Tuesday, November 20, 2012

State says it's met goals on Alexander youth facility

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 3:40 PM

It took nine years, but the state says it has satisfied all the terms of an agreement for operating the detention center for youth at Alexander and has asked to be released from court supervision.

The state said fewer youths are being held and that they are getting better education, better mental health services and better treatment to prevent suicide.

Details follow in a state release.

STATE NEWS RELEASE

DOJ Says Division of Youth Services Met or Exceeded Goals in Consent Decree

The U.S. Department of Justice says the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Youth Services (DYS) has met or exceeded all requirements outlined in a federal consent decree and has filed a joint motion asking a judge to release the agency from court supervision.

In March 2003, then Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and top DHS officials signed the settlement agreement with the Justice Department after the federal agency documented problems at the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center (known then as the Alexander Youth Services Center).

“The center and the services offered there have improved dramatically over the last several years,” said DYS Director Ronald Angel. “There are fewer youth, a new contractor running the program, a new school and enhanced educational and behavioral health services.”

Since the agreement was signed, Angel has reduced the number of youth at the center from 143 to 100.
DHS Director John Selig thanked Angel for spearheading the transformation of the center and said youth in state custody are better off because of the work he and his staff have done.

“Ron was hired for his strong leadership skills, and he didn’t shy away from any task,” Selig said. “He analyzed all the issues and hired the right people to fix them.”

Angel’s staff and the contractor running the center, G4S Youth Services out of Florida, have made dozens of changes and improvements focused mostly in three areas: education, mental health service and suicide prevention.

Today, there are an adequate number of special education teachers at the center and all teachers are licensed in their subject area and maintain a “highly qualified” status. The center can now issue diplomas and has access to a state educational database so students’ educational records can be kept up-to-date.

In addition, DYS used American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money to build a new educational facility equipped with the latest electronic teaching aids and a new library, and now provides students’ access to the Arkansas Virtual High School.

The center also has a full time psychologist on staff, a contract with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to provide a psychiatrist, annual suicide prevention training, and every unit has case managers and social workers.

Tags: ,

Favorite

Speaking of Alexander Youth Services Center, Law

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Arkansas Supreme Court denies rehearing in death penalty challenge, but delays mandate

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today refused to rehear the case denying Death Row inmates information about drugs used by the state in the lethal injection process.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Welspun layoffs: Another example of corporate welfare folly

    Layoffs at the Welspun pipe plant in Little Rock are a reminder of the folly of corporate welfare and the inability of Arkansas to separate itself from global economic forces. See the Fayetteville shale. And keep a watchful eye on that Sun Paper pulp mill proposed near Arkadelphia.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Hamburg bank manager gets 21 months for theft

    Melinda Gwin, 49, of Hamburg has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered to repay $210,875 stolen from the First National Bank of Crossett. She was sentenced in El Dorado federal court, according to a Justice Department news release.
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Foster family disputes key statements from Justin Harris

    Craig and Cheryl Hart were the foster parents of the two sisters who were adopted by Rep. Justin Harris and his wife Marsha and later "rehomed." The Harts say that the adoption was allowed to proceed over the objections of the foster parents and local DHS staff due to pressure exerted by Cecile Blucker, head of the Division of Children and Family Services, on behalf of Justin Harris.
    • Mar 7, 2015
  • Top 10 Little Rock albums of 2014

    Here are the Little Rock albums we listened to more than any others this year, the ones that meant the most to us and that we’d push on any out-of-towners who asked what was new in the Little Rock music scene.
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • U.S. growth rate highest in ten years; Arkansas economy also looking up

    National GDP grew by 5 percent in the third quarter, according to a revised figure by the U.S. Commerce Department. Arkansas Business reported yesterday that forecasters also predict a strong year of growth ahead for Arkansas. We're still waiting for Obamacare to deliver its promised economic implosion.
    • Dec 23, 2014

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation