A group of state administrators is examining Delaware facilities, including Milford’s Stevenson House, as possible homes for a new treatment program for juvenile sex offenders.


A group of state administrators is examining Delaware facilities, including Milford’s Stevenson House, as possible homes for a new treatment program for juvenile sex offenders.

According to internal memos circulated by the Stevenson House administration, the state has appointed a group of administrators and employees, including, among others, Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services Director Carlyse Giddins, Deputy Director Richard Shaw, Social Services Operations Manager Ioni Truesdale, Chief of Community Services Elizabeth DiStefano and Family Services Program Supervisor Shirley Lerner, to explore possible alternatives to the out-of-state program Delaware currently uses to treat juvenile sex offenders.

On March 20, that group toured Stevenson House as a potential home for such a program.

According to division spokesperson Kelly Bachman, the group visited Stevenson House to evaluate it as a possible home for a number of programs under consideration. However, the memo refers to the tour as specifically for the sex-offender program.

Currently, Delaware sends juvenile sex offenders, officially classified as “youth with inappropriate sexual behaviors,” to treatment programs in other states. Replacing that with an in-state program would save money at a time when the state government desperately needs to do just that.

“Our current out-of-state programs are costly,” Bachman said. “Bringing them in-state would reduce out-of-state costs, and it would allow children to remain close to their home and their communities to make it easier for them to make that transition.”

Stevenson House, located next door to the Plaza At Milford shopping center on Route 113, is run by the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families and currently holds 55 children at a time.

The idea of an in-state treatment program is still in the early stages, and Bachman said there are no plans for how much space it would need for detainees and staff, or how it would work with existing facilities.

“Details would all have to be evaluated once the proposal is developed,” Bachman said.