Allen County Juvenile Court awarded $3.6 millon for detention center

By Craig Kelly -

LIMA — The decision on whether to replace or renovate the 43-year-old Walter J. Roush Juvenile Detention Center is still being determined, but thanks to the Ohio Department of Youth Services, Allen County Juvenile Court will have some money set aside to pay for it.

On Thursday, Juvenile Court Judge Glenn Derryberry announced that the court has been awarded $3.6 million in grant funds from the department of youth services, meant to cover 60 percent of what is expected to be a $6 million project to rebuild or renovate the detention center.

“We want to look first at what’s the most feasible route for that,” Derryberry said. “With the 60 percent match, the county’s portion would be about $2.4 million.”

The grant allocation came after an assessment of the 30-bed facility in Shawnee Township was conducted in 2015. Three recommendations for possible solutions came out of that study, two of which called for significant renovation and redesign and the third calling for construction of a new facility.

“It’s 1973 design and construction mean it’s really not suited to the current circumstances we have in terms of population and programs,” Derryberry said. “The facility was really designed only for detention, but we’ve got approval to do treatment, as well. The facility could be better designed, for example, to divide people in detention not receiving direct treatment services from people who are because those programs are operated quite a bit differently. The second is that we’re on kind of a linear wing approach now, as opposed to a pod approach, and this actually requires more staffing. With a pod approach, there are fewer staff, so that could ultimately result in some financial savings over time while making it more efficient to operate.”

The final decision on what to do with the detention center will be based on a county-wide facility assessment that was conducted in June. The results of that assessment are expected to be available in the next three months.

By Craig Kelly

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

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