LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Angelina County Juvenile Detention Center has seen an increase over the last seven months of out-of-county juveniles being held in their facility.
On Wednesday, the center was holding two juveniles from Angelina County and four juveniles from Cherokee and Houston Counties. Chief supervisor Mark Gorman said the increase in out-of-county holds can be attributed to the closure of the detention center in Anderson County.
"They had a 25-bed facility," Gorman said. "They weren't generating a lot of money off of their contracts is my understanding, so the commissioner's court decided to close it down. It's a lot ore feasible for smaller counties to have a contract detention budget."
The four current out-of-county juveniles also bring extra money not in the facility's budget.
"We're making $400 dollars today," Gorman said. "We get $100 a day for each out of county kid we hold."
Since the closure of the Anderson County facility on July 31, 2015, the Angelina facility has seen 33 out-of-county juveniles walk into their facility.
"In that seven-month period from the previous year, we had seven juveniles," Gorman said. "Cherokee County and Houston County contracted with Anderson County and that's who we've seen a rise in."
Gorman said some of the money they receive will go to the care of those juveniles.
"It's $10 a meal, so you are looking for about $30 just to feed the kids," Gorman said. "We don't pocket the rest of the money to the staff. It will go to the general operating budget."
The operating budget for the 11 bed facility comes out to $750,000 a year with an overall budget of around $1.8 million. Gorman said the extra money does make sure they can keep a full-time staff in the building as well as a part-time staff ready when needed.
"You are going to have the same staff here whether you have 11 kids or two kids," Gorman said.
Gorman said the average juvenile will spend 15 days in the facility so the average $1,500 for an out-of-county juvenile can be a nice addition to the needs of the facility and that the facility has shown it's worth to the county.
"Having the facility here instead of having a budget for contracts is working for us," Gorman said. "Even though it is a cost saving to not have a detention center, I think as far as were concerned it would cost all of our law enforcement agencies more money."
Gorman said the center will re-evaluate the current contracts they have with 15 other district areas in May and believes the addition of Houston and Cherokee Counties will continue.