State approves funds to reopen juvenile prison

The Board of Examiners, with Secretary of State Ross Miller absent, on Tuesday approved a contract to reopen the Southern Nevada prison for juvenile offenders.

The contract with Rite of Passage to reopen Summit View will cost the state $11.57 million. It will enable Southern Nevada’s young offenders to remain closer to their families until they are released, according to the Division of Child and Family Services.

Until Gov. Brian Sandoval and the 2013 Legislature approved reopening Summit View, those offenders were housed in the Nevada Youth Training Center in Elko, the facility for young offenders in Pioche or at the China Spring/Aurora Pines camps in Douglas County.

Steve McBride, representing the division, said the reopened center will have 96 beds available. Fifty are for juveniles in state custody, and the rest are for those committed to the institution by local and other agencies.

He said the facility likely will begin accepting juveniles between Oct. 15 and the start of 2014.

Summit View will not only house the offenders but will provide substance-abuse treatment, mental health and psychological services, medication management, suicide prevention, sex-offender treatment and education including vocational training.

In addition, the board consisting of Sandoval and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto approved three master service agreements with companies specializing in securing and managing federal grants.

Director of Administration Jeff Mohlenkamp said those firms, BEC Environmental, Building Hope Nevada and TST & Associates, will help state agencies not only identify available competitive and discretionary grants but in developing and writing the grant applications.

He said they will be used on an as-needed basis when their expertise could make the difference between getting a new grant or failing.

“Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to hire people to go after periodic grants,” Mohlenkamp said. “I’ll be interested in seeing how well they are used.”

State Grants Manager Kim Elliott said all three firms and the fourth that will be brought to next month’s Board of Examiners are top-notch, with lots of expertise in dealing with federal grants.

She said she hopes the contracts will improve the number of grants state government applies for and receives. Nevada ranks last in the nation in getting federal grant funding, Elliott said.


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