BROOKINGS, S.D. — Brookings County has spent nearly double the amount of money so far this year that was budgeted for keeping youth at a juvenile detention center in 2016.
The county has spent more than $102,000 so far this year to keep the young offenders at the Minnehaha County Regional Juvenile Detention Center, The Brookings Register (http://bit.ly/2cAjRkM ) reported. That’s 189 percent more than the $54,000 that was budgeted.
Brookings County finance Officer Vicki Buseth said it cost the county $155 a day to keep a juvenile there in 2014. That cost increased to $165 per day in 2015 and $200 per day in 2016.
“Currently, we have two people down there, so it’s about $12,000 to $13,000 a month to keep them there,” Buseth said.
Deputy State’s Attorney Abigail Howard said Brookings County has fewer juveniles overall staying at the detention center because legal changes that went into effect in January created stricter standards for who can be placed there.
Howard said that spending has become more complex as juveniles commit more serious offenses.
“The length of stay might be longer now,” Howard said. “When we place a juvenile for a serious sexual offense and they are waiting (for sentencing), the judge orders a psychosexual evaluation be completed, those can take anywhere from six to eight weeks to be completed.”
The county will get through the rest of the year by using $200,000 of contingency funds, which will be brought down to about $433,000.
Buseth and Howard said they’ve often looked into ways to recoup some of the costs to the county, but that they haven’t found any practical options.
Information from: Brookings Register, http://www.brookingsregister.com/