Juvenile Services Contract Contested

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On Wednesday, March 13, rival bidder Youth Opportunity Investment LLC contested the Arkansas juvenile services contract recently awarded to Rite of Passage. –See related story

YOI challenged the state’s decision to grant the $15.8 million contract to ROP. And, in a letter, claimed ROP is unqualified and failed to meet the state’s qualifications.

YOI’s attorney also claimed that ROP made false and “defrauding” statements in order to obtain the contract. Furthermore, they allege that ROP has a questionable management history, plagued with sexual abuse by staff, needless restraint of the youth, and escapes.

According to Senator Terry Rice, “a contested contract is fairly normal and hopefully they will have a determination shortly so one of them will have time to prepare for the takeover of services.”

The office of state procurement has five days to respond to the YOI letter. The Department of Human Services, juvenile services division has stated the takeover will begin this summer. These statewide changes will affect the facilities at Mansfield, Dermott, Lewisville and Harrisburg.

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