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107 in Douglas County Youth Center Wednesday: Status of new downtown center

Posted at 12:45 PM, Nov 16, 2023
  • Douglas County youth center hits triple digits, although high it's not record breaking
  • Status of the new Douglas County Youth and Family Support center
  • Who is held in the youth centers?
  • Mary Ann Borgeson emphasizes need of focusing on resources for each child and their family

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:
As of Wednesday, 107 youth were in the Douglas County Youth Center, (DCYC). Douglas County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson recently told 3 News Now Reporter Molly Hudson that if we go back a few years the average in DCYC was 181 kids.

Two facilities: The DCYC and the new Douglas County Youth and Family Support Center.

When Mary Ann Borgeson looks back at her time involved with juvenile justice, she says a lot has changed.

"There are probably younger kids committing harsher crimes, and so then you kind of have to step back and re-look because it's a changing environment," said Borgeson.

The Douglas County Youth Center is a holding place not a placement, who makes up the population in the center?

Borgeson says there are essentially three categories:
- Children charged as adults for very serious crimes.
- Kids that are on probation already, who may have violated probation or have a new charge.
- Kids who are just entering the system.

"I don't care if a child is in there for two hours, 24 hours, 24 months or longer, that child is gonna get out,” said Borgeson.

Which is why she said the focus is on resources for the kids and families.

"We are here to again help try to figure out what those support services are, before they get into the system, when they are in the system and when they get out of the system," said Borgeson.

With the opening of the facility on hold, because of bed space concerns, numbers at the current facility have grown.

The goal set earlier this year was to get the number down before the move to the new facility.

Borgeson said to her it's not about the beds.

"It's about the length of stays, it's about what they are in there for and it's about what services and programs are still missing that we need to engage the community in bringing up in providing to these kids and families," said Borgeson.

But a new resolution approved last month allows staff to develop a plan to operate both facilities side by side.

With the goal of opening the new center between March and July of next year.