State Gives Short-Term Contract to Firm for Youth Lock-Up

JANUARY 11, 2007 - Posted at 7:41 a.m. CST

ALEXANDER, Ark. (AP) - The state has entered into a new contract, on a short-term basis, for operation of the troubled youth lockup in Alexander. The short-term contract with G-4-S Youth Services in Virginia is to operate the facility until officials can decide what to do with it.

The $4.5 million contract says the company will take control of the Alexander Juvenile Correctional Facility on January 21.

The Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services has been operating the facility since October. That's when it fired Cornell Companies for inappropriately injecting children with anti-psychotic medications to control their behavior.

The new contract still needs to be approved by the Department of Finance and Administration because it was issued without bidding because the DHHS had to act quickly.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)