Grants Pass, Ore. — In May, Josephine County voters passed a public safety levy. Some of that funding is dedicated to re-opening the juvenile detention center. The facility, which originally opened in 1999, includes the juvenile jail and juvenile shelter. Unfortunately, because of lack of funding – it closed down in 2012.
Five years later, it’s gearing up to pick up right where it left off.
“We’re just really looking forward to opening it again. It’s really needed in the community,” said Brad Kane, Deputy Director of Josephine County Juvenile Justice.
Kane has been waiting for for five years. He was there when the facility first opened, there when it closed, and there to see how badly the detention center and shelter were missed in the community. Now, he’s here to oversee the changes that need to be made to once again help the children who need it the most.
“In the old days, back when we had a boys restroom and a girls restroom. They’ll both become gender neutral rooms now,” Kane said.
The control room is also seeing changes upgraded to be more technologically advanced.
“One staff is in here seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is the central control that opens all doors and windows and handles all the alarms, takes all incoming telephone calls,” Kane said.
With a lot of work still to be completed and time ticking away to meet its mid-January open date. The deputy director says it’s worth the work to see the facility utilized once again.
The jail has 11 cells total, but it has a maximum capacity of 14, if needed. The average stay is around 7 to eight days. The shelter can hold up to 12 kids. Both facilities hold people ages 12 to 17, and normally average 80% males for both as well.
In addition to the changes, the county hopes to add a nurse, mental health worker, and more programming for social skills, anger management, and drug and alcohol counseling.