Governor Baker; State Officials Open New Youth Residential Center
MIDDLETON – Governor Charlie Baker, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore and Department of Youth Services (DYS) Commissioner Peter Forbes, together with other state and local officials, opened and toured a new 45-bed residential facility serving youth involved in the juvenile justice system in the Northeast region of the Commonwealth.
“The Northeast Region Youth Services Center represents our commitment to changing the life trajectory of the youth involved in the juvenile justice system,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The staff and programs at this facility demonstrate a strategic investment in programs and strategies that are most successful at reducing recidivism and promoting positive life outcomes for these young people of the Commonwealth.”
“The opening of this facility is an important step for youth in the Northeast region of the Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “This facility will provide young people a second chance and opportunity to move forward on a new path with tools and support systems to help them succeed.”
The Northeast Region Youth Services Center will further support the Commonwealth’s long-term public safety efforts through effective rehabilitation for DYS-involved youth. Youth from the Northeast region, who were previously located to other communities in existing programs in other locations across the state, will now receive services closer to their home communities.
“The Northeast Region Youth Services Center is a state-of-the-art facility that will provide a setting that will further enhance the Department of Youth Services mission to deliver services for the youth in its care and prepare them for a successful re-entry into the community,” said Marylou Sudders, Secretary for Health and Human Services.
The new two-story, 72,000 square-foot residential building will accommodate up to 45 youth in three residential programs. Each wing houses 15 youth in three separate residential areas – secure detention, secure treatment and revocation. The facility serves young men ages 13-21, and will provide educational opportunities, counseling services, and structured residential programming designed to promote self-reliance and successful reintegration into their communities.
“The Northeast Region Youth Services Center facility is designed to meet LEED silver-certification and built with the highest standards in mind,” said Kristen Lepore, Secretary of Administration and Finance. “From its roof design that is solar ready to its modern kitchen facilities with on-demand ventilation, this center is designed for maximum energy efficiency.”
“The Department of Youth Services achieves long-term public safety through effective rehabilitation with the youth that we serve,” said DYS Commissioner Peter Forbes. “This facility provides the environment for our staff to create the opportunity for youth to engage in the positive change process.”
The Northeast Region Youth Services Center was constructed with the best practices of juvenile justice services in mind. The program’s physical environment is an important component to the provision of rehabilitative services. This new facility will support the work of staff by providing spaces with excellent sightlines, direct supervision, and rooms for staff meetings.
Construction of The Northeast Region Youth Services Center building began in April 2014 and was completed in June 2016. The project cost approximately $50 million. The Detention and Treatment programs opened in early August 2016. The Revocation program is scheduled to open in early October.
Approximately 86 state employees will support the Middleton location which includes group workers, cooks, a psychologist, program managers, security officers, and clinical social workers.
Images of today’s event available: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with Gov. Baker