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News & Views - Apr, 1998 Issue #51

Innovative Solutions for Troubled Youth
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Daniel S. Heit, President & CEO

PITTSBURGH, September 17, 1997. The Elmhurst Group announced today the formation of JusticeWorks YouthCare, an organization which will offer services to troubled youth who re referred by the public sector. The Elmhurst Group holds extensive real estate investments and controls a number of operating companies, which include the downtown Ramada Plaza Suite & Conference Center as owner and operator. 

The U.S. Justice Department reports that the juvenile arrest rate for murder jumped 128% between 1983 and 1992. The arrest rate for offenses such as rape and robbery also grew by 57% during the same time period. To reverse this trend, governments are increasingly turning to the private sector for assistance. 

William E. Hunt, Chairman of The Elmhurst Group, says JusticeWorks is part of his company’s on-going response to the call. “Our goal in forming JusticeWorks YouthCare is to help reduce the alarming rise in juvenile delinquency. Through our family’s philanthropic activities, we have long supported efforts to help troubled youth find productive places in our society.”

Mr. Hunt sees the formation of JusticeWorks YouthCare as both an investment in the community and a unique business opportunity. “We are very pleased to be able to combine our commitment to kids and the community with the outstanding business opportunity represented by governments seeking to privatize or outsource these operations. Our intention is to enter and grow the business through a combination of acquisitions, management contracts and development of freestanding facilities.” 

Elmhurst’s partner in the new venture is Daniel S. Heit, who is a nationally-recognized expert in behavioral health programs for teenagers. Mr. Heit will serve as President and CEO of JusticeWorks YouthCare. In addition to having developed one of the largest adolescent treatment systems in the country (Abraxas), Mr. Heit was appointed by President George Bush to the President’s Commission on Model State Drug Laws, and served two terms as president of a national provider association, Therapeutic Communities of America. 

Heit expressed his enthusiasm for teaming with The Elmhurst Group, “Their resource base as well as overall business and real estate management expertise will be a tremendous asset to our new company. JusticeWorks will emphasize responsiveness to public sector needs, developing a comprehensive continuum of care, and producing positive outcomes for youth through an emphasis on community reintegration and vocational services.”

Most of the youth to be served will be referred by juvenile courts and child welfare agencies. It is anticipated that services will begin within the next several months. 

Copyright © 1998, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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