SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma -- L.E. Rader juvenile detention center in Sand Springs will be closed this September, The Director of Oklahoma's Office of Juvenile Affairs announced Wednesday.
Gene Christian said the decision is based on anticipated state budget cuts and a federal consent decree involving Rader.
"I currently have sufficient beds in the other two facilities located in Tecumseh and
Manitou to handle the entire population of Rader and still have open beds," Christian said.
A state employee association official has raised concerns over the closing of the L.E. Rader Center stating that it has housed some of the state's more violent juvenile offenders.
"Closing Rader will put juvenile offenders that require a higher security level in less secure facilities," said Oklahoma Public Employees Association Policy and Research Director Trish Frazier.
"This cannot be a decision based on the upcoming budget, because the budget has not passed," she noted.
The center was the center of controversy in 2006 when the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit claiming conditions of violence and misconduct violated the civil rights of inmates after more than 1,200 assaults were reported at the maximum security facility in a three-year span.
The lawsuit settlement in 2008 outlined 90 requirements to improve conditions at the facility.