As the number of youths requiring detention declines, Yolo County continues to seek alternative options for the juvenile detention center.
The Yolo County Juvenile Detention Center – located at 2880 E. Gibson Road in Woodland – currently costs $ 4.5 million to operate. As of Monday, there were only five young people in detention in a facility designed to hold 90 beds.
The county recorded just 44 bookings in 2021, more than half of which spent less than five days in custody. On average, minors spent about 13 days in the facility. Comparatively, Yolo County recorded nearly 500 reservations at the detention center in 2015.
“None of us have a crystal ball, but speaking to other probation leaders and other experts, it looks like these trends are going to continue for the foreseeable future,” the director said on Tuesday. probation Dan Fruchtenicht on the supervisory board.
Following advice from supervisors at a previous meeting, Fruchtenicht presented the board with further options on how best to use the facility. Fruchtenicht also consulted with neighboring counties to discuss the cost of contracting for detention services.
Currently, it is estimated to cost $ 1.4 million to $ 1.8 million and would require an expanded transportation program to contract with outside counties. The transportation program, which would cost around $ 900,000, would be used to support reservations in another county, for transportation to court and medical appointments, and for visitors and volunteers to get to the. establishment and return.
The remaining funds would be used to meet the criminogenic needs of young people and for prevention activities. The top three needs of supervised youth, who also experience a historically low number of 57 youth on probation as of September 7, include social and peer support network, prosocial skills, education and employment.
“As we explored future uses of the JDF, these needs were a key consideration,” said Fruchtenicht.
With the aim of compiling a comprehensive list of potential uses of the juvenile room and meeting the most urgent needs of young people, a collaborative effort was used, including the sequential mapping of interceptions of youth services, organs advisory bodies such as the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council and public input. in the form of two recent community listening sessions.
Youth substance abuse treatment options, employment opportunities, youth mentors and specialized emergency care for youth in crisis are just a few of the identified needs and service gaps. heard most often during conversations.
A list of potential uses for the juvenile hall and adjacent gymnasium was also created as a result of these conversations. Ideas that would be managed by the probation service and targeted to the youth population involved in justice included a vocational training center for young people, mentoring programs, prosocial activities and detention services for other counties.
The probation service determined that some of these programs were simply not financially viable or lacked the interest or number needed to be successful on their own, such as the job training program or a camp of young people.
“It is possible to run multiple programs from the facilities, but it is not clear whether they would be financially viable or whether young people could go there or even be interested in programming,” explained Fruchtenicht.
Other ideas were also presented that would likely be managed by another county in the county, including a drug rehab center, animal shelter, group home for foster youth, or a place for health programs. mental.
The council formally adopted a motion and recommended that Fruchtenicht initiate a contract with other counties for detention services.
“It’s not about scrapping the money and putting it somewhere else,” supervisor Don Saylor said. “From my perspective, it’s about using our resources in the most efficient and effective way to serve the youth of the county. “