Firm recommends Barbara Culver Juvenile Center remain open in Midland County

Firm recommends Barbara Culver Juvenile Center remain open in Midland County

MIDLAND COUNTY, TX (KWES) - Whenever there are opposite sides on an issue, it's always good to get someone from the outside to offer their opinion.

In this case, Mel Brown and Associates, a third-party firm, almost an hour from Houston gave their recommendation about the ongoing discussion involving the Barbara Culver Youth Center.

They thought the best idea was to keep the center open.

"I think a lot of people have the impression it's just someplace where we store kids in the interim, but a lot more goes on", said Judge Kyle Peeler, Chairman Juvenile Board, Midland County.

"The community would feel it within a few months if we did not have a place to detain our kids and a critical part of what we do is assess their needs," said Forest Hanna, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer, Midland County

Their report reached out to everyone involved in youth services from the county judge to Midland police.

They recommended the center continue to run with 24 beds, 4 more for isolation and observation.

Sometimes, Judge Peeler uses the center to get kids the help they need.

He said he's gotten four psychological evaluations done on kids who had ideas of shooting up their school.

"We actually are trying to get ahead of the problems or the issues these kids are dealing with and trying to do that for the safety of the community," said Peeler.

The firm looked at numbers over the last three years and found 11-15 kids stay at the center daily, there were no major compliance rules been broken in 2017, and the certified cost per day is $214.55 compared to the state average of $231.09.

What the firm says needs work is better communication from those involved who make decisions.

"It's very important for the juvenile board, the county commissioners, and myself to work together to take care of Midland County kids, Midland County families," said Hanna.

Both sides have gotten an outside perspective on what the fate of the center should be, now they have to come to an understanding.

Copyright 2018 KWES. All rights reserved.