DJJ searches for new provider for Palm Beach Juvenile Correction - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

DJJ searches for new provider for Palm Beach Juvenile Correctional Facility

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Department of Juvenile Justice says it is searching for a new provider to run the Palm Beach Juvenile Correctional Facility to replace Youth Services International, the private company that currently runs the facility.

According to the DJJ, YSI has decided to end its contract at PBJCF early. YSI will continue to run the facility until the DJJ finds a new provider.

DJJ Secretary Christina Daly said," The Department of Juvenile Justice has worked to ensure that the youth at PBJCF are receiving the needed services in a safe environment, and that will continue to be our focus. YSI made the right decision, and we will work with them to ensure a smooth transition of services as we continue to live up to our very high standards of transparency and accountability."

Local leaders have been calling for change at the local facility for a while now, saying YSI is not fit to run the place.

"It takes being relentless to make something happen," said Palm Beach County Commission Mayor Shelley Vana. "When kids are getting broken bones and kids are getting broken jaws or being in intensive care, it just kept escalating. How many broken bones is enough."

Just a few weeks ago, Vana showed WPTV pictures of a bloody floor after she says a teenage inmate cut himself. She said the teen had been asking to use a working bathroom for hours, and he cut himself to get someone's attention.

It's not clear why YSI decided to end its contract, which was supposed to last through March of 2017, but state representative Dave Kerner says it was only a matter of time. 

"I think it's a recognition that they messed up. They messed up bad, and we were not giving up until they were gone," said Kerner.

The company will stay on board until a new provider is identified. Laders like Vana and Kerner say their hard work has paid off.

"To the kids, I want to say we told you we would help you and we did," said Vana.

Read the Youth Services International statement:

After discussions with the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), Youth Services International (YSI) has exercised an option in its contract to cease management of the Palm Beach Juvenile Correction Facility.

YSI has managed this facility for more than 8 years and has consistently earned passing reviews from various state regulators – including 25 standard monitoring visits in the last three months.

YSI will work closely with DJJ to ensure the youth at the facility continue to receive the necessary services during this transition period.

Yasir S. Diab, regional vice president
Youth Services International

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