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New Hampshire House give initial OK to youth center closure plan

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire House has given preliminary approval to replacing the state's troubled youth detention center with a six-bed facility and further limiting which crimes could land children there.

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The state currently spends $13 million a year to operate the 144-bed Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester, although the typical population is currently about a dozen teens.

Debate over its future began years ago, but has come to a boil amid horrific sexual abuse allegations.

The House on Thursday gave initial approval to giving the state until June 30, 2024, to build a new six-bed facility. The bill now goes to the Finance Committee.

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