CLOSING: Dermott treatment center.

The state has closed another juvenile treatment center in the move away from lockups for juvenile offenders.

The Department of Human Services announced:

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Youth Services (DYS) shuttered the Dermott Juvenile Treatment Center in southeast Arkansas on Thursday as part of a plan to safely reduce the number of residential facilities it operates for court-involved youth.

The facility, which includes seven buildings on approximately 90 acres, opened in 1999. DHS is exploring its options as it relates to selling or leasing the 32-bed secure facility. DYS had planned to close the facility by June 30, 2019.

DYS closed the Colt Juvenile Treatment Center in January. These closures are part of a larger and ongoing effort announced late last year by DHS and the Governor to improve the juvenile justice system so that it better serves youth and their families.

“Closing the Dermott Juvenile Treatment Center  at the same time we work to invest more funding in our community programs and expand access to less restrictive settings shows our commitment to making meaningful reform in the juvenile justice system,” said DYS Director Michael Crump.

The State now runs five residential juvenile facilities.