JoCo safety levy affecting the Juvenile Justice Center

Grants Pass, Ore,. — “It’s extremely important and a loss that we’ve really been struggling to deal with for 5 years now”

Jim Goodwin is the director at the Juvenile Detention Center in Grants Pass.

While he still works with the courts, the facility he once helped run, shut its doors in 2012.

“There’s a huge service gap for juvenile justice in this county, because we’re just not able to provide that service from the beginning, when the youth enters the system, till the end.” said Goodwin.

The center closed after five safety levies in Josephine County failed.

Without those tax payer dollars, there weren’t funds to keep it open.

Right now, Goodwin has a deal with Douglas County, and has 3 beds available in its facility, but it’s not enough.

“When we closed the facility, at any given day we would have 6 or 7 youth in the facility, often times we would be full on the weekends.”

This proposed safety levy is asking for 93 cents per thousand dollars of a home’s assessed value.

And while it’s the cheapest option Josephine County residents have seen, some are still split on whether they want it to pass.

“I live in the rural area, so without voting for this, that means I’ll have no protection.” said one resident, Helen Narron.

“It’s definitely important, but how much is too much? I mean come on! It’s failed 4, 5 times before.” said one resident, Steve Gaines.

If the levy doesn’t pass, Goodwin says it won’t be business as usual.

The Juvenile Justice Department could close completely within a year.

“We have a proposed budget that would allow us to do what we do now with the 3 bed contract, and our current staffing for one more year.”

The Juvenile Justice Center isn’t the only facility that will be affected if the levy doesn’t pass.

The Josephine County Jail will go from 130 beds down to 100.

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