Rehabilitating juvenile offenders


The Fayette County Commissioners recently entered into a contract with the Lawrence County Commissioners to continue utilizing community residential services for juvenile offenders.

It was moved by commissioner Jack DeWeese and seconded by commissioner Dan Dean, per the recommendation of Fayette County Probate Juvenile Judge David Bender, to enter into a contract with the Board of County Commissioners of Lawrence County. The contract was created because of the need for community residential services for juvenile offenders coupled with the fact Lawrence County has a program that has been willing to provide services for years.

“Lawrence County Juvenile Center (JC) is a lock-down rehabilitation facility that we send some of our (juvenile offenders) to because they have more therapy and things that we can’t offer them here,” Bender said during an interview Thursday. “The (Juvenile Detention Center) we have is basically just a holding facility. So we, from time to time, send kids down there when other remedies aren’t working. That is basically what it is though, a place to house and further rehabilitate some of the kids that need a little more attention.”

According to Bender, the county has been using the facility for years, at least since he has been in his position and possibly longer. He also went on to explain that since each kid is different, the levels of success in Lawrence County JC have been just as different.

“I can’t give specifics, but we have had some success out of Lawrence County,” Bender said. “We have also had some kids that, unfortunately, did not progress there so we had to try other options. We had someone recently who did not have success there, and now unfortunately he is old enough and has to go into the adult system because he did not take advantage of anything offered to him before.”

The Lawrence County JC will provide the services to approved Fayette County juvenile offenders at a per diem rate of $85 per bed, which can be negotiated if either party wishes to do so. The term of the contract will last until Dec. 31 of this year. Additionally, all admissions must be in compliance with all provisions of the Ohio Revised Code as well as any other applicable rules, regulations and laws. The motion passed.

The commissioners also appointed Rose Merkowitz to the RPHF Joint Solid Waste Management District Policy Committee to fill the unexpired position vacated by James Garland, which April 21, 2017. Finally, the commissioners also entered into a contract with Optimal Outdoor Solutions for two lawn fertilizer applications at the county courthouse.
Commissioners reach agreement with Lawrence County

By Martin Graham

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Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy

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