Shuman Juvenile Detention Center to reopen Tuesday

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — Allegheny County’s Shuman Juvenile Detention Center is poised to reopen Tuesday, with 12 beds, for the first time since 2021.

Adelphoi, selected by the County to run to facility for the next five years under a $73 million contract, made the announcement late Monday afternoon.

“It is going to the make the community safer. It’s going to allow law enforcement to focus on calming things down, getting those kids with guns off the streets, and I think we are going to see a big change. People are going to feel more comfortable,” said Adelphoi CEO Nancy Kukovich.

>> 11 Investigates Exclusive: Controller blasts Shuman Center project for cost overruns, changes

According to Adelphoi, between December 2021 and October 2023, 234 young offenders could have been eligible to be sent to Shuman, had it been open.

Instead, many were sent home with electronic ankle monitors.

County Councilman At-Large Sam DeMarco says five of those offenders were then shot and killed, one died of an overdose, and at least one was critically injured in a shooting.

“A facility like this, where we’re able to break that chain of violence, where we’re able to remove them from the community, albeit temporarily, until the judges can make a decision on the further disposition of the cases, is urgently needed,” DeMarco said.

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey also supports the Shuman Center’s reopening but says it alone is not going to be a cure-all for teen violence.

“It’s another tool for the toolbox,” Gainey said. “It’s another tool to talk about how we deal with violent crimes and what we have to do. We also have to make sure we put the right resources around them to make sure we’re rehabilitating people and not just sending them back out the way they came in.”

County Controller Corey O’Connor acknowledges people will be pleased to see the center reopen but says getting to this point has been anything but smooth sailing, with costly construction changes and delays.

“Obviously, people wanted it to be reopened. I’m actually not satisfied because it ended up costing us time, it ended up costing taxpayers more money, so ultimately, by opening this, everybody agrees that we needed a facility, but how the project was done was horrible for the taxpayers of Allegheny County,” O’Connor said.

There is more construction and renovation work that still needs to be completed at the 50-year-old facility.

Adelphoi says once that work is completed, the capacity will increase from 12 to 60.

The timeline for that is still unclear.

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