WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Sedgwick County Juvenile Residential Facility (JRF) is expected to reopen in the next few months, according to Steven Stonehouse, Sedgwick County Department of Corrections director.

Last spring, the JRF closed its doors due to staffing issues.

“We had issues, but the Board of County Commissioners increased the wages,” said Stonehouse.

The County said the once effective resource for young offenders will soon be open again.

“We are to the point where we are not fully staffed, but we are close, and we are close enough that we will be able to open our other facility,” said Stonehouse.

The department reached a stable staffing level within the last month.

“It is a much better environment for kids, especially to transition back home,” said Stonehouse.

The facility served as an alternative to detention for children and an emergency shelter for those in foster care.

“Youth attend their homeschool, all the treatments in the community, they wear their own clothes, parents can visit more easily than coming into a jai,” said Stonehouse.

Stonehouse said it costs less to house juveniles in this facility, with the staff-to-youth ratio lower than in the detention facility.

“The judges have been very persistent and insistent that we have that option for kids so they can be in an unlocked facility. So we are happy to get that back going,” said Stonehouse.

Currently, the license for the residential facility is on hold through the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

Sedgwick County Department of Corrections will need to re-submit an application for the license. DCF said that can take about 30 days.

Once the license is reinstated, officials said the facility will temporarily open with seven boys staying there until they can bring in more staff to up capacity.