State reconsiders choice of provider to run juvenile lockups

State reconsiders choice of provider to run juvenile lockups
pic of Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock, AR

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas officials say a Nevada-based group recently awarded a nearly $16 million contract to run youth lockup facilities in the state is disqualified from winning the bid after violating the state's request for proposal terms.

The terms required that Rite of Passage have no terminations based on "nonperformance" in the past five years.

Rite of Passage already operates the state's largest youth lockup. It was selected in February for a one-year contract to run juvenile detention centers in four cities.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the other bidder, Youth Opportunity, wrote a protest letter to the state last week. The Indiana-based firm argued that Colorado shut down a juvenile facility operated by Rite of Passage in August.

State procurement officials wrote a determination letter on Thursday confirming Rite of Passage "failed to meet" mandatory requirements.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com