Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Olmsted County today announced the closure of its Juvenile Detention Center.

A news release says the decision was spurred by decreasing youth incarceration rates. Officials say the population of the center has been trending downward for the last 5 years while the facility was housing more young offenders from other counties. They also noted that the expense of maintaining the juvenile detention center has become increasingly difficult, especially in light of the financial strain associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

“What we’re experiencing in Olmsted County is no different than what we’re seeing across Minnesota and throughout the country,” said Director of Dodge-Fillmore-Olmsted (DFO) Community Corrections Travis Gransee. “Other counties across the state have reduced the size of their facilities based on the same downward trends we are experiencing locally. Of course, their operations were much larger than ours here in Olmsted County. We’re closing our JDC because it is so small, and the occupancy rate is just too low to keep this a viable option for our community.”

County officials say juvenile offenders who pose a risk to public safety will be transported to detention centers in other counties. The two remaining juveniles who had been staying at the Olmsted County facility were transported to a juvenile detention center in Dakota County within the past week.

The 11 full-time staff of the Olmsted County center are being given the opportunity to transition to other jobs in the county while maintaining their current salary. The future use of the building that housed the juvenile detention center has not been determined. Olmsted County operated the 16-bed facility for 22 years.

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