|City/Town: • Sand Springs
|Location Class: • Government • Jail
|Built: • 1972 | Abandoned: • September 2011
|Status: • Demolished
|Photojournalist: • Billy Dixon • Michael Schwarz • Mary 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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