Closing Weber detention center may cause more crime

Tuesday , February 07, 2012 - 3:21 PM

Gaye Luker

Editor,

It was recently announced that Weber Valley Detention Center will be closed in fiscal year 2013 unless the Legislature chooses to fund it. WVDC (Weber Valley Detention) is the only state ran detention facility left in Utah. The next closest facility is Farmington Bay Youth Center which is contracted out by the State. Law Officers will be taken away from their jobs in order to transport juveniles down to Farmington. If they arrest a juvenile it will take an extra two to three hours just to lock them up. This would take them off the street many hours. This could discourage them from making arrests because of transportation complications and expenses. Weber County sheriffs also have to transport kids to court on a daily basis. Eight to twelve man hours a day will be devoted to these transports. In addition, what will the cost be to all of the other professionals that must have contact with the juveniles regularly like the probation officers and social workers that council the kids?

Many residents that are housed at WVDC are from homes that are financially burdened. Many parents already have to make transportation arrangements for hearings or visits. Another huge issue is this could also open a door to more gang activity and gang conflicts between Davis and Weber Counties?

Creating more gang wars and interactions when these kids spend weeks or months locked up together? What will the real cost will be to both communities.

Later when everyone has forgotten why we closed Weber Valley Detention (except that it was an old facility) and now the community is in dire need of a new facility. How many millions will it cost the tax payers to build a new Detention Center and contract out the running of the facility to the same company that runs the other detention centers? The same company that our past JJS Director is employed with now after he recently retired from the State.

I am sure by then, with increased crime from juveniles, taxpayers will be more willing to support the tax increase.

Gaye Luker

Clearfield



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