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CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – In get to retain up with swift populace growth, Montgomery County requirements its individual juvenile justice heart, in accordance to a feasibility analyze commissioned by the county.
In Might, the Montgomery County Jail & Juvenile Committee acquired a report from corrections consulting organization Justice Planners outlining the want for a new juvenile justice middle.
In their preliminary evaluation, attained by Clarksville Now, Justice Planners analyzed historical details and interviewed area experts which include authorities officials, law enforcement, nonprofit leaders, psychologists, previous detainees and their people. Their findings highlighted a number of shortcomings in Montgomery County’s existing strategy of addressing juvenile detainees.
Sending kids to Columbia
At present, Montgomery County transports most younger detainees out of jurisdiction to the Middle Tennessee Juvenile Detention facility in Columbia, a two-hour drive from Clarksville.
Some have been despatched as considerably as Putnam County, according to Montgomery County Commissioner Rashidah Leverett, who sits on the Jail & Juvenile Committee.
This arrangement areas a important drain on judicial means, as teenagers need to be transported back again and forth by regulation enforcement officers at the county’s cost, and courts need to schedule all-around that journey time.
Justice Planners also noted a shortage of beds at these out-of-county facilities, noting that when no beds are out there, detained little ones are necessary to snooze at the Clarksville Police station, usually on the flooring. This issue is starting to be “more and far more frequent,” according to the review.
Lower off from family members, universities
The analyze also observed a “human cost in a deficiency of instructional methods for the youth” in just these sorts of amenities, producing a “compounding money influence on the local community.” This “cost” refers to the misplaced education these children might have received if they weren’t incarcerated.
On top of that, detained teenagers frequently invest lengthy intervals of time reduce off from family, with a lot of families unable to vacation hours away to visit their kids.
The analyze also confirmed an inordinate number of detained small children come from a minority background and that “there ought to be better techniques applied in determining whether or not youngsters are remanded.”
As the inhabitants of Montgomery County carries on to mature, so to will the juvenile detention population. Justice Planners’ forecast indicates that the number of detained teens in Montgomery County could double by 2040. Youth products and services caseloads are significantly rapidly, as is the complexity of situations.
30-bed middle recommended
The benefits of the review strongly assistance the building of a juvenile justice middle with around 30 safe detention beds. They also advised seven “respite” beds for housing children with status offenses – that means they are further than parental handle – or who or else simply cannot be sent home.
Other suggestions involve:
- Youth Products and services, the courts and the Clerk’s Business should be co-located in one building, given that they get the job done closely with each other.
- Safe detention must be reserved for offenders who have been charged with committing a violent criminal offense.
- Non-violent offenders and position offenders must be housed in a significantly less-safe facility that has softer finishes and a residence-like setting, to minimize the trauma of incarceration.
Though Justice Planners’ study demonstrates the want for a new facility, numerous measures stay in get for Montgomery County to have one, which include performing with the condition to ask for funding.
Leverett explained to Clarksville Now that she intends to present the idea to state legislators at this year’s Legislative Meal, the date for which has not however been set.
“While I issue the performance of detaining juvenile offenders, I do comprehend the information reveals a need for a single of these facilities in Montgomery County,” Leverett mentioned.