New detention model designed to lower juvenile incarceration

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Indiana's News Center on October 1, 2014 by Jeff Neumeyer

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (21ALIVE) — A plan is unfolding here in Allen County to reduce the number of juveniles housed in corrections facilities.

It involves a strategy that a local judge insists can save money and protect public safety at the same time.

On an average day, 83 juvenile offenders are locked up at the county juvenile detention center on North Wells Street.

But Juvenile Judge Dan Heath is convinced that number can be cut in half, by choosing not to lock up as many youth in trouble for things like minor technical violations of their probation.

“As we do that, we’ll see costs that are associated with youth care workers, with food costs, with other detention costs in the tens of thousands of dollars that can be re-purposed,” Judge Heath said.