Juvenile Detention Center

Local officials are now pointing to this week's murder of a fallon woman, allegedly at the hands of her 17-year-old stepdaughter, as proof that more resources are needed to deal with our troubled youth.

While 17 year old Joanna Plants was being arraigned yesterday, Churchill County officials were in Carson City testifying in support of a bill which would allow an add-on to the property tax to fund a juvenile detention center they say is desperately needed.

When a youngster in Washoe County or Carson City is in trouble there sent to juvenile hall. That's not an option out here or in most of rural Nevada. Churchill County's Juvenile Probation offices are located in what was once a small church. There's no secure facility to keep them here. The county has to go looking for available beds elsewhere. Carson City, Douglas County, they've even been shipped as far away as Elko and if there's no room there or if the other county refuses, options are few.

Juvenile Probation Officer DeVere Karlson told the Senate Taxation Committee yesterday there's an urgent need to address the problem. The number of juveniles needing detention has doubled to more than 800 a year since 2000. County officials want the lawmaker's OK for an 8 cent add-on to the property tax to fund a joint juvenile detention center with Lyon County.

This bill SB 146 would help Churchill and Lyon Counties address the problem, but they are hardly alone. Mallory says juvenile detention centers don't exist in much of rural Nevada, but those other counties face the same problems of drugs and crime among their youth


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