LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT/KARK) - Arkansas state officials credit a more hands-on approach for a drop in the number of kids in county-run juvenile detention centers and residential programs.
According to a report from content partner KARK, the Arkansas Department of Human Services has made improvements in its Division of Youth Services program since January.
The state agency has worked on assessing teens on a variety of issues, including physical, education, substance abuse, dental, vision, and PTSD.
Michael Crump, director of DYS, said the approach has helped.
“We would see bottlenecking at the beginning, bottlenecks in the middle and bottlenecks at the end so really having a treatment team in place and an increased number of monitoring visits that go in it allows things to run more efficiently from beginning to the end,” Crump told KARK.
The number of youth in county-run juvenile detention centers dropped from 73 in May of 2019 to 6 on Feb. 3. The number of youth in a DYS residential program has fallen from 352 to 235 during that same period, officials said.