Rite of Passage Awarded Contract at MJTC

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On Wednesday, February 27, the contract bid from Rite of Passage Inc. was awarded by the state to take over operations at the Mansfield Juvenile Treatment Center.

Two contractors had submitted bids for the take over, Youth Opportunity Investments LLC and Rite of Passage Incorporated. Both underwent a weighted scoring evaluation, with Youth Opportunity Investments LLC scoring 533.69 and Rite of Passage Inc. scoring 569.85.

Division of Youth Services Chairperson Larry Ivens said Rite of Passage Inc. was chosen because “it was in the best interest of the state.”

ROP is a nationwide contractor based out of Minden, NV. The winning contractor proposed the daily cost per bed at all facilities would be $215-$236 per calendar day.

“Rite of Passage supports the State’s decision to award a single contract for the operation of Arkansas’ four residential treatment facilities. We believe that this approach provides the best opportunity for the successful implementation of the state’s Transformation Plan. We believe ROP is the most qualified bidder, and that the selection of ROP as the contractor will be the most advantageous to the State, DYS and its youth,” said Michael Cantrell, ROP Executive Director. Cantrell added, “ROP embraces and is excited to be considered for the opportunity to partner with DYS and their Transformation Plan for the Mansfield Youth Treatment Center, Lewisville Youth Treatment Center, Harrisburg Youth Treatment Center and the Dermott Youth Corrections Facility.”

The program at the Mansfield facility will serve fifty-eight males between the ages of 13 and 18 with moderate to high risk aggression, behavioral issues, and gang involvement. This program will focus on the value of education, character development and integrity, with the utilization of team sports to improve physical and mental health, and to improve self-discipline and social interactions.

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“Utilizing individualized plans, youth will become accountable for their actions, and have opportunities to develop and practice coping skills. Our Collaborative Plan ROP will work in conjunction with DYS to conduct a thorough assessment of the utilization of facility space with the goal of achieving a dedicated vocational training center, indoor recreation space, and a maintenance garage/warehouse. Continued facility improvements will include adding air conditioning to vocational/ recreational space thereby ensuring space usable year-round. Adding LED security wall packs to building perimeters will enhance lighting during dark hours. ROP would also recommend adding round tables to the dining hall to facilitate face-to-face conversation in a family style setting, which allows students to practice social skills and interaction at every meal.”

Rite of Passage anticipates the need for structural modification and enhancement at all four Arkansas residential treatment facilities.
At the Mansfield Youth Treatment Center, ROP will plan to implement observation solutions which will include a monitored gate entry.
According to ROP, the current perimeter at Mansfield is not designed to stop escapes. They recommended installing razor wire and anti-climb measures. Lastly, suicide vulnerabilities were identified in all living units. ROP would immediately address these areas by placing the hydraulic door closures on the outside of the student doors, replace door knobs with anti-ligature door handles, and replace the residential shower heads with detention grade ligature resistant safety shower heads.

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The graphic above highlights the areas of the Mansfield facility where ROP proposes modifications and enhancements for increased safety and security.

The operational start-up of the Harrisburg, Dermott, Lewisville and Mansfield facilities are set to begin on July 1, 2019.

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Mansfield native, with roots in Scott County. Daughter, sister, wife and Christian. Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; 20+ years experience in the news.

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