Juvenile justice reforms in motion, but community-based program funding remains uncertain

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.

Locked away and forgotten

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.

‘Lock up last’

In Benton and Washington counties, jailing youth is increasingly used as a last resort. Can the rest of the state follow suit?

Governor: Youth lockups will return to private operator next year

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.

Abuse again at Arkansas juvenile lockup

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.

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