New building, fresh attitudes at juvenile facility

POSTED: 10:35 AM Dec 24 2013   UPDATED: 12:00 AM Oct 28 2013
REDDING, Calif. -

A new $18 million dollar juvenile facility is getting ready to open its doors; and it's not just about a fresh coat of paint.

It's about a new attitude.

The overall theme of the hall is changing from incarceration to rehabilitation.

Juvenile Division Director Ed Miller calls it "a complete change in what we're doing."

"We're changing everything. We're changing the way we interact with other residents. We're changing the terminology we use. We're changing the processes we use and the programs we use, and attitudes."

Everything is state of the art, including a surveillance system with cameras everywhere, and, doors can be controlled by the touch of a screen someone is monitoring 24 hours a day.

The new building has administrative offices up front, along with visiting areas for family and friends to talk with inmates.

There are outdoor exercise areas, including a large covered basketball court.

Chief Probation Officer Wes Forman says it's not only newer, it's safer.

"The old facility is built very narrow, linear style, so you don't get the same light. There are unprotected areas, dark areas, that did not lend themselves to good safety and security."

Currently, those serving a juvenile detention sentence equal roughly around thirty people, however, there is plenty of room to grow. 

The building boasts a 90-resident capacity.

Juvenile court and juvenile services for young offenders not in custody will remain in the old building.

The public is invited to the grand opening on Nov. 6th at 11 a.m. for a celebration and a tour.

The building won't be occupied until January, when the staff has finished training.