Department of Public Safety prepares to open youth development center in Kinston Dobbs YDC in Kinston to close, be repurposed; newer, safer Lenoir YDC renovated to serve additional juveniles

KINSTON

The Department of Public Safety today during an open house offered community leaders and elected officials their first view of the renovated Lenoir Youth Development Center in Kinston. Officials with the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice will open the new center on May 15 to provide safer, more secure and more efficient care for committed youth in North Carolina.

Lenoir Youth Development Center“We are operating in the best interests of our children and North Carolina’s residents by reopening this modern, renovated facility,” said Secretary Erik A. Hooks of the Department of Public Safety. “In returning this state-owned facility to service – rather than constructing a brand-new building – we are meeting our responsibility to ensure that juveniles in state custody are housed in the safest, most secure facility we can provide, while being protective of both the public safety and taxpayer dollars.”

Concurrent with the opening of Lenoir YDC comes the closure of Dobbs YDC in Kinston, which opened in 1947. This action marks a key phase of the 2014 Juvenile Justice Strategic Plan.

“The Juvenile Justice Strategic Plan calls for the closure of older, more antiquated facilities in favor of newer, safer, more efficient buildings,” said W. David Guice, chief deputy secretary of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice. “We have done just that today. We will be able to provide juveniles with a more therapy-driven approach to their care and treatment within the safer, more secure, self-contained setting at Lenoir as compared to Dobbs.”

The Lenoir Youth Development Center will begin official operations on May 15. Including Lenoir, the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice operates four youth development centers statewide.

Youth development centers are secure facilities that provide education and treatment services to prepare committed youth to successfully transition to a community setting. This type of commitment is the most restrictive, intensive sanction and service that a court can order for a juvenile in North Carolina. The structure of the juvenile code limits this sanction to those juveniles who have been adjudicated for violent or serious offenses or who have a lengthy delinquency history.

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