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New Vt. juvenile treatment facility to be completed by spring

Artist's rendering of Wells River Treatment Center in Newbury.
Artist's rendering of Wells River Treatment Center in Newbury.(Photo provided)
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 4:32 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The state of Vermont is moving forward with building a facility to house the most violent juvenile offenders.

The new Wells River Treatment Center is slated to be built in Newbury and replace the Woodside Juvenile Rehab facility in Colchester which closed last year.

The six-bed secure facility will house boys aged 12 to 17 involved in the most serious crimes.

Department for Children and Families Commissioner Sean Brown says planning for the site has been delayed several times by local traffic and wetlands concerns, but those issues have planning issues have been resolved.

“We’re looking at setting a new national standard in our approach in moving away from these large jail-like settings to these smaller therapeutic settings, because it’s about stabilizing these youth, meeting their needs, and them getting them back to their home community as soon as possible,” Brown said.

The state hopes to have local development and Act 250 approval this fall and construction of the facility completed by next spring.

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