New youth services director named

The Bartholomew County Youth Services Center has a new chief administrator.

Mariah Lucas-Georges has been chosen to succeed Anita J. Biehle as the director of the center, at 2350 Illinois Ave.

The center holds at-risk youth in detention, as well as offers emergency shelter care and day treatment. The center also monitors young offenders through house arrest and electronic monitoring.

Lucas-Georges earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from Indiana State University and has specialized training in developmental assets, developmental relationships, trauma-informed care and evidence-based practices.

A certified probation officer, Lucas-Georges has worked at the Youth Services Center since 2014, most recently as Day Treatment Coordinator.

Her appointment was announced by Bartholomew Circuit Court Judge Kelly Benjamin.

“We have every confidence that Mariah’s compassion, education, knowledge, vision, and experience will not only continue to meet the needs of our youth and families, but will continue to improve the services and connections of the center within this community,” Benjamin said.

Biehle had worked at the Youth Services Center since 1995, and was chosen to succeed Jason Bowser as the top administrator about 10 years ago. Biehle decided to step down for personal reasons, a Bartholomew County Court Services spokeswoman said.

The center’s mission is to respond to the community’s needs with a continuum of care, programming, services and advocacy for minors in settings that are safe for both the community and the youth. The director is charged with assuring the facility operates in a manner consistent with the best interest of the children and compliant with state standards.

Most Bartholomew County residents are unaware that the center provides a variety of services ranging from day treatment and transition to a drop-off program, the new director said.

“The Youth Services Center serves the community in a variety of manners that go beyond just securely detaining youth,” Lucas-Georges said.

In doing so, the center collaborates with a number of community partners to have a collective impact on the youth and families, she said.