New girls treatment facility under construction in Mt. Meigs - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New girls treatment facility under construction in Mt. Meigs

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MOUNT MEIGS, AL (WSFA) -

The Alabama Department of Youth Services is building a new state-of-the-art treatment facility for girls just down the street from the boys facility in Mt. Meigs.

It will cost roughly $6.7 million and is being funded primarily by insurance.

The facility will consist of a 16,000-square-foot dorm with recreational space as well as a separate 11,000-square-foot education building with offices, classrooms, a library and a severe weather safe space.

It will be able to house up to 24 young women who have committed a delinquent offense and ordered by the state to live there. The smaller size, according to experts, will allow more focus on each girl to have a better outcome.

Leaders say this will provide education and treatment for physical, emotional, and mental needs and hopefully help the girls get back on the right track.

"People look at juveniles and girls and they think about their behavior and they think oh these are just bad kids and that's just not so. A lot of behavior is pain based behavior from the trauma that they have gone through," said Alesia Allen, treatment coordinator for the Department of Youth Services. "So addressing it from an holistic approach, teaching the girls how to self regulate, how to address their emotional needs, as well as, behavioral needs and helping them to be healthy young women."

This is a new site, but not a new program. The facility is replacing the Chalkville Campus in Jefferson County, which was destroyed by a tornado in January 2012. Leaders say they moved the girls program here so services can be shared with the boys facility.

The completion date for the site is January 2015.

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