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How to Build a Juvenile Institution on Time and Within Budget

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Magazine Volume: 68 Issue: 3 Dated: June 2006 Pages: 54-57
Loren Buddress; Mary K. McHatton; James Mueller; Gregory Smith
Date Published
June 2006
4 pages
This article describes 10 key steps involved in building a new juvenile correctional center.
Drawing on his experience developing and constructing the new youth services center in San Mateo County, CA, which is due to open in August 2006, San Mateo County’s chief probation officer identified 10 key steps to planning and constructing a new juvenile correctional center: (1) learn about the process of building a juvenile facility; (2) consider hiring a planning expert; (3) develop a clear vision of the types of programming to be included; (4) create a formal needs assessment and master plan; (5) determine how the project will be funded; (6) select an oversight committee to manage the planning, design, and construction; (7) select the contracting method and select a contractor; (8) build collaboration among the entire team; (9) focus on moving construction along and overcoming challenges; and (10) develop a plan to move into the new facility. Each of these steps is described, using the development and construction of San Mateo County’s new youth services center as an illustration. For example, before beginning their development process, San Mateo sent a collaborative group to the National Institute of Corrections’ 1-week training course on how to build new juvenile correctional facilities. San Mateo leaders hired a planning expert to guide their development and construction process and then bid out the project using the “construction manager at risk” biding method. Challenges during the construction process are described, which include the discovery of an environmentally endangered plant on the construction site, and the four-phased plan for moving into the new youth services facility is outlined. The importance of programming planning during the development process is underscored, as is the importance of developing a collaborative working partnership with all involved agencies and stakeholders. Photographs, references