurse that worked with the injured inmate called the injuries "obvious,"  noting he had yellow-discolored bruising. He even described to investigators that had a psychiatrist not stepped in to move the inmate following the fight, "(he) would have been killed if he remained in that wing."

Those notes appear to have come from a medical check-up more than a week before DCYF staff told FOX 13 they were aware of the incident.


The latest incident involving Michelle Goodman follows a concerning trend that started more than a year ago when a police raid on the state-run facility took place.

That incident was tied to crimes taking place behind bars, that were never reported to police and/or prosecutors.


Overdoses, crime in state-run facility; ‘That place should not be open’

Gov. Inslee is denying on camera interviews about his faith in DCYF, as overdoses cause concern at a state-run facility in Lewis County for teens and young adults. Now, a state senator is renewing calls for an investigation into a youth detention center that can't keep drugs out.

Investigators eventually located more than 100 items located behind the barbed wire fence of Green Hill ranging from fentanyl, to meth, shanks and more – none of it reported to law enforcement. In fact, some of those items would have added time to prison sentences for inmates who instead were released – only to be accused of more serious crimes, in one instance, a deadly shooting.

DCYF has been making changes to its operations, according to statements they’ve since given to FOX 13 over the course of several months of reporting. That includes both security upgrades, and changes in how they report potential criminal offenses to local police agencies.

However, elected officials have questioned whether the changes are living up to the needs of Green Hill.

State Senator Jim Braun, a verbal critic of how Green Hill has operated in the past year, was given a chance to tour the facility last month. He walked away pleased with some of the updates, but questioned if enough had been done.

"That it took this long to get there is frustrating and disappointing," said Sen. Braun. "I’m somewhat pleased that maybe after all of this attention, we’re heading in the right direction."

However, since those comments, it’s become clear the detectives believe an employee facilitated a fight, leaving an inmate badly injured.

DCYF told FOX 13 that the reason for the "delay in the knowledge of the assault is because the resident did not report the fight."

However, a nurse told FOX 13 that fellow employees dismissed the incident altogether. One guard, when asked about the incident, told him "it never happened," while a second simply shook their head.

More coverage on Green Hill detention center issues

DCYF downplays youth overdoses at Green Hill school as fentanyl floods in

Chehalis youth detention center employee arrested for conspiring to commit a prison riot

Fentanyl, meth and weapons seized during raid on Green Hill correctional school


A report filed by a detective noted that the employee who spoke about the inmate’s injuries referred to "a culture where they (staff) are discouraged from reporting incidents."

When asked about that comment, FOX 13 didn’t get a direct response. However, DCYF gave a general statement, saying they have made wide-ranging efforts to increase safety at the facility.

"We have and will continue to cooperate and work with local law enforcement," a spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for DCYF, which runs Green Hill, offered a general statement after a number of questions were asked by FOX 13.

Michelle Goodman, 30, is now facing three different charges stemming from the incident. She made bail and is no longer being held at the Lewis County jail.

Still images obtained by FOX 13 show Goodman socializing with inmates, and laughing – a victim allegedly heard her telling one of the inmates involved in the incident: "It’s my job," when asked if she was okay with their plan.


As FOX 13 has previously reported, a flood of fentanyl has made its way inside of Green Hill in recent months.

It remains unclear if the drugs are making it over the fence, or through the front doors – employees have openly questioned if their co-workers were involved in reports filed by Chehalis Police Department following a handful of major incidents.

However, in recent months, staff have become a larger part of the problems being reported at Green Hill. One employee was arrested for bringing drugs into the facility after being captured on camera dropping weed in a hallway, while another employee was questioned for bringing weed gummies through the front door and placing the edibles into a reward locker for residents.

Governor Inslee was asked about the ongoing issues in March, and he admitted more changes were needed – referring to an overhaul of the youth justice system that he signed into law in his previous term as governor.

"We do have challenges throughout the juvenile justice system," Governor Inslee said. "The reason is we’ve put 23, 24 and 25-year-olds in the same place as young kids – we’ve never done this before, this is creating new challenges in security."

Green Hill underwent changes after the state legislature adopted laws in 2018 that allowed minors convicted in adult court to stay in the state juvenile corrections system until they turn 25-years-old. The move, which Inslee celebrated via *this medium post, was lobbied by several incarcerated youth in addition to outside groups.

As older residents have stuck around in DCYF facilities, former workers have told FOX 13 that the state has struggled to keep drugs out of the facilities – or provide the type of rehabilitation services that would benefit the young population.


Past employees have voiced concerns to FOX 13 over the lack of control within the Green Hill facility.

Those who truly believe in the idea of rehabbing teens say that they’re doing a disservice to every inmate who wants to live a better life. 

"It’s such a great opportunity and program for these youth if it was ran differently," said one former employee. "If we had people who truly cared about the well-being of them."

A second employee, Darwin, quit his job shortly after an inmate nearly died in his arms from an overdose – he openly questioned whether the state had any plans to help the kids in their care.

"They don’t care," he said. "They don’t. It’s a bad environment and that place should not be open."

Others, including Senator Braun, have pointed out that many of the Green Hill inmates are eventually moved back into the community after serving their time.

DCYF is aware of the stakes. In a written statement they told FOX 13: "We want our staff to work with the residents on their needs and provide them with the skills to be productive members of society upon release."

However, they are not keen to let the public see what has been taking place behind closed doors. In recent days, they’ve requested that FOX 13 remove public disclosure requests that would reveal video of major incidents that have taken place this year.

It is rare for a state entity to request a journalism outlet to remove a request, especially in cases where the request was not directed to them – in this case, the videos in question belong to a third-party.

FOX 13 will continue to investigate what is taking place within Green Hill. Our team will continue to update this story, and others, as new information becomes available.