Work begins on new secure care treatment center for Oklahoma juveniles

A bulldozer operator scrapes away earth to begin work on a building and renovation project for a secure-care treatment facility for juveniles in Tecumseh.

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TECUMSEH, Okla. – Crews are working on a renovation project by the Office of Juvenile Affairs to modernize and consolidate Oklahoma’s secure-care treatment programs for juveniles.

The Next Generation Campus is currently being developed on the grounds of the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Tecumseh. The project, which is primarily funded by a $45 million bond issue, is expected to be finished in June of 2021.

Officials say the project is part of a plan that includes consolidating the department’s secure care facilities for juveniles in a modern campus.

Last year, the agency closed its facility for women in Norman and moved those operations to Tecumseh. Men at Southwestern Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Manitou will be moved to Tecumseh when the new campus is complete.

“The new campus will have a much more therapeutic environment,” said OJA Executive Director Steven Buck. “This modern campus will not only facilitate effective treatment for our residents, but will promote safety for our staff. This Next Generation Campus demonstrates our state’s commitment to providing secure, juvenile justice services in a setting specifically built to facilitate rehabilitation for young people needing this level of care. The new campus is a better setting for our treatment programs such as trauma-informed care and evidence-based treatment curriculums. And by having one centralized facility, OJA will address technology inefficiencies, improve medical and treatment services, and save money in transportation and travel.”

The new campus will have space for up to 144 beds, ample natural light, and space and landscaping designed for walking and talking.

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