Positive changes praised at juvenile rehab center

New Shasta County probation facility up and running

REDDING, Calif. - Officials are lauding positive changes at Shasta County's new juvenile rehabilitation facility.

It's been nearly six months since residents moved from the old juvenile hall into the new building.                                                

The old juvenile hall was more dangerous and exuded a homier atmosphere, something the new building does not do according to Juvenile Rehabilitation Facility Division Director Ed Miller.

"One of the biggest hurdles we had to get over is that we went from a building that had drywall to a building that was brick and mortar, steel, [a] more hardened look," Miller said. "It really had an effect on not only the way the kids behaved, and the way they thought, but it also had an effect on the way the staff behaved, and the way they worked with the same residents that we had in the old building."

The residents at the facility said very positive things about the changes.

"It's better. I guess it's better. Everything is cleaner," said one girl. "We have more opportunity to do things, a wider variety I guess."

"This place is a lot more structured, [has] a bigger facility, and kind of is just tightened down on more stuff from the old facility," said a teenage boy.

Another resident added that the new facility was "a lot bigger, [had] more cells, a lot more guards, [and] better food."

Chief Probation Officer Tracie Neal said there have been some challenges, but overall she's very pleased.

"The new facility is exciting for us," Neal said. "Because not only has it adjusted the way we do business within the institution, it's really changed the way we do business with our juvenile population."

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