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Campbell Regional Juvenile Detention Center Adapts Role from All-Girls to Male Low-Level Offenders

01 Dec 2023, Jail News, by

Campbell Regional Juvenile Detention Center adapts, transitioning from an all-girls facility to male low-level offenders.

Campbell Regional Juvenile Detention Center Adapts Role from All-Girls to Male Low-Level Offenders - Inmate Lookup

The Department of Juvenile Justice has now chosen to reopen the Campbell Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Newport to boys with low-level offenses, less than a year after Governor Andy Beshear said the institution would become Kentucky’s first and only all-girls jail facility.

Beshear decided to put boys and girls in different institutions after several violent altercations occurred within some of Kentucky’s juvenile correctional centers.

Shortly after all of Kentucky’s female juvenile offenders were transferred to the Newport facility in late 2022, Beshear announced in June that additional changes were being made. The girls will be temporarily transferred to a different detention center in Boyd County because of staffing shortages. The change became permanent on Wednesday.

In a letter to Kentucky’s police chiefs and sheriffs on Nov. 20, Vickie Reed, Commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice, stated that all girls housed in state juvenile detention centers would be transferred to the Boyd Regional Juvenile Detention Center located in Ashland.

Boyd County’s facility used to house boys, but in June, it began housing just girls. Boys who had been living in Boyd have been moved to a new place in Breathitt County.

The original plan called for the girls to be moved to Boyd County for a 90-day temporary solution. However, Reed’s letter asserts that the girls benefitted from the move and praises Boyd Regional’s female Superintendent Hope Smith for creating a more secure and therapeutic environment that has reduced behavioral issues.

The Department of Juvenile Justice is going through a transitional phase with this most recent move. Commissioner Reed made the decision to leave the department effective January 1st, two weeks ago. Reed became the fifth commissioner since 2018 when he was appointed to the role in 2021.

Female adolescents will now need to be transported by law enforcement to Boyd County and to and from all court appearances.

Approximately twelve sheriffs and police chiefs from Northern Kentucky, along with Kentucky State Senator John Schickel, met in July to voice their concerns about Campbell Regional’s partial closure. They claimed that having to regularly transport juveniles to facilities that were hours away was taxing the resources of local law enforcement. In order to assist with juvenile transportation, the Department of Juvenile Justice said it will collaborate with local departments.

Although the Campbell Regional Juvenile Detention Center’s staffing levels are still not ideal, Reed says the agency will be able to bring the center up to speed because it is designated as a facility for low-level male offenders.