Rock Island struggles to house juvenile offenders - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rock Island struggles to house juvenile offenders

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) -- Rock Island County expects to spend $1 million this year on sending juveniles out of the area for pre-trial detention.

County officials agree those resources would be better spent on a local facility, but they say there's simply not enough money to build it.

Policy advocates for the Juvenile Justice Institute of Illinois, however, contend it's better to invest in locally based community alternatives for juvenile offenders, instead of building more detention centers. The institute says that would save money and improve public safety.

The U.S. Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention says there are 16 county-run juvenile detention centers in Illinois with a total of 856 beds. Additionally, eight state-operated youth centers house juveniles once they've been found guilty and sentenced.

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