"It seemed as if consistently there was a lack of leadership from the central office helping the field work with the teams who were there," Largent-Hill said in February. "I believe the field teams were trying and it was an inadequate leadership from the top."
Alsop is confident no one will lose his or her job in the shift. Employees at Salem who wish to stay at the facility can train on-site for the transition, something Alsop said the state has done before. If employees wish to work at other juvenile centers, the state will try to find them a job elsewhere, he said.
"Obviously there's a lot of discussion that has to go on with the community for what's going to happen. There will be town hall meetings next week and some meetings with those employees," Alsop said.
He didn't know how many people were employed at the facility right now, but he said the community "doesn't deserve" a job loss.
The goal is to make the transition complete by July. Between now and then, legislation needs to pass that will allow the state to officially change the function of the facility, Alsop said. There also need to be budgeting changes made so that the employees at the new facility could legally be paid.
In addition to the main building at the Salem facility now, there is a unit that houses youth sex offenders known as the Harriet B. Jones Treatment Center. The state hasn't figured out a plan for those offenders yet.
We do not have at this time a suitable location for those individuals. We're working on that," Alsop said.
If the state can find somewhere for youth sex offenders to go, the entire Salem facility will be used to house adult offenders. If not, the youth offenders will have to stay on the grounds too.
Other buildings on the site could be "dual-purpose" centers if the sex offender treatment facility remains in Salem.
Charleston public interest law firm Mountain State Justice brought the original lawsuit against the state on behalf of two offenders at Salem. Attorneys with the firm said Friday they still want to proceed with determining whether there are violations of due process at the facility between now and any planned changes.
Aboulhosn agreed. Attorneys for the state said they were happy to cooperate and were working on providing documentation to Mountain State Justice.
Stephanie Bond, acting director for DJS; Jim Rubenstein, commissioner of the state DOC; and other officials were visiting with Salem employees Friday morning, Alsop said.