It now has nearly three times the space and a new name.
An open house Wednesday celebrated the changes for the Central Minnesota Juvenile Center, formerly known as the Central Minnesota Regional Detention Center on the Brainerd Regional Human Services Center grounds.
The name of the center was changed to better describe what the center actually is used for, said administrator Tina Theisen.
"This is a natural transition," she said. "It has always been a juvenile center and sometimes the old name gave people the wrong connotation."
CMJC will officially open next week. The center moved from building No. 19 to building No. 9 and will occupy two wings. A detention center and jail annex occupy the other space in the building.
About 200 people attended the grand opening that included small group tours throughout the day. People were able to see firsthand the 40-bed facility for juveniles ages 12 to 18. CMJC staff members also explained safety and security aspects of the facility. The outside confined area, for example, is surrounded by a tight, chain-linked fence.
"The anti-climb fence will make it virtually impossible for juveniles to escape," Budd McCulloch, CMJC staff member, said during a tour.
Improved programs also will be offered. One program is called Thinking For a Change, designed to teach juveniles cognitive skills. This program was developed by the National Institute of Corrections.
Another program is In Search of Character, a 10-part series that teaches core values to assist residents in making positive choices. The program focuses on respect, honesty, caring, responsibility and integrity.
There are also programs available that are based on each individual need. Some of the issues addressed are anger management, chemical dependency and independent living skills.
Theisen's goal now is to have more agencies in the community work with the center.
The center's mission is to prevent crime and provide safety in the community by fostering positive change in the behavior of its children by assisting the children to take charge of their lives.
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