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Bethel Youth Facility

Photo of Bethel Youth FacilityThe Bethel Youth Facility consists of a Detention Unit with a design capacity of twelve residents and a Treatment Unit with capacity of eleven residents. The Bethel Youth Facility is residents and a Treatment Unit with capacity of eleven residents. The Bethel Youth Facility recently completed a renovation/expansion project that will expand the possibilities of the current and future programs that are offered at the facility.

The vast majority of youth admitted to the Bethel Youth Facility are Alaska Native. Residents this fiscal year represented a wide range of offenses. These young people come to the facility from a wide geographical area representing Barrow, Nome, Kotzebue, Fairbanks, Bethel, and the 56 villages of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The BYF staff strive to provide detention and treatment services in a manner respectful and supportive of the cultural backgrounds of the residents.

Staff at the Bethel Youth Facility continued to expand community partnerships, participating in the Association of Village Counsel Presidents Community Partners program , Orutsararmiut Native Council’s Healthy Families Program and YKHC Family, Infants and Toddlers Program. Treatment unit staff worked closely with staff at the Tundra Women’s Coalition, The City of Bethel and local churches to develop meaningful community work service for residents.

The needs for the Bethel Youth Facility are for continued training and support for staff in dealing with the significant number of youth who have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, substance abuse problems, and other mental health needs. Well over half of residents at this facility are on medication for depression or other mental health conditions. These special needs offenders require extra amounts of staff time and resources, such as exceptionally close supervision, development of special programs, medication administration and monitoring, frequent health care appointments, and referrals for services. This is not unlike the experiences of all of youth facilities, but is exacerbated by the limited resources available in Bethel.

Employment at BYF

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