With brightly lit windows, central open-air courtyard and gang-neutral colors, Reno’s Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center is designed to give youngsters a glimpse of what life should be about: fresh air, good food and a safe place to rest their heads, reports the Reno Gazette-Journal. It might be a new experience for some youngsters booked into the new detention center later this month, said Robin Ruybalid, one of 49 youth advisers. Some have never had a positive role model, smoke or have been on drugs so long that's all they know.
An open house is scheduled today at the $25 million building, before youths are transferred May 17 from Wittenberg Hall. The 43-year-old structure is outdated and has been sold. Officials said the new center takes in some of the best features of recently built juvenile facilities in the West and is one of a few in the country built around a central courtyard.
No longer will street gangs drive by a chain-link fence and shout to youths as they do at Wittenberg's outdoor area, officials said. With a real courtroom in the building, cases will be heard in a more timely fashion. There are living quarters for as many as 108 youths.