Archive for Friday, June 8, 2012

3.2M juvenile facility to open in Franklin County

June 8, 2012


The smell of fresh paint greets visitors to the newly constructed Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center in Ottawa. The building is mostly empty now, but come June 16, juveniles from Franklin, Anderson and Osage counties will arrive at the facility just off Highway 68.

The opening of the $3.2 million facility, which can house up to 14 juveniles, will be welcomed by staff, said Ethel Wallace, center director.

“I think it’s going to do a lot for their morale,” said Wallace of moving from the old center connected to Franklin County Jail. “We’ve been shuffled around a lot.”

But it’ll be more than a mood booster, she said.

The old center had only seven beds and lacked space for other programs.

They’ll now have “more space to give them the services they need,” Wallace said.

The center, which will house youths ages 10 to 17, has been several years in the making, after county commissioners approved a bond to build the 18,000-square-foot facility.

The center also utilizes some of the newer technology in corrections, such as a touchscreen door opening and security system. And no more clunky keys, as staff will simply wave an electronic gadget to open doors.

Wallace also noted the design of the building, which looks more like an office space than a correctional building.

“When you come off the highway,” she said, “you don’t really realize it’s a detention center.”


brewmaster 5 years, 9 months ago

At $3.2 million just for the physical building it cost $228,571 per juvenile detainee. Then add the maintenance costs for plant and equipment, plus food and housekeeping, plus employee costs, etc. Wow, the United States sure is an incarceration-obsessed nation even for minor children.

q_ball2kand1 5 years, 9 months ago

The U.S. locks up children at more than six times the rate of all other developed nations. The over 60,000 average daily juvenile lockups, a figure estimated by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF), are also disproportionately young people of color. With an average cost of $80,000 per year to lock up a child, the U.S. spends more than $5 billion annually on youth detention.

Randall Uhrich 5 years, 9 months ago

It's not a social endeavor, it's a business. The United States not only incarcerates more per capita than any other nation, it also jails more total than all other nations. What's wrong with this picture?

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 9 months ago

Good luck to them, the end result will be importing troubled youth from other counties (Generally the ones they don't want to deal with first) into Franklin County. Many of them will decide to live in Franklin County when they reach the age of majority and begin to cause worse problems. The taxpayers are going to take this one in the butt for a long time.

Same thing will happen with the Psyco whatever Burt Nash Wants to put on its newly acquired property. Burt Nash makes the money, and the citizens get to pay for it.

The kids and the crazies need somewhere to go. It is much cheaper to send them to someone elses neighborhood.

auntmimi210 5 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps you mean Bert Nash? I sure hope you or your family never need psychiatric care in Lawrence.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 9 months ago

Someone Else, Kansas, doesn't exist. It actual is called "Your Backyard", Kansas. Deal with it.

Beth Bird 5 years, 9 months ago

I had no idea it would only house 14 people...That is an large amount of space for so few people....Not to mention the cost!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.