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FAQs: Youth Detention Center Closing

Why is the Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center being closed?

The privately-run Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center will be closing on Dec. 31, putting 68 people out of work and forcing sheriff's who use the center to go to RYDCs in Floyd or Clayton Counties instead.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why is the Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center being closed?

Ø  The closing of the Paulding RYDC will result in an annual savings of more than $6 million dollars for the department, making those funds available for additional treatment and counseling services for the youth in DJJ’s care and custody.

Ø  The decision to close the Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC) is a state agency business assessment based on cost savings and changing detention populations.

Ø  As an economics-based option the Department of Juvenile Justice will allow the contractor’s current six-month contract extension to expire to help DJJ reduce significant overhead facility costs, while incurring a minimal reduction of bed space in the DJJ system. 

When will DJJ officially close the Paulding RYDC?

The Department of Juvenile Justice will allow the existing contract for operations at the Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC) to end on its current expiration date of December 31, 2013.

Who operates the Paulding RYDC?

The Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC) is a state-owned youth detention facility operated under contract with the State of Georgia’s Department of Juvenile Justice.by a private corrections services company known as YSI, or Youth Services International. 

Are there other factors affecting the year-end closing of the Paulding RYDC?

Ø  The timing of this year-end closing is based on foreseeable youth offender population trends in the Paulding RYDC’s “catchment” or service area.

Ø  Some short-term youth from other “catchment” or service areas were being held in detention at the Paulding RYDC specifically due to the facility’s extra bed capacity. 

Ø  Now, the completion of a long-term maintenance and refurbishing plan at DJJ’s Sumter Youth Development Center (YDC) will bring a 75-bed capacity back on-line for DJJ this December.

Ø  An additional 20-bed capacity will be coming on-line for DJJ at the refurbished Martha K Glaze Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC) located in Clayton County as of January 2014.

Will the Department be closing any other detention centers?

  No. The Department of Juvenile Justice is not planning or scheduling any

  Additional detention center closings this year.

How many youth are currently in custody at the Paulding RYDC?  

The juvenile population at the Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center currently numbers less than 50 juvenile offender residents. 

When will DJJ begin moving the Paulding RYDC youth population?

DJJ plans to initiate the orderly relocation of youth from the Paulding RYDC secure facility in early December 2013 and again in late December 2013.

When will all the youth be gone from the Paulding RYDC?

All juvenile offenders at the Paulding RYDC will be transferred to other DJJ secure facilities by the end of December 2013.

Will all these youth be moved from the Paulding RYDC at one time?

Ø  No. In early December 2013 some juvenile offenders at the Paulding RYDC will be transferred to Georgia’s Sumter Youth Development Center (YDC) where DJJ will bring a 75-bed capacity facility back on-line this December and youth will continue to receive the full spectrum of appropriate services and treatment.

Ø  The remaining Paulding youth will be diverted to DJJ’s RYDC locations in the Greater Atlanta Metro Area where they will receive the same level of quality care and educational opportunities they would have accessed at the Paulding RYDC.

Will youth be safe while the Paulding RYDC is being phased out?

Yes. Under Georgia’s contract provisions with YSI, Youth Services International will ensure appropriate staffing levels are in place to maintain safety and security at the Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center during the preparations and transitions to other DJJ facilities.

Will youth moved from Paulding RYDC still receive the same level of care and education when they’re transferred somewhere else?

Yes. Procedures are in place to ensure Paulding RYDC youth will receive the same level of health, treatment and quality mental health care, along with access to a full spectrum of education opportunities and appropriate services.

Will there be any construction or building changes being made to the facility during decommission?

No. The Department of Juvenile Justice has no plans for construction or demolition at the Paulding RYDC while the detention center is being decommissioned.

Will youth and parents still have access to visitation privileges during the transition to closure?

Yes. Paulding RYDC Staff will work hard to maintain the same daily routines, timetables and privileges as previously scheduled for the youth in residence. YSI will ensure a minimum of distractions and interruptions of education activities during this transition and will insist on daily procedures being observed as required by DJJ policy.  

Will the facility closing affect neighborhood security or safety for youth and staff at the RYDC?

No. Youth Services International will have contingency plans in place to ensure corrections staffing is managed at appropriate levels at all times to ensure public safety and the security of DJJ youth and staff during the facility closure.

How will affected parents know when their child will be moved from the Paulding RYDC and where they will be transferred?

Ø  Parents and guardians will receive notice of change of address from DJJ for youth who are transferred from the Paulding facility.

Ø  The Department of Juvenile Justice Staff will work in partnership with Youth Services International to finish the detention center closing and complete the youth transfer in the most efficient, caring and considerate manner and with the least possible disruption for the parents and family of DJJ youth who will be moving to new locations. 

Are the Corrections Officers and Support Staff at Paulding RYDC state employees?

No.  Administrators, Corrections Officers and Support Staff at Paulding RYDC are not employees of the State of Georgia. The Paulding Facility Staff consists of a private workforce under contract with a private company referred to as YSI, which operates the Paulding detention facility for the Department of Juvenile Justice.  YSI stands for Youth Services International.

What’s being done to help the displaced staff at the Paulding RYDC find new jobs? 

DJJ plans to work closely with YSI administrators to assist in locating appropriate employment opportunities for the YSI private employees currently working at the Paulding RYDC based on their skills and qualifications. Current Paulding RYDC employees will be provided access to available career opportunities at other DJJ facilities with the understanding that transfers are not automatic and that all applicants will be subject to past performance review and background checks within state guidelines. 

Does DJJ have other facility contracts with Youth Services International?

Yes. Youth Services International (YSI) operates another state-owned detention facility in Crisp County, Georgia and YSI has a third contract with the State of Georgia to operate its own Youth Development Center for DJJ in Milan, Georgia.

What will happen to the other detention centers run under YSI contract with the Department of Juvenile Justice?

The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice continues its longstanding relationship with YSI as it maintains two secure facility operations under contract with the State of Georgia.

Where can I find out more?

Watch for updates on the Department of Juvenile Justice FAQ webpage at  www.djjnewsandviews.org/pauldingrydcclosure.

Related Patch stories:

Closing Youth Detention Center Will Save DJJ $6 Million+

Paulding Youth Regional Detention Center Set to Close

   

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