Betty Guhman is stepping down as director of the state's Division of Youth Services to "dedicate her energy to supporting broader juvenile justice reform" during the 2019 legislative session, according to a press release from the Department of Human Services.
Guhman is moving to the department's Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs ahead of her planned retirement next summer, the press release said.
Guhman recently announced a plan to transform the Youth Services Division that calls for closing two of seven state-run youth jails and focusing more on community-based services.
“With the DYS transformation already underway, I want to use my remaining time at DHS to work with judges and the Reform Board to support efforts to reform the entire system,” Guhman said in the press release.
Michael Crump, director of the DHS Office of Compliance and Integrity, will serve as interim Youth Services director to ensure that the recently announced DYS transformation plan continues on track and as planned, Human Services Director Cindy Gillespie said.
Guhman was appointed head of the state agency for troubled youth by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in September 2016. She had worked as a senior adviser to Hutchinson before he appointed her interim director of the youth agency in July 2016.
Her current salary is $114,409.98, according to the state transparency website.
Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.