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Wednesday, July 15, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Excelsior could house sex offenders

State would contract with nonprofit for 12 beds

Kaitlin Gillespie The Spokesman-Review

Excelsior Youth Center may partner with the state Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration to open 12 beds for teenage Level 1 sex offenders.

Bob Faltermeyer, Excelsior’s director, said the JRA approached the north Spokane nonprofit two months ago about the contract, but nothing has been finalized.

He said the center is still working on public notification, which should be issued mid-January, in compliance with Washington law.

Excelsior, 3754 W. Indian Trail Road, had a contract with the state in the late ’90s to house 24 teenagers, although they weren’t sex offenders. Additionally, Faltermeyer said the center has housed Level 1 offenders before, but not through JRA. The facilities are not equipped to take Level 2 or 3 offenders.

“Most of those Level 1 sex offenders are kids that are what clinically are known as sexually reactive,” Faltermeyer said. “They learn interactive behaviors based on what their parents did to them.”

JRA Assistant Secretary John Clayton said there has to be a public hearing process before the agency can move forward with a contract.

“We talk to a large number of different institutions around the state that are potential, but at this point we do not have any final plans,” he said. “We’re pretty much in the exploratory stage.”

Faltermeyer said Excelsior’s “mission is to connect kids to their future. These are kids that have been in the system for most of their lives and we’re trying to break that cycle.”

Excelsior Youth Center serves about 50 boys between ages 12 and 18. Most are on welfare. The JRA is part of the Department of Social and Health Services.

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