County needs detention center

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Currently, Dallas County is paying about $250,000 annually – $30,000 for the month of June alone – to house juveniles in Hale County or other counties across the state.

The reason?

There is no juvenile detention center in the county.

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But, that’s about to change.

Plans for the Dallas County Detention Center are progressing.

During the Dallas County Commission meeting Monday afternoon, invoices presented by Financial Director Nancy Wilson were approved for payment to McKee and Associates for architectural services rendered for the new detention center.

The center will be located on the west side of the Dallas County Jail on Highway 14 East.

Cost is the primary factor in Dallas County officials making the decision to build its own facility.

In addition to the cost of housing juveniles in other counties, there is also a cost incurred for transportation.

Many parents are unable to drive to Hale or Baldwin counties to visit their child.

“We’ll do a better job with our children and have a better success rate and give our children a better future,” District Judge Bob Armstrong said earlier this year.

The cost for the facility is expected to be approximately $1 million. But it will be worth it for Dallas County to be able to house its own juveniles and keep them here in the county.