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Bannock County building Safe Teen Assessment Center

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - Families in Southeast Idaho will soon have a new Safe Teen Assessment Center to help connect them to the help their child needs.

In June 2022, Bannock County was awarded a $1.28 million grant from the Idaho Department of Juvenile Justice to establish a Center for area youth struggling with behavior issues.

The grant funds come from a $6.5 million investment by the Legislature to develop eight new “Safe Teen Assessment Centers” across each of the state’s judicial districts, making Idaho the first state in the country to have a statewide implementation of assessment centers. 

The Assessment Center, which has not been officially named, will be located at 345 N. 5th Avenue in Pocatello, across from the courthouse. The building was purchased in January 2023 and renovations began in mid-March.

The purpose of the Center is to prevent and divert youth from entering the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. The Center will offer a single point of contact to screen the individual to identify the underlying issues contributing to the concerning behavior and then help the child and their family access the appropriate resources they need.

“We’ll be able to streamline prevention and intervention services with youth who are just starting to exhibit concerning behaviors, rather than waiting until they enter the justice system to get them help,” said Bannock County’s Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Todd Mauger.

Construction of the approximately 5,500-square-foot facility is expected to be operational by June 2023. Booth Architecture of Pocatello assisted in designing the blueprints, and Bannock County Director of Facilities Dan Kendall is the General Contractor leading the renovations.

Article Topic Follows: Pocatello

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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