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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Increased Security Measures Taken at MJTC

Arkansas River Valley Business Directory

Contractors have been working to erect an anti-climb fence around the perimeter of the Mansfield Juvenile Treatment Center.

As of August 1, Michael Crump, Director of the Division of Youth Services, said they had the poles in the ground and that, “installation was going well.” Department of Human Services Deputy Director Keesa Smith said “we have advised our contractor that the fence needs to be completed sooner rather than later.”

In addition to the fencing project, private contractor Youth Opportunity Investments, implemented protocols with their staff to prevent AWOLs. Furthermore, according to Smith, locks have been installed on the cottages.

“We have spoken with our treatment team, who handles the placement of children, and reinforced that no youth that has a history of running, or who has run from Mansfield, should be placed at Mansfield,” added Smith. “YOI and I are walking through protocols with DYS to address Sheriff Runion’s concern about having to keep youth in the county jail. We want to make sure that, if a child runs, the child comes back to Mansfield and we will place the child in a juvenile detention center.”

Smith’s statement comes in response to Sheriff Runion raising concern over housing wards of the state in the county jail. See related story

DHS and YOI have been working diligently to address concerns from local officials. Admittedly, they assumed most of the added security measures would have been completed before the July 1 takeover. However, these past few week’s have proven to be productive, and there have not been any recent escapes from the facility.

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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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