Beshear Congratulates Juvenile Justice Staff at Groundbreaking Reopening of Mayfield Youth Development Center | New

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GRAVES COUNTY, KY – Governor Andy Beshear joined other leaders on Tuesday for a ribbon cutting to reopen the Department of Juvenile Justice Youth Development Center in Mayfield. The center was severely damaged on December 10, during the devastating tornado outbreak.

During the storm, the youth development center lost power, water and internet, according to Beshear’s office. Damage to the building included severe structural damage to the roof, burst water pipes, collapsed walls and broken floors. The storm also swept away several metal outbuildings.

The youth development center is now able to reopen after six months of intense reconstruction, according to Beshear’s office.

The Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice says youth development centers like Mayfield’s are small, treatment-oriented facilities, and the youths placed there are typically between the ages of 14 and 18. KYDJJ says the programs include a six-hour school day. , educational alternatives for graduation or GED and career opportunities.

Mayfield Youth Development Center Superintendent Larry Jackson said newly incarcerated or convicted teens will have the option of being placed at the facility beginning Wednesday.

“We look forward to once again providing optimal care for young people in Kentucky. They have faced enough challenges and disruptions in their lives and deserve a return to stability,” Jackson said. “Our staff are some of the best and I couldn’t do this job without them. Let’s open those doors and get back to serving the Commonwealth and the future leaders of tomorrow.

During the December 10 tornado, staff members were there to keep the children safe, and Beshear recognized them for their bravery and commitment during the ribbon cutting.

“I commend the DJJ staff for putting their lives on the line on that dark and devastating night to save Kentucky’s future leaders,” Beshear said.

The governor also offered words of encouragement to teens who end up in youth development centers.

“To all the young people housed here in Mayfield and across the Commonwealth, listen to me when I say: your past does not dictate your future,” Beshear said.

Three miners will go to the facility now that it is reopening. Staff members say they are happy to return to work.

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