Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility
Opened Sept. 26
First facility to offer peninsula
juvenile detention & probation services
September 27, 2003
Saturday - 12:30 am
The Alaska Dept. of Health & Social Services (DHSS) and DHSS
Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) hosted dedication and opening
ceremonies Friday for the new Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility
in Kenai. The $4.6 million building and complex is the first
youth corrections facility on the Kenai Peninsula. Prior to its
construction, all Peninsula youth offenders were transported
and detained at the McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage. "This
youth facility will fill a gap in our juvenile justice system
on the Kenai Peninsula and enable State and local public safety
and juvenile probation officers to be more efficient," Lt.
Governor Loren Leman said. "It will also enable youth to
be closer to home as they prepare to reenter society as law-abiding
Leman said, "Juveniles
who come here are at a point in life where they need us the most.
This place is here to do more than administer discipline -- as
important as that is. It also provides hope. Hope to leave a
destructive lifestyle and become a productive citizen. It will
provide education to suspended or expelled students, supervise
drug treatment and rehabilitation and offer counseling."
"I hope that we can challenge
the juvenile residents not only to quit breaking the law, but
to make good life choices, reach higher, dream bigger -- get
educated and reinvest in Alaska. I am thankful the staff and
supporters of the Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility will be right
here every step of the way as an encouragement to these youth
as they transition back into our communities, " said Leman.
"I thank everyone on the
Peninsula for the great community support for this facility,"
said DHSS Commissioner Joel Gilbertson. "I especially thank
the Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility Citizens Advisory Group chaired
by Pete Sprague for their tireless work in supporting this project.
Without broad support like this, this facility would never have
youth offenders to McLaughlin Youth Center was a great expense
in time and money to local area police and to the Div. of Juvenile
Justice," Patty Ware, DJJ Director said. "The population
on the Kenai Peninsula is growing, and there clearly was a need
for a juvenile detention facility here. I'm glad we were able
to help bring this project to fruition." During the dedication
ceremonies, Ware presented certificates to about 2 dozen individuals
and organizations who helped on the project.
During dedication ceremonies,
Gilbertson acknowledged the City of Kenai's donation of land
to build the facility. "I thank Mayor John Williams, the
Kenai City Assembly, and the entire city of Kenai for donating
10 acres of prime land to build this facility on," he said.
Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility
(KPYF) Fact Sheet
- In 1997, the Alaska Department
of Health & Social Services issued the Master Plan for Youth
Facilities. The plan called for the construction of a new facility
on the Kenai Peninsula.
- Area residents have actively
advocated the Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility since 1998. The
"Juvenile Detention Facility Committee" met monthly
and the consortium consisted of individuals from various peninsula
law enforcement agencies, juvenile probation, social services,
mental health, substance abuse treatment services, educators,
Alaska Native social services, and numerous private citizens
from throughout the peninsula.
- The facility planning committee
worked closely with public officials and the state administration,
selected a site, and built solid support and public awareness
of the project for over three years.
The project was designed by ECI/Hyer, Inc. of Anchorage.
- On February 12, 2001, G &
S Construction of Soldotna was awarded the contract to build
the Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility. The ten-bed detention facility
was built for the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) on Marathon
Road in Kenai. Major sub-contractors included Air Tek, Western
Sheet Metal, and Redoubt Plumbing.
- Groundbreaking for the new
facility occurred on May 31, 2002.
- The 12,000 square foot Kenai
Peninsula Youth Facility combines Juvenile Detention and Juvenile
Probation under one roof.
- KPYF provides a central booking
area for juveniles on the Kenai Peninsula, facilitating a rapid
response to delinquent activity and enabling Police officers
to quickly return to the street. It will foster a closer working
relationship among State, local, nonprofit agencies and local
- KPYF contains office and interview
space for Juvenile Probation operations, enabling more consistent
and effective intervention practices.
- KPYF enables the Kenai Peninsula
Borough School District to provide on-site continuing education
of all juveniles detained for any length of time, which can reduce
the likelihood of future criminal conduct and social dependency.
Space is also available for suspended or expelled students who
require educational services.
- Bringing this facility to
the Kenai Peninsula fills a Peninsula-wide void in the Juvenile
Justice system by providing a centralized "headquarters"
for the various local interdisciplinary agencies, and a focus
on rehabilitative and re-integrative programmatic links within
the peninsula communities.
- KPYF is a ten-bed facility
that will provide secure detention services for youth arrested
for serious offenses throughout the Kenai Peninsula. KPYF also
provides a Re-entry transition program for youth completing secure
treatment at another DJJ facility as they return to the Peninsula
and transition to their home communities.
Sources of News Release:
Alaska Department of Health
& Social Services
Office of the Lt. Governor
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