Saline County Commissioners believe that the best option for juvenile offenders in Saline County is to house them out of county, at least through the end of the year.
Saline County Sheriff Glen Kochanowski closed the juvenile detention center this week, citing safety concerns for both inmates and staff. He said that the move was prompted by overcrowding, and a need for additional staff to keep conditions safe.
As of Monday, twelve juveniles were being moved from Salina to the Junction City Center with an estimated cost of $150 per inmate, per day. A cost that will fluctuate according to the number of inmates in custody.
The juvenile facility in Salina is currently run by 10 full-time employees who keep watch during three 8-hour shifts.The Sheriff is hoping to add two more full time employees at a cost of about $90,000 a year to bolster the staff.
The County Commission announced Tuesday that remaining funds already budgeted for the rest of the year should be more than enough to to pay the costs of transporting and housing juvenile offenders to other counties. They say that during the budgeting process for 2014 the commission and sheriff will be in a better position to address actual costs.
Sheriff Kochanowski tells KSAL News that he is agreeable to keeping the facility closed through the end of the year, and he looks forward to working with the county commissioners in coming up with a long-term solution. He says that his goal is to reopen the facility in Salina in 2014.
The ten current employees call for 3 to stay on at the Saline County Juvenile Detention Facility to process incoming inmates. The other seven will be folded into duties at the Saline County Jail.