A court-ordered residential treatment program for teenage boys who have been through the justice system is coming to an end.
Mandala Treatment Center is a program run by BayCare health care system’s mental health division at 8005 King Helie Blvd in the unincorporated New Port Richey area. BayCare runs the Mandala program under a contract from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
That contract expires June 30, and the department is not pursuing another contract.
“There is no need to re-procure its services,” said C. J. Drake, spokesman for the department.
The end of the contract means the end of the program, and it's going to be closing its doors June 30, said Beth Hardy, spokeswoman for the mental health division of BayCare.
BayCare employs 20 people at the facility, she said.
The Pasco County School District employs two teachers who conduct classes on site.
She said BayCare is working with the employees who staffed Mandala to find positions for them at BayCare. It is unclear at this time how many will be let go.
“We are working with the team members that are affected to make it as easy as it can possibly be,” she said.
The Department of Juvenile Justice describes Mandala as a moderate-risk facility. Teens ordered to such a facility by a judge have been deemed “a moderate risk to public safety." The teens are "supervised 24 hours a day by trained staff." The average stays for six to nine months.
Mandala has 24 beds and is a lockdown facility, Hardy said. It accepted teens from all over the state. Most came from outside Pasco.
Drake said the state has worked with BayCare to transition teenagers from the program. The few left will complete Mandala's program prior to June 30, he said.
The Department of Juvenile Justice's decision to not rebid the contract had nothing to do with budgetary issues on the department's side, Drake said. He said the department was seeing declining commitment to residential care facilities statewide over a five-year period ending at the conclusion of fiscal year 2010/2011.
Hardy said the program has been in service for more than 10 years.
Drake said the current contract called for the program runners to provide services from 2006 to 2009. That capped annual payments to the program runners about $1.07 million. The contract was renewed in 2009 for another three years. The renewed contract capped the annual payment at $1.4 million.
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