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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Changes Coming to Mansfield Juvenile Treatment Facility

By Tammy Moore Teague
Statewide changes to juvenile treatment centers were announced last week by Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Department of Youth Services. Those changes will impact the Mansfield Juvenile Treatment Facility.
The facility at Dermott will close and a center at Colt will merge into one with Harrisburg. Department of Human Services Deputy Director Keesa Smith said they are converting Harrisburg to an all-girls facility. “We will be transitioning the girls currently located in Mansfield from this site and Mansfield will become all-male,” stated Smith. Adding, “our agency plans to increase the capacity of the Mansfield facility by 16.”
“The overall goal is to cut youth incarceration,” Hutchinson said. “Over time, funds that would cover the cost of locking up children can go to therapeutic group homes, psychiatric and substance-abuse programs, community-based services, and diversion efforts that direct children away from formal processing in juvenile courts while still holding them accountable.”
The youth agency’s plan outlines the state’s intent to return the remaining lockups to private control next year. Under the plan, the closure of the two facilities would be no later than July of 2019. Hutchinson described the plan as a “monumental first step forward.” Adding that, “It’s only the first of several series of actions coming.”

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Tammy Teague
Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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