IDOC announced Tuesday that the doors will shut for good on the South Bend Juvenile Correctional Facility on July 1.
“The juvenile population has dramatically gone down,” said IDOC spokeswoman Amy Lanum, citing the facility’s juvenile population numbers that dropped 50 percent since 2009.
The SBJCC at 4650 Old Cleveland Road handled 1,100 juveniles in 2009, Lanum said of the 57,000-square-foot facility that houses up to 112 males ages 12-18 at one time.
“That was down to 550 as of 2012,” she said.
Closing the Old Cleveland Road juvenile facility will also cost about 80 employees their jobs.
Those employees “all have the option to apply for vacancies in the Department of Correction,” Lanum said.
Roughly 76 youths are currently housed at the Old Cleveland Road facility. In a release, IDOC spokesman Doug Garrison said many of those juveniles will be moved to community-based programs in Logansport, Pendleton and Madison.
The state has closed other juvenile detention centers in recent years, with many young offenders being moved to community-based programs designed to provide youth services through lesser restrictive means.
IDOC reasoned that those community-based programs “and other efforts” have helped cut the agency’s juvenile population in half.
Since opening in 1980, the Old Cleveland Road juvenile facility has offered students the opportunity to obtain traditional academic credits through on-site AdvancED accredited Council Oak Junior/Senior High School, as well as programs where students can earn their GED and learn vocational skills.
The SBJCC also provided individual counseling, individual interventions and treatment programs that focused on addressing particular needs and risk areas for re-offending.
An employee who answered the phone at the Old Cleveland Road facility late Tuesday afternoon said Superintendent Donna Carneygee had gone for the day and was unavailable for comment.
Staff writer Jeff Harrell: