DENVER (Sept. 16, 2016) – Reggie Bicha, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), visited the Spring Creek Youth Services Center today. During the visit, he observed programming and met with employees. At those meetings, he solicited employee comments and questions.
For several months, the Division of Youth Corrections has been working closely with CDHS leadership to develop and implement a comprehensive re-organization plan to improve conditions for staff and youth at Spring Creek. The details of this plan will be released in the coming weeks.
“Our goal is to ensure the safety of the youth we serve, and prepare them to successfully re-join their communities after leaving Spring Creek YSC,” Bicha said. “At the same time, the safety and health of our staff are also critical. The discussions I had today with Spring Creek staff were productive, and will help guide the re-organization plan."
During the meetings, staff voiced safety and security concerns. Problems identified include the number of fights and assaults occurring, new staff with limited experience, difficulties caused by comingled detention and committed populations, a need for additional staff, and restrictions on the use of seclusion.
Spring Creek Youth Services Center is one of 10 state-owned and -operated facilities under the Division of Youth Corrections. It is an 80-bed facility that provides secure detention and treatment services within the southern region of Colorado. There are 51 beds allocated for detained youth—those who are being held at Spring Creek while they await their court hearings. The remaining 29 beds are allocated for committed youth, who have been sentenced to serve time in the facility and receive treatment and educational programming.