Commissioners want changes at juvenile facility - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Commissioners want changes at juvenile facility

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla-- The Department of Juvenile Justice fielded some tough questions Tuesday from the Palm Beach County Commission about the Palm Beach Juvenile Correctional Facility.

Commission Mayor Shelley Vana has been on a mission for change at the facility after she says several of the teens there have turned up beaten, injured or neglected.

"As you know, one of my issues is making sure we're saving lives not saving money," said Vana at Tuesday's meeting.

The current provider, Youth Services International, has decided to end its contract early. Now, the DJJ is looking for a new provider.

Tuesday, the commission expressed its expectations from the department and the new provider to DJJ Secretary Christina Daly.

"We will not accept any program that is below standard for the kids that are in our county," said Vana.

Daly told the commission that the DJJ is taking these safety concerns at the facility very seriously.

She said the department is looking for a new provider that will significantly lower the population at the facility and that the DJJ has procedures in place to make sure the new provider serves the youth appropriately.

"We will be there every step of the way as they come in and get oriented with the program and the young men," said Daly. "Our staff will be there to make sure that the services we deliver are exactly what we need for these young me."

Daly says the goal is to have a new provider in place by early 2016. YSI will continue to run the facility until that new provider is in place. It is not clear still why YSI chose to step down.

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