Date: April 18, 2018
Contact: Judy Beck, 444-0409, email@example.com
Montana Department of Corrections Director Reginald D. Michael this morning announced that the Great Falls Youth Transition Center, a group home for boys operated by the department will close on May 18.
The seven-bed Youth Transition Center currently serves youth between the ages of 15 and 17, all of whom are on juvenile parole. The boys will be transitioned to their homes, to the homes of relatives, or to other group homes across the state.
The facility’s budget for Fiscal Year 2018 was $768,440.
“It’s unfortunate that, as a result of cuts mandated by the legislature, we had to make this difficult decision. We have taken a hard look at programs and found that this is the most cost-effective solution,” Michael said. “We remain committed to looking at alternatives to best serve these youth, while maintaining the important services we provide to keep communities safe.”
Seven employees will be laid off, including the shift supervisor, who is acting as the center’s director, and six correctional officers. The center typically has 10 staff, but has three vacant positions.
The program provided around-the-clock supervision and life skills training, and connected youths with local service providers. It offered an alternative to sending boys back to a correctional facility on parole revocations for minor offenses, as well as for boys whose family placements had failed. It also provided a place for boys coming directly from Pine Hills Correctional Facility.