sununu youth center

State officials are pushing back against allegations of a pattern of illegal use of restraints on juveniles at the Sununu Youth Center.

In a statement, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald say a recent report from the Disability Rights Center "contains numerous factual errors, unsupported conclusions, and incorrect statements of law."

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 11, 2018

May 10, 2018

The state's new Child Advocate launches an investigation into the Sununu Youth Center following allegations of a pattern of illegal use of restraints on juveniles there.  For the third time this year, the New Hampshire House of Representatives votes against a bill to create education savings accounts. Voting laws and Medicaid expansion are on the governor's desk to be signed into law.  And it's that time of year - bears are out, looking for easy pickings at your bird-feeder...even in Manchester.

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The state's new Child Advocate, Moira O'Neill, is launching an investigation into the Sununu Youth Center following allegations of a pattern of illegal use of restraints on juveniles there.

In a new report, the Disability Rights Center of New Hampshire says staff at the Sununu Youth Center used excessive force on a 14-year-old boy with emotional and behavioral disabilities in December of 2016. The DRC's investigation found probable cause to suspect the Sununu Center used, and continues to use, unlawful restraint.

All Things Considered host Peter Biello interviewed Andrew Milne, staff attorney for the DRC, to discuss the new report. (SCROLL to the bottom of this post to read the report as well as the response from DHHS.)

A Medicaid rule that's been on the books since the program was created bars states from using federal money on care provided in many residential mental health and substance use treatment facilities with more than 16 beds.

courtesy of the Webster House

There’s a current shortage of beds in group homes throughout New Hampshire. In fact, 22 homes have closed in the past six years, and only 21 group homes are remaining.

Lou Catano is the executive director of The Webster House, a children’s home in Manchester. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Catano about House Bill 517, which will go into effect at the beginning of the year, and its potential impact on group homes in the state.

(Editor's note: this transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)

House Budgetwriters Offer New Plan For Sununu Youth Center

Mar 27, 2017
Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The House Finance Committee on Monday included in its budget blueprint a proposal to address underutilization at the state’s only juvenile detention center.

The Sununu Youth Center in Manchester has 144 beds, only half of which are being used on a daily basis.

primeroofingcontractor.com

   

State health officials and a legislative working group are at odds over how to best transform part of the state's underused juvenile detention center in an effort to meet a $5 million budget cut.

The health department wants to convert half the Sununu Youth Services Center into a psychiatric residential treatment facility. But a legislative working group proposes selling most of the campus to a non-profit that will run a youth substance abuse treatment center. Any changes require legislative approval.

Fate of Sununu Youth Center Remains Unclear

Oct 26, 2015

The Sununu Youth Center, New Hampshire's only juvenile detention facility, is one step closer to finding a new function. What that will look like, however, remains unclear.

Dozens of Manchester residents Thursday night took part in a discussion on how the state can make better use of the Sununu Youth Services Center. Currently only one third of the facility’s 144 beds are being used.

During Thursday’s public meeting, staff from the Department of Health and Human Services outlined three possible options for the Sununu Center. One: privatize services.  Two: close down the facility altogether. Or Three– use the space to provide substance abuse and mental health treatment for youth not court-ordered to be there.

DHHS

At a meeting Monday morning at the Sununu Youth Center in Manchester, a bipartisan group of N.H. lawmakers discussed several options of how the facility can save money due to its low enrollment. The facility currently houses 44 people but it can hold 144.

Senate and House members applauded the juvenile detention center for operating at a third of its capacity. but said it needs to better utilize its funding in order to serve more youth.

The group did; however, rule out closing the facility.