SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


DHSS to close Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility

Youth will be transferred to Juneau;
15 staff members to be laid off


August 15, 2016
Monday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced today it has made the decision to close the Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility, effective Sept. 15, 2016.

“This was a very difficult decision for us,” said DHSS Commissioner Valerie Davidson. “Youth in detention will now have to be sent further away from their home communities and hard-working state employees will lose their jobs when the facility closes. Because of those concerns, we considered every possible option. But given the financial realities we face today in our state, we know closing the Ketchikan facility is necessary.”

jpg DHSS to close Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility

Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility
Courtesy Alaska Department of Health and Social Services

According to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Youth, the youth from the Ketchikan area who need secure detention services will be transported to Juneau and placed in the Johnson Youth Center. Youth currently in the facility, their families, community leaders and affected staff were notified last week.

Fifteen full-time state employees with the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) received lay-off notices, and the state is working with these employees to help them find new employment. In addition, one facility position will be reassigned to the DJJ probation office in Ketchikan.

The Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility (KRYF) opened in March 2002 as a detention facility. The facility is located within the city of Ketchikan and served the communities of Ketchikan, Saxman, Prince of Wales Island, Wrangell, Petersburg, Kake, Hyder, and Metlakatla.

The Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility function was to receive intakes of youth who have been arrested for criminal charges or probation violations from the Ketchikan District Juvenile Probation Office.

The total design capacity of the facility is eight beds with an additional two observation rooms for special needs residents.

The facility was designed by the architectural firms of ECI/Hyer, Inc. of Anchorage and Millard & Peters of Ketchikan. In September 2003, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on Architecture for Justice (CAJ) the Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility received a special citation for demonstrating architectural and design excellence.


On the Web:

Grand Opening of New Ketchikan Regional Youth Faciliy
SitNews - March 11, 2002

Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility Receives Special Citation for Architectural and Design Excellence
SitNews - September 08, 2003



Reporting & Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services



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