Shuman Juvenile Detention Center to Close in September | News | Pittsburgh
Allegheny County Director William McKain announced on Monday August 23 that the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center will close on September 18. This comes just after the facility, which opened in 1974 and is located in the Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood of Pittsburgh, had its operating license revoked by Pennsylvania state officials.
It was reported in the press before McKain announced that the state social services department informed Allegheny County officials on August 20 that Shuman’s license was revoked, citing this due to a “Continued non-compliance with regulations and the inability to improve past violations, a license revocation was required,” according to a DHS spokesperson.
In a press release, McKain acknowledged the ongoing issues at Shuman and said there were discussions about the possibility of the state taking over the facility. In the end, McKain recommended closing the facility, which has been plagued by a number of violations over the years, including numerous cases of children left unattended, mismanagement and inappropriate use of strength.
Shuman’s closure follows the trend of many other Pennsylvania counties to close their juvenile detention centers. Only 14 of the 67 counties have juvenile detention centers still in operation. McKain’s recommendation was accepted by Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald.
“On my recommendation, we are going ahead to shut down the facility. Permitting the installation is an ongoing issue, ”McKain said. “Over the past six years, we have invested additional resources in the facility, supported the new leadership and efforts of the professionals who run the center, and continued to work with the courts and the state on alternatives. Yet we continued to see violations that were only exacerbated during the pandemic with staffing issues. ”
Depending on the county, young people who skip school or have other petty crimes are not sent to Shuman. This morning, 20 minors were accommodated in Shuman. The average age of the youth incarcerated in Shuman is 16, and the youth currently in the facility are between 14 and 20 years old. With the average stay in Shuman being less than 12 days, many minors will therefore have been transferred elsewhere or released before the closure, according to a press release.
The imprisoned young people will be transferred to other establishments, according to officials. McKain declared the state Human Services Department informed the press before there was enough time to inform all of Shuman’s staff and management of the decision.
“Obviously, with the revocation of the license, those jobs were all cut. We are working with the unions to resolve employee issues resulting from this mandatory shutdown, ”McKain said.