Drug and alcohol treatment for underage offenders will soon be offered through the Klamath County Juvenile Department.
It's a project that began as a solution to budget problems.
Klamath County Juvenile Department Director Dan Golden is putting the finishing touches on a pod at the juvenile department that will soon be used for drug and alcohol treatment...
"I was told just this morning that our first clients are due to arrive soon."
The juvenile department was facing budget cuts last spring.
The department hopes to offset those cuts by offering treatment to kids from other counties.
'It would be the only intensive service like this in Southern Oregon." Notes Golden.
Golden says a recent study shows strong demand for treatment services...
"It showed that anywhere from 60 to 75 percent of the kids that were coming into the detention facility had drug and alcohol dependency issues."
Golden says getting kids off drugs and alcohol now will pay big dividends later on...
"We can prevent a lot of cost and expense later for our citizens, our counties, and our state."
With 9 beds available for the juvenile treatment program, Golden is optimistic their program will be successful...
"This is the wave of the future for corrections. And we don't mind being the people who are helping to really blaze the trail."
Golden has been working with the Klamath Youth Development Center on designing the treatment program.
The department is also working on partnerships with the Oregon Youth Authority, and Klamath Tribal Court.