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New Hampshire lawmakers debate privately-run youth center

The Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester, N.H.
Dan Tuohy
The Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester, N.H.

CONCORD (AP) — Lawmakers working to shut down New Hampshire's troubled youth detention center are hearing competing opinions on whether to construct a new facility or contract with a private company.

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Debate over closing the Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester began years ago, but it has come to a head amid horrific sexual abuse allegations, and the current state budget includes a mandate to close it by March 2023.

The Senate passed a bill last month, however, that would give the state until June 2024 to build a new facility.

At a public hearing Tuesday, some lawmakers disagreed with that timeline, while also arguing that a private contract is the best approach.

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