By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer
The Curry County Juvenile Detention Center could be housing Quay County juvenile offenders in the near future, officials said Monday.
Curry County Manager Dick Smith said even though no official contract has been signed, Curry County has agreed to house Quay’s juveniles.
Detention Center Administrator Don Burdine was a little less committal. “We will house their juveniles if we have available space,” Burdine said.
Burdine said the juvenile facility, which can house about 20 inmates, is rarely full. Detention center records indicate the average number of juveniles housed daily in Curry County is 12 to 14.
Richard Ferguson, district supervisor of juvenile probation, said the county is part of a pilot program in which new rules and stricter guidelines are used to determine if a juvenile warrants being incarcerated.
According to Ferguson, counties which follow the guidelines receive funding from the a private foundation.
The Quay County Commission voted last week to close the county’s juvenile portion of its detention center and send juvenile inmates to Curry County and Canadian, Texas.
The changes will begin Nov. 1.
Quay officials said the facility is costs about $300,000 a year to operate.
Smith said Curry County would charge Quay approximately $85 per day to house their juvenile inmates. “I believe the rate is set by the state,” Smith said.
“This is not a money-making thing,” Burdine said. “Any money brought in would be used to offset current overheard such as utilities.”
Quay officials say it costs the $110 a day to house juveniles at its facility.
Smith said the juvenile facility has three employees on duty at all times regardless of the number of inmates. “We want to avoid a one-on-one situation when dealing with kids,” Smith said. “The extra income from the Quay County juveniles could also go toward paying salaries.”
According to Burdine, there will be no new staffing requirements and Curry County will not be required to provide transportation for the Quay juveniles.
“It’s just daily operations,” Burdine said.