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Juvenile facility efforts deserve applause

One county’s loss may be another’s gain. After teetering on the brink of closure approximately a year ago, the Adams County Juvenile Justice Center apparently has found new life.

Despite losing a large grant that funded several programs at the center, Adams County Youth Court Judge John Hudson told supervisors this week that the center has benefitted from the closure of a similar juvenile detention center in nearby Pike County.

By utilizing unused beds at the facility and effectively renting them out to nearby counties, the downtown juvenile justice center has begun hauling in the dough — $100 per detainee per day.

That’s a far cry from the status of the facility when a low number of detainees prompted county supervisors to suggest it might make financial sense to simply close its doors and use operational funds to pay another county to house local juvenile offenders.

In addition to the increased revenue, the expense reductions and merged staff duties made in the past several months have also made a difference in the facilities finances.

We applaud the work of Hudson and the supervisors in working to reduce costs and find alternatives to help offset what had been a burden on taxpayers.

Detention centers will never be profit centers, but they can be operated efficiently and, as we’ve recently learned, with a little luck they can nearly be self-sustaining.

We’re happy the facility seems to have found its feet again.