L.E. Rader Juvenile Detention Center

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Year Built: 1972 | Year Abandoned: September 2011
Status: Demolished
Photojournalist: Billy DixonMichael SchwarzMary Evans

In 1972 The L.E. Rader Detention Center opened in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Over the years several laws were passed regarding juvenile centers such as Rader. Due to one of the laws passed in 1974 Oklahoma facilities could not accept grants, therefore shielding the state from federal scrutiny.Years later in 2005, U.S. Justice Department officials and experts inspect Rader. This resulted in a lawsuit against the state and the state Office of Juvenile Affairs by failing to protect Rader youths from sexual and physical attacks. Assaults continued at Rader until OJA and Justice Department officials begin a court-ordered settlement conference in 2008. At that point the decided to build a new facility in Ada, citing budget cuts and rising operational costs. In September of 2011 the Rader center closed. Article below goes into detail.

Tulsa World Article – L.E. Rader Center Set To Close

SAND SPRINGS – The L.E. Rader Center in Sand Springs will close Sept. 30, and the state Office of Juvenile Affairs, which operates the juvenile detention facility, has no plans to open a new one. The 50 juvenile offenders who are at Rader will be transferred to other facilities, OJA Executive Director Gene Christian said Wednesday. Rader’s 130 employees also could transfer to other facilities, but OJA also intends to offer voluntary buyouts and have a reduction in force, Christian said. Efforts to modernize the Rader facility, which opened in 1972, were unsuccessful, he said. Once it is empty, the facility will be torn down, he said. Rader’s budget is about $8.4 million, with between $900,000 and $1 million of that amount going for contract beds, Christian said. The Office of Juvenile Affairs is preparing for a 5 percent – or roughly $5 million – budget cut from the Legislature, he said. “There are no funds for any type of new facility,” Christian said. “We are absorbing the cuts by doing this.”

Last July, not enough beds were open at other facilities to transfer the juveniles from Rader, Christian said. However, that has since changed, he said. “I can’t say that juvenile crime is decreasing,” but referrals to the agency are down by about 22 percent, Christian said. The state currently has a total of 70 open beds at the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Tecumseh and at the Southwest Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Manitou. Contract beds outside the state system also could be used to house the juvenile offenders from Rader, he said. About 24 juveniles are in the maximum-security Intensive Treatment Plan at Rader, said Paula Christiansen, an OJA spokeswoman. Christian said the agency hopes to contract with jails or detention centers to provide a more secure setting for the juveniles who need it. Trish Frazier, Oklahoma Public Employees Association policy and research director, noted that “for several years, OJA leadership has discussed the need for more secure beds.” “Closing Rader will put juvenile offenders that require a higher security level in less-secure facilities. In addition, the system will lose beds needed for detention and rehabilitation of troubled youth,” she said.

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Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

Being a former resident I would say that way less than half of the staff actually cared about us and our treatment progress. Don't get me wrong, I was more than happy to leave when I did (who wouldn't be) but I am very conflicted in my feelings towards the facility being closed. Rader was a huge part of what I consider the end of my childhood, hell, I even had my wisdom teeth pulled during my stay there. I witnessed abuse from staff inflicted upon "unruly" residents that I wish I could forget, and it is true that the… Read more »

jay
jay
Reply to  Anonymous
8 years ago

I have a few questions about a resident that may have stayed here please if u think u can answer my questions then call me at 9182003478 or 9184065299 please please

Dawn
Dawn
Reply to  jay
7 years ago

If you applied a named, just first, and a time frame…. maybe. I've had no luck but you might. Good luck and God bless.

Dawn
Dawn
Reply to  Anonymous
8 years ago

I resided in Aquarious. I had the joy of arriving on my Sweet 16. It was hell from the first day. I'm 49 now and still haunted at times. Forced examinations. I refused. I went to Gemini. I was a virgin and scared. No one cared. I was adjudicated as INS because my 'incubator' severely abused me. Because of my age no foster homes available. Because of my adjudication it was hell. Now it's impossible to find anyone I knew that was human. Total loss of that period of my life except for letters between cottages, a few pics and… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
Reply to  Anonymous
7 years ago

Wow, you think half of them cared, that's a lot of faith. As for me, I went to New Start, and as a result, I was finally able to get out of the system. I spent 3 1/2 years of my juvinille life in institutions. It was only when I escaped and committed a crime, that I was able to finally get out of those places. Working the level system was nearly impossible, but having only 3 months and knowing that I would be getting out in that time, allowed me to finally exit the revolving door

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Anonymous
6 years ago

I'd like to talk to you!! Violetsandals@gmail.com
I'm working in a facility like this and am having a rough time.

tom burns
tom burns
Reply to  Anonymous
4 years ago

I was there in 1976 and it was a awesome place. ive got fond memories of my time there. Until the day of my evaluation I got in a fight in the gym. Hello OCC taft. which was also pretty cool just a lot bigger. better than Helina id suspect.

jesse
jesse
Reply to  Anonymous
4 years ago

i stayed at the center in apllo cotage sevral times never wonce was mistreated

Nook
Nook
Reply to  Anonymous
3 days ago

So very true to who u are I was a x resident my self and you cover the base of what went on and kodod for bettering your life and stay on that road

COLBY
COLBY
8 years ago

WOW… I USED TO BE A RESIDENT THERE ALONG TIME AGO…HOWWOULD I GET PERMISSION TO WALK THE GROUNDS AGAIN?

Dawn
Dawn
Reply to  COLBY
7 years ago

Why would you seriously want to? My time was in 1976. Never would set foot there. I'm very happy it was leveled. Just my thoughts.

Cody
Cody
8 years ago

Very bittersweet seeing my old Unit 4 over on the ITP side. Seems like only yesterday I was walking the ITP halls on my way to the B-ball court. :/

loco
loco
8 years ago

yea some abuse happened when I was there from April 2000 to October 2002
but it was both sides. There some staff that took their job to heart and their
were some that didn't care the ones that did care helped me. I don't know
how it was after I left . I hate to see it go.

former resident
former resident
7 years ago

Lets get real here the idea of radar was brilliant but it was not managed correctly this place needs to fixed up and should not goto waste god plz let us come ttogether to save our youth somthin needs to b done

anonymous
anonymous
7 years ago

I used to be a juvenile delinquent there a long time ago and I've had a lot of educational memories and learning lessons add I remember when the staff was really respectful andand I have learnt a lot I think that it was a good place for some juveniles that was in the wrong path to straighten their selves up and go to better themselves so I hope its someday that it will open back up

Kristi Shields
Kristi Shields
9 years ago

There were no failed attempts to modernize this facility, the OJA Director failed to maintain it and made sure that he could create justification for it's demise, as it was the most up to date facility of all of OJA ,s . Politics and corruption destroyed Rader.

Scott Hannaford
Scott Hannaford
Reply to  Kristi Shields
7 years ago

I agree Ms. Shields. As for my time there, I was there mid '09 until June '10. The staff I had on Mercury were great, they really loved what they did, they saved my life, I have been out for 4 years now, I am married, and except for one misunderstanding, I haven't been in trouble since. Honestly looking at these pictures I can remember walking down those halls, I can remember Medical, and the pool, the cafeteria. Ms. Blythe was one of my teachers. I see these pictures and I am saddened that politics took away the facility that… Read more »

Argus smith
Argus smith
8 months ago

I am a former resident of this place I learned alot from here that did not set in until I was 40 years of age ..I do however love the staff I learned alot from them

MattHe251
MattHe251
1 year ago

Can anybody give me the address to this place?

UrbanExploring
UrbanExploring
2 years ago

Its torn dow now i believe. Webco bought the land and is now working on it. i google mapped to location and it was gone.

Guest
Guest
2 years ago

I was staff there in mid to late '90's. I don't know who was more terrifying..the staff members that were in gangs or the residents that were trying to do evil sick things but with all that going on there were residents who made it worth the risk to come in every day. To protect them, to see the light in their eyes, to help them work their way out and to show them I cared. My rear was saved on more than one occasion by residents who was as protective of me as I was of them. I quit… Read more »

NPonce883
NPonce883
2 years ago

I was a resident at this facility back in 1996. I spent my 17th birthday in this place. I was from western Oklahoma and was entering a entirely new group of delinquents. I was the first one from our county to ever been sent to this place. That being said I was along way from home. I learned that what I was getting into trouble for and people I was hanging around with was nothing compared to some of these kids I was in here with. The gangs and violence my cottage mates are living with day to day its… Read more »

John stout
John stout
2 years ago

I was an inmate there for four years(from 14 to 18). I was beaten almost every day from both staff members and other inmates. I was raped while there also. So I'm very glad that that place is closed. No one should ever have to go through what I went through while I was there

DCMost
DCMost
4 years ago

Is it possible for the photographer to contact me? I would like to have permission to use a few of the photographs please? For personal reasons. Thank you.

Joe
Joe
4 years ago

My brother was locked up there his entire teenage years on a murder charge. They had an age limit on visitations so I didn't get to visit until I was a teenager. My family visited every Sunday (visitation days). I was too young to remember much. I do recall my brother got in an altercation in the shower with fellow inmates. In self-defense he punched an inmate so hard he broke his own hand. A nurse from the facility called my parents privately to inform them that my brother needed triage & to call the center. My brother took his… Read more »

d.sartain
d.sartain
4 years ago

i learned alot and im still in contact with the guys i was there with..most are in prison at max yards,i think oklahoma should pay some of us for the shit that place did to us

James Boughan
James Boughan
4 years ago

Thanks so much for the photos it brings back alot of momorys I spent 3 years there many many years ago it wasent easy but realy tought me a good lesson in life when and where I was it Apollo cattage was strict Miss Love ran it a little old black lady she was tuff but showed alot of love we always got cleanest cottage most of the time and that gave us some perks.I remember us with tape on our hands getting any little pieces of lint offf the carpet.The staff were realy good when I was there some… Read more »

tom burns
tom burns
4 years ago

our house parents in 1976 were olyimpic power lifters and they were awsome. wed get to cook our own breakfast on sun.

Hailey
Hailey
5 years ago

I've seen how you all have said the staff abused the residents and I'm sorry for that but you'll find comfort in knowing my uncle is a police officer and he is the kindest man I've met in a while , he is also a security guard at many places in the city , if you would like someone to talk to I can hook you up with his info and he would be happy to talk with about your experiences at radar , contact me at lindsborggirl29@gmail.com

Hailey
Hailey
Reply to  Hailey
5 years ago

You could also talk to me if you would like too

Hailey
Hailey
Reply to  Hailey
4 years ago

He might be a little interesting … but he has OCD and sometimes acts a little weird , but he's great at his job and can answer any questions you might have about why they would treat you this way .

Hailey
Hailey
5 years ago

It looks like a school with prison cells and a pool lol

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