Youth detention center closing after state revokes license

Regional News

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A juvenile detention center in western Pennsylvania will close next month after state officials revoked its license.

Allegheny County Manager William McKain says the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center in Pittsburgh will close Sept. 18. Youths being housed there will likely be transferred to other facilities the state operates, but specific plans have not yet been disclosed.

The state’s Human Services department notified the county Friday that the license for the 46-year-old facility was being revoked. Officials cited the center’s “continued failure to follow regulations and failure to improve on past violations.”

The Shuman Center’s fourth provisional license was issued July 1 and was set to expire Jan. 1, 2022. Provisional licenses are issued to facilities where violations are found so the sites have time to address the problems, officials said. Shuman has been operating under a provisional license since December 2015.

The latest violations, stemming from an investigation between June 16 and July 1, included a heroin overdose and the theft of $140 from a nurse’s purse when a child was left unattended.

McKain said the county has put additional resources into the facility over the last six years, supported new leadership and continued to work with the courts and the state. However, he said the county continued to see violations that were “only exacerbated during the pandemic with staffing challenges.”

Twenty children and young adults were being held at the facility as of Monday. They range in age from 14 to 20.

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