Juvenile detention agreement expected to continue

Jackson County likely will continue to house juvenile offenders from Josephine County, with Jackson County commissioners set to take a look this week at renewing an agreement adopted last year.

The proposed agreement would bring nearly $148,000 in revenue to the county, as Josephine County would continue renting three beds at Jackson County's 40-bed Juvenile Detention Center. As with the original 2012-13 agreement, the money would fund two additional juvenile justice specialist positions.

The proposed extension goes before Jackson County's Board of Commissioners for approval at Wednesday's public meeting at the Courthouse Auditorium, 10 S. Oakdale Ave., Medford.

Joe Ferguson, deputy director for Juvenile Justice, said the 2012-13 agreement worked well.

"They've kept those three beds filled," he said. "It's rare we'd have less than three kids from that county."

Josephine County can pay for additional beds beyond the contracted three if there is space, officials said.

"You can see it as kind of a regional model in terms of providing resources to another county," Ferguson said. "It benefits both of us currently."

He added that several other nearby counties whose juvenile justice facilities closed use the same shared, regional methodology. Curry County has an agreement with Del Norte County in California, while Coos County has an agreement with nearby Douglas County. In The Dalles, Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities, otherwise known as NORCOR, provides adult and juvenile detention for Gilliam, Hood River, Wasco and Sherman counties.

"That's a true regional model. All of those counties put money in to operate that," Ferguson said.

— Ryan Pfeil

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