Youth Center Project back  
Date of Record: April 6, 2009

Rebecca Humphrey
Rebecca Humphrey
Youth Services Director

Interested in more information about the Youth Center Project?

Commissioner Tom Murtaugh and Youth Services Director Rebecca Humphrey can attend your civic, community, organizational, or church event to speak about the Juvenile Justice Center. Topics can include: the history of the project, youth needs in Tippecanoe County; the current continuum of care for youth and families in Tippecanoe County; funding the Center; site review; and current status of the project. Please let Rebecca know at if you are interested in more information or scheduling a meeting.

Tippecanoe County, Lafayette and West Lafayette agree that children are our most important resource - they are our future - they are our community. This is reflected in many ways: participation in the Prevent Child Abuse summit; the establishment of "Our Kids are Our Community" board to coordinate activities relating to kids; the establishment and hiring of a County Youth Services Director to name a few examples.

Our philosophy for kids in the court system, or who are at risk of being in the court system, is to do what's best for children. We have studied the continuum of services available to these kids, and are working to have a consistent strength-based message across all child services.

These studies have shown that we need secure detention in our county.  As an additional part of a detention facility, and in order be successful with children and their families while saving tax dollars (now and in the future), we are considering co-location of all services having to do with juveniles. This will maximize the coordination, minimize the duplication, and be consistent.  A Tippecanoe County Juvenile Justice Center would include detention, court rooms, juvenile probation, juvenile alternatives, educational resources, and more.

We invite you to explore the links and learn what we're considering.  Please contact us at if you have questions or comments. 

Background:                   History of the Juvenile Justice Center Project 
                                 2007 Juvenile Arrests and Detention Statistics
Evidence-Based Programs:  Evidence-based programs are those programs which have been evaluated or studied and have demonstrated that they are effective in reducing or increasing a target behavior(s).  There has been an increased reliance on using and establishing evidence-based programs to ensure that limited resources are spent on programming which has been shown to be effective for the dollars invested in them.  Below are links for more information about evidence-based programs for youth and families.
Research:                 Best Practices for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
                                 Facility Impact
                                 Key Planning Issues - Building and Indoor Environment
                                 2005 Juvenile Facilities Planning Document
                                 Public Attitudes and Policy Preferences for
                                              Juvenile Justice Systems Reform
Frequently Asked Questions:     Juvenile Justice System
                                                           Juvenile Justice Center     
In the Media:                    Now is the time for a juvenile justice center          
                                      By KD Benson for the Journal & Courier  02-16-08
                                 League of Women Voters Position Paper on the
                                 Juvenile Justice Center Project
Meeting Minutes:            Commissioners' & Council Mintues related to the JJC   
Sites Reviewed:        Vacant Land        Empty Buildings
Site Criteria:
  • Asking Price (Vacant Land)  under $75,000 per acre - as stewards of taxpayers' money, the Commissioners placed emphasis on vacant land with an asking price less than $75,000 per acre
  • Asking Price (Buildings)- price for purchase plus retrofit or raze/rebuild must be less than new construction costs (including land acquisition)
  • Proximity to downtown is within 5 miles of downtown Lafayette to allow easy access to outside service providers
  • Accessibility - the facility must be on a bus line to transport youth and family members without personal vehicles to day reporting programs; treatment programs; and after-school services.
  • Adequate acreage - At least 10 acres is needed for the proposed 6-acre footprint, adequate space from neighbors, parking, outdoor recreation, and possibility of future expansion.
  • Aesthetics - surrounding area is appropriate for facility that will be visited by youth and families
  • Zoning - zoning requirements include the site is general business or industrial zoned and receives a special exception from Board of Zoning Appeals
  • Access to city utilities - decreases long-term costs and the regulatory requirements for city water improves its quality
Presentations:     DLZ Schematic Design - July 2, 2008