New Juvenile Justice Center Will Facilitate New Approach to Treating Troubled Kids
Officials in Weber County say the region's new Juvenile Justice Center will be much more than a warehouse for troubled youth. Wednesday’s groundbreaking in Ogden represents a new era for the state’s juvenile justice system.
Plans for the Office of Juvenile Justice Service's new Weber Valley Multi-Use Youth Center have been in the works for several years now. Weber County Commissioner Kerry W. Gibson says the new center will double the number of beds and provide space for other activities.
“The facility itself becomes something that just is truly conducive to the environment that we’re trying to create,” Gibson says. “Instead of a warehouse and block of cells, it’s a place where people can learn and improve and do better.”
The new center will have 48 detention beds, day treatment programs, vocational training and case management, among other services.
Susan Burke is director of Utah Division of Juvenile Services. She says about 1500 young people are involved in Utah’s juvenile justice system at any given time.
“We want kids to see their full potential,” Burke says. “At the same time, we are committed to insuring public safety, holding youth accountable, making sure that victims get restitution and that these kids do not make the same decisions that they made previously that brought them to our attention.”
The new center is expected to be completed by fall 2017.