State procurement officials said Thursday that a company recently awarded a $15.8 million contract to operate Arkansas's youth lockup facilities is ineligible under the terms of the state's RFP.
Judges would be barred from committing misdemeanor offenders to state lockups if they are determined to be low-risk after undergoing an assessment. DYS would also be required to develop a “reinvestment plan” to reallocate funds now used for locking up kids to alternative programs -- but providers worry a new contract to run the lockups could eat up much of that money.
In 2017, teenagers committed to rehabilitative treatment at two South Arkansas juvenile lockups did not receive basic hygiene and clothing supplies and lived in wretched conditions.
Will do further study before seeking private provider.
In Benton and Washington counties, jailing youth is increasingly used as a last resort. Can the rest of the state follow suit?
But progress lags that of neighbors. Part 2 of 2.
In DYS director, some see a potential force for long-sought change. Part 1 of 2.
Critics raise concerns about confining kids alone at juvenile facilities. Part two of a two-part series.
Critics raise concerns about confining kids alone at juvenile facilities. Part one of a two-part series.
On Monday, Governor Hutchinson announced seven juvenile treatment and correctional facilities taken over by the Arkansas Department of Human Services on Jan. 1 will be placed back in private control as soon as next July. By the end of the year, the governor said, the state will issue a solicitation for one or more contractors to operate the youth lockups, with the winner or winners likely to be announced in March.
After a surprise takeover last year, the state will remain in control of juvenile facilities for at least another year, DYS says.
A guard was fired after choking a child at the Alexander Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center. It’s the latest in a long history of mistreatment at the facility.