State to close 2 juvenile treatment centers
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the state Department of Youth Services say two of the state’s juvenile treatment centers will be closed and the five others will be run by private operators under contracts with the state as part of a plan to improve juvenile justice.
Hutchinson said Friday the treatment center at Dermott will close and the center at Colt will be merged into one in Harrisburg.
The state-run centers are separate from county juvenile detention centers, some of which have been plagued by allegations of mistreatment and poor infrastructure.
Hutchinson said savings from closing the two centers will be directed to more family and community-based treatments for juveniles.
Department of Human Services Deputy Director Keesa Smith said funds will also go to improving infrastructure at the remaining five centers.