Health And Public Safety


Bernalillo County, Youth Services Center (YSC) is a National Model site for juvenile justice reform. YSC and its collaborative juvenile justice system and community partners have hosted sites from all over the nation. These sites visit Bernalillo County to learn about the challenges and the success of our collaborative reform efforts.

YSC Director, Craig Sparks leads the efforts to improve conditions of confinement in juvenile detention center. YSC has had a significant reduction in room confinement and is the first juvenile detention center in New Mexico to pass the PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) audit.

The center is also committed to promoting diversion programs that offer alternatives to detention. YSC is implementing a community based juvenile justice continuum. The collaborative unites the educational, criminal justice and service organizations that exist in a continuum of services, involving prevention, early intervention, and graduated sanctions.

The continuum of services ultimately helps youth stay in school and out of the juvenile justice system by intervening early and effectively with progressive sanctions. Despite an array of prevention and intervention programs existing in Albuquerque, substance abuse, truancy and violence continue to increase, and many students fail to graduate.

Providing a safe environment for juveniles in a secure detention facility and creating effective diversion programs are the focus and priority of the YSC.

JDAI Coordinator

Bernalillo County has committed to Juvenile Justice reform efforts, under the JDAI framework since 1999. Gerri Bachicha is the current JDAI coordinator, a position embedded in the Youth Services Center staff. She oversees and coordinates the reform efforts of all stakeholder agencies in both the justice system and the community. Gerri also oversees the data team and the Alternatives to Detention programs.

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