The state will pay Youth Services International nearly $4 million to run the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School for juvenile delinquents for the next three years under a contract approved by the Board of Public Works yesterday.
The contract means the state will be paying the Owings Mills-based firm roughly $55,000 per inmate per year to care for 288 of the state's most troubled and violent juvenile lawbreakers. That's about $2,000 less than the state spent to run the reformatory itself.
Juvenile services officials decided several years ago that a private firm probably could run Hickey better than the state. But continued troubles at Hickey forced an early cancellation last fall of the state's September 1991 contract with Rebound!, the Colorado firm initially hired to run the school.
W. James Hindman, former owner of Jiffy Lube and now head of Youth Services International, said this week that his firm will begin a transition at Hickey June 1. It will take full responsibility for the reformatory, located in the Cub Hill section of Baltimore County, on July 1.
Mr. Hindman said he has hired former Maryland House of Correction Warden Richard Singleton, a retired Army colonel, to run the day-to-day operations at Hickey and become a role model for the juveniles. Mr. Singleton, 58, now heads police and fire services for the city of Orangeburg, S.C.
Mr. Hindman said his goals for Hickey include teaching its troubled residents a trade and helping them to find jobs when they leave.
Since the cancellation of the Rebound! contract, the state has been running Hickey while 65 companies were asked to submit bids to run the school.
Of the four companies that responded, Youth Services' bid of $48.7 million was the highest. But the company also scored the highest when the state rated the various proposals for how to operate Hickey.
The other bidders included Management & Training Corp. of Ogden, Utah ($47.9 million); United Correctional Corp. of Austin, Texas ($43.8 million); and Gundry/Glass Inc. of Pikesville ($47.7 million).
Rebound!'s contract was for a slightly larger amount -- $50.8 million over three years -- but more juveniles were housed at Hickey at the time.
Youth Services' fee for the fourth and fifth years of its five-year contract will be determined later based on changes in the cost of living. The firm also operates the Victor Cullen Center, a juvenile facility in northern Frederick County, as well as programs in Iowa and Tennessee.