MINNEAPOLIS -- Hennepin County officials said they are removing 20 children from a northern Minnesota correctional facility for boys.

The county announced the action Friday amid concerns whether the privately-run Mesabi Academy in Buhl is following proper channels in reporting allegations of maltreatment.

The children from Hennepin County were put into vans and driven back to the Twin Cities late Friday.

The academy's parent company, KidsPeace, says the center provides a safe and caring environment.

Earlier in the week Ramsey County said it is putting a moratorium on placing any more children in need of protection in the facility.

Both moves come after a report that Mesabi Academy didn't alert St. Louis County authorities to three allegations of sex abuse last year.