Commissioners consider expanding juvenile holding facility, entering multi-county compactFollowing a presentation Tuesday at the courthouse about the county’s juvenile detention situation, the Davison County Commission leaned toward expanding the county’s existing holding facility or entering into a compact with other counties to house juveniles in Sioux Falls.
By: Seth Tupper, The Daily Republic
Following a presentation Tuesday at the courthouse about the county’s juvenile detention situation, the Davison County Commission leaned toward expanding the county’s existing holding facility or entering into a compact with other counties to house juveniles in Sioux Falls.
Don Radel, the county’s jail administrator, delivered a presentation to the commissioners. He said the issue of how to best house the county’s juvenile offenders has been under study since at least 1997.
Last year, the county spent about $132,000 to house and transport juveniles, Radel said. Of that amount, about $102,000 went to out-of-county housing.
Currently, the county jail has only a “holdover” room for three juveniles and a briefing room that can hold two juveniles if needed. The maximum allowable stay under that setup is 48 hours, after which time a juvenile must be transferred to a better-equipped facility. The county holds about three juveniles per day.
Radel said the county’s current situation is making life difficult for jail staffers, who have to call around to numerous facilities to locate places to house juveniles. Recently, he said, the county transported a juvenile to Aberdeen for a short stay and then had to transport that same juvenile to Rapid City after the Aberdeen facility filled up with juveniles from that area.
“Our current staff is running pretty thin,” Radel said.
Commissioner John Claggett said the situation demands a solution.
“We’ve got to figure something out so your people aren’t out on the road all the time,” Claggett told Radel.
Radel’s presentation included four options for the commission: Continue with no change; expand the county’s current juvenile setup to a “modified holdover” facility with housing for up to five juveniles who could be held for up to 72 hours; build a new, full-service juvenile detention center with 12 beds; or join the Southeastern Juvenile Compact, which offers counties priority juvenile placements in a Sioux Falls detention facility at a discounted rate.
The commission took no action, but the discussion after the presentation focused on expanding the current facility to a modified holdover facility or joining the Southeastern Juvenile Compact.
The modified holdover facility would require the hiring of a full-time coordinator and would need a large pool of part-time staffers, Radel said. Radel said a modified holdover facility in Hughes County operates on a budget of about $100,000 and has an additional budget of about $200,000 for out-of-county housing.
The Southeastern Juvenile Compact would cost an estimated $25,000 to join, Radel said, but members pay only $125 per day to house juveniles in Sioux Falls while non-members pay $245. The membership would “guarantee us a certain number of beds in their facility,” Radel said. The compact currently has 14 member counties.
Compact members have discussed the possibility of building a satellite facility, said Claggett, who added that perhaps Davison County might be considered as a site.
Claggett said something must be done to accommodate what will probably be a growing need for juvenile detention services.
“We’re going to be a growing county,” Claggett said, “so they’re not going to get any less in number.”
For more news from Tuesday's Davison County Commission meeting, look for updates on this site and read Wednesday's print edition of The Daily Republic.