Virginia Firm to Negotiate for Juvenile Lock-up Contract

NOVEMBER 22, 2006 - Posted at 4:10 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A Virginia-based company is entering into contract negotiations with the state to run the juvenile lockup at Alexander.

The state is seeking a new company to run the Youth Service Center since it fired the Cornell Companies about three weeks ago after learning nurses at the state's largest youth lockup were inappropriately injecting children with psychotropic medications to tame bad behavior.

G4S Youth Service agreed on Tuesday to negotiate with the state for at least a temporary contract to run the facility.

The state has suspended normal bidding rules because the need for a company to run the lockup is an "emergency."

Once a vendor is in place, the state will develop a long-term strategy for running the lockup.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)