ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Olmsted County Juvenile Detention Center will be closing its doors in the next couple weeks. This comes after bringing in fewer young offenders over the years.
Director of Community Corrections, Travis Gransee, said several factors led up to this decision. One of them being that as the county moves forward with adjusting its budget due to covid-19, the need of the center just doesn't exist at the cost it's creating for the county. The juvenile detention center has over 25 employees made up of full-time, part-time and on call staff. According to Gransee, they're working to find them other jobs within olmsted county.
Another reason being the center is seeing a significant drop in juveniles coming in. "Numbers have stayed fairly steady with a little bit less. You know, given that we only had 2 or 3 youth in the facility from Olmsted County on average," explained Gransee. "Then that dropped to maybe 1 or 2 youth from Olmsted County during the pandemic." That's because the center isn't taking anyone in from other counties like it was before the pandemic started - adding to the decline even more.
After becoming more aware of those two impacts, Gransee said this decision was a clear one. "I think the combination of factors and although, we recognize that this was a long time coming - it maybe was accelerated as a result of covid," said Gransee.
Gransee explained they're exploring other options for juveniles who would typically end up at the detention center. Some of them will go to other facilities in the community and others will likely be transported to the juvenile detention facility in Dakota County. He said they haven't come up with an exact day for when the doors will close, but he predicts it'll be in the next 2 or 3 weeks.