City to post detention center job openings this weekend
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -
The problem-plagued Richmond Juvenile Detention Center is set to reopen in June and this weekend, we'll see the first advertisements for job openings.
The city wants to hire supervisors and the youth counselors who will spend every day with the troubled teens.
There's a certain lens through which officials are viewing this hiring process: How can the city make sure the new staff avoids the issues, which forced it to shut down the center in the first place?
Behind the barbed wire downtown was an environment described as "a culture of unethical behavior." Allegations of abuse, forgery and corruption plagued the juvenile detention center. It was so bad the city voluntarily shut it down before the state could take away its license.
Heads rolled, including the superintendent of the facility and the leader of the entire justice services department.
"We are not reopening the old facility," explained David Hicks, who is now the interim director. "We are opening a new facility."
He will list 63 new positions for the first time this Sunday.
"The most important thing we want is individuals who have impeccable integrity and are dedicated to the safety of the youth that will be in this facility, a high degree of professionalism and individuals who really want to do the right thing," Hicks described.
Those sound like qualities anyone would want in a job candidate and features the city would've wanted in the people who were staffing this place last year, so NBC12 asked what will make the new folks different.
"If we had to add one more trait maybe we didn't have in the concentration we had before is you want to have the trait to the individual employees when they start seeing some of the foolishness start among their peers, they'll be the first one to say 'no,'" Hicks said.
Management says staff can make mistakes, but there are certain mistakes that are unacceptable.
"It's intolerable to think they would have to wonder about whether or not they're safe from anybody who is employed by us," Hicks added. "That is a bright line. We will not tolerate it day one."
The advertisements will first appear in the paper and on the city's website this Sunday. Interviews and background checks are expected this month.
The state Department of Juvenile Justice audit is set for the end of April.