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Jail-to-juvy conversion estimated at $150,000

CHRISTY CHALMERS

MINDEN -Converting part of Douglas County’s Stateline jail into a juvenile detention facility could cost $150,000 and be done in time for a July 1998 opening, county officials say.

The Sheriff’s Office, Juvenile Probation Department, County Commission and the county’s two district judges have been discussing a plan to convert part of the 27-cell jail into a juvenile facility.

The county now pays for six beds at the regional detention center in Carson City, which also serves Lyon and Storey counties. That facility is perennially overcrowded, leading Douglas officials to consider opening an in-county facility.

The county commission was initially going to consider the issue again Thursday, but has now rescheduled the discussion for Oct. 16.

Still, a preliminary action sheet says $150,000 is available from the county construction fund to carve a 14-cell juvenile facility out of the Stateline jail.

Incoming sheriff Ron Pierini said ten boys and four girls could be housed under that plan. Housing both genders reflects a “full service” option, ruling out two other plans that would have limited the Stateline center to male offenders.

“One of the benefits has to be that there is more bed space, not just for boys, but for girls, and this will allow that to happen,” said Pierini. “In theory, we could have eight beds for our own use, and the rest we would contract out for about $80 a day.”

Officials don’t anticipate any problem filling the surplus bed space, noting Storey and Lyon counties, neighboring California counties, could probably use the space.

Pierini said the officials would like to have the center ready by July 1998, because Douglas County’s contract with Carson City expires then.

“That’s a good time not only for us, but for others who wish to participate in this,” he noted.

Operating and staffing requirements have not yet been addressed. The county could take a pay-as-you-go approach to funding those requirements, or include them in the 1997-98 budget.

The Stateline jail currently houses an average of 15 inmates a day. Other county inmates are kept at the main jail facility in Minden.


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