Phase 3 of renovations complete at the Brazos County Juvenile Detention Center
“It really helps those kids continue to develop and not get behind once they are detained in detention.”
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -The final phase of the multi-million dollar renovations at the Brazos County Juvenile Detention Center is complete.
Phase one of the new renovations added 32 beds to the 44 beds the facility already had. Other notable upgrades include a science lab, intake center, health center, and an honor dorm pod for juveniles with good behavior.
Phase three, the final phase, includes upgrades to the facility’s gymnasium, new classrooms, and technology upgrades for the juvenile academy.
“We have added additional basketball goals. We added an outside recreation area for the kids as well to participate and get out there and enjoy the weather. We added additional volleyball nets for the kids to have to play with,” said Chris Coffey, Brazos County Juvenile Detention Center Facility Administrator. “It’s just a lot more games, a lot more activities for the kids to participate in. Having a new facility, having a new gym really gives those kids the ability to de-stress and just kind of forget about some of the things they have to think about as far as being detained in detention.”
Coffey says education is the main focus of the new facility. The county wanted to make sure juveniles that are detained receive the same education opportunities as those attending one of the school districts.
“The kids are able to come down to the classrooms, the same classrooms that they will see at Bryan ISD, College Station ISD. It’s the same teachers. It’s the same type of environment. It’s the same computers,” said Coffey. “It really does have an effect on those kids, as far as that transition from them having to be detained.”
“Nothing changes when they come into detention. They still have to attend class. They still have to do everything the teachers and staff are asking them to do,” said Coffey. “Nothing changes from if they’re in Bryan ISD. So just having the new facility, with the new technology, it’s the same. It really helps those kids continue to develop and not get behind once they are detained in detention.”
Juvenile detention center officials say they’ve noticed a change in the behavior of juveniles in the newer parts of the facility.
“The kids just behave better. When they’re in the new part of the facility, we do have less incidents. We’ve had fewer restraints in the new expansion parts of the building,” said Lupa Washington, Brazos County Juvenile Detention Center Assistant Director. “The new part of the building has different colors. It’s more trauma-informed. That’s the reason that the facility was built and that we chose the architects that we did because they did specialize in a trauma-informed type of building.”
Most of the artwork in the facility was inspired by the youth in detention.
“That’s one of the best parts, you know, seeing the kids participating when they’re here,” said Washington. “We have a lot of community support with the Arts Council in the community, and they’ve done a lot of art pieces throughout the county, in the administration building, in different libraries and parks. To be able to see their pieces be a part of the new building, I think, just means a lot to the kids and then to the staff as well. Knowing that it’s something that’s going to be here for a long time.”
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