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Falk opens new Juvenile Detention Center

For more information contact:

Joanne Haas, Office of County Executive, (608) 267-8823
Jim Moeser, Dane County Juvenile Court Program, (608) 266-9130

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 8/3/2007

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Dedicated classrooms, recreation space part of facility

Under budget and on schedule, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today opened Dane County’s new Juvenile Reception/Detention Center where youth will be held accountable for their actions while receiving targeted programming to help get their lives back on track.

“This new center is part of a hard-working juvenile justice system – and a successful one at that,” Falk said during today’s news conference opening the $6.6 million facility on the second floor of the City-County Building. ”If you want proof of the effectiveness of our wrap-around approach to juvenile justice, consider the fact this new facility is made for 24 – very, very low for a community of our size.”

Falk stressed the new facility is constructed with dedicated space to provide the programming that will hold the young offenders accountable for their actions, yet give them the educational tools to improve themselves to become productive citizens.

“We stress prevention, accountability and restitution,” Falk said. “All of this means in Dane County, fewer youthful offenders spend less time in a juvenile detention than you might expect. It means a safer community.”

Jim Moeser, of the Dane County Juvenile Court Program, noted the “key elements of this new facility revolve around the programming and supervision capabilities.”

There is dedicated classroom space for teachers from the Madison Schools to hold classes, as well as recreation space to meet the state standards for exercise. And there are also areas for social skill training and accountability-based programming.

“While youth are in detention, they are truly a captive audience, and we have an obligation to make the most of their time with us so that they leave the facility more competent and with an understanding of their role in the community,” Moeser said, adding the average daily population in detention has been roughly 16 for several years.

The previous center was located on third floor in the City-County Building since the 1960s with some modifications and remodeling in 1984. The old reception/detention center with its administrative offices was roughly 8,800 square feet while the new center is about 28,000 square feet.

The demolition of the space, which used to be courtrooms, began on Feb. 13, 2006 and was completed by June 1, 2006. The demolition contractor was Robinson Brothers Environmental Inc. out of Waunakee.

Construction started on July 15, 2006, with the majority of the work completed by July 1, 2007. The architect was Venture Associates, and the construction contractor was Selmer Company of Green Bay.

The total project cost is approximately $6.6 million.

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