Jasper County Juvenile Detention Center No Longer Keeping Youth - KOAM TV 7

Jasper County Juvenile Detention Center No Longer Keeping Youth Overnight/Sending Offenders to Greene County After Failed Inspection

  The Jasper County Juvenile Detention Center is back open after a failed inspection.

     Repairs were made quickly but a big change in its holding policy followed.

    Now the fixes put talk about the facilities future back on the table.

The  detention is old and creates maintenance challenges for Jasper county.

It failed a recent fire inspection forcing repairs.

Jasper county commissioner Darieus Adams says, "We needed to do some adjustments to the heat and air and to the hot water  system.  We had to fix a couple  door locks and had to fix  a couple  smoke detectors to bring it back into compliance."

But it's not capable of keeping offenders overnight. So juvenile officers, often stretched thin for resources,  drive youth to the Greene county juvenile detention center in Springfield,

 Local police say it won't impact how they deal with offenders. But it would be easier to have a facility here.

Assistant police chief Matt Stewart says, "There's some benefit  to having a local detention center. Those benefits  go  to the juvenile office  cause they don't have to spend their time transferring their juveniles elsewhere. So there  is a benefit to having one here."

Greene county juvenile detention officials say the facility also holds youth for Newton and McDonald counties. The average stay, they say,  is nine days which will come at a cost to the county.

Adams says, "I believe they're charging us seventy-five dollars a day." 

 The county auditor says the county has spent thirteen hundred and fifty dollars for eighteen days of detention between February 6th, 2015 and February 26th, 2015.

Adams adds, "There was not a budget for it, but we will make those payments out of the emergency fund and pay those until we can come to a solution." 

The situation is  renewing discussion about the future of juvenile detention.

Adams says, "We're always looking for options. I don't think it's any mystery that we're in an  old building. Now it's something we need to address.  And we've looked to the future for many years.  That kind of was the jist of pgistasing some of the lots there  and trying to look to the future knowing that sooner or later, we we're going to have to deal with a new detention center."

      Greene county juvenile detention officials tell us Jasper county is considering  creating  an evening reporting center modeled after one it operates.

     Youth report from three to eight pm rather than stay overnight in secured detention.

     Local juvenile officials say they are looking at many options.

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