In the May ballot initiative 17-59, if approved, would restore funding for the jail and juvenile justice center in Grants Pass (owned and operated by Josephine County) and free up funds currently used for the jail to be re-directed to providing sheriff’s deputies again in the county. Maintaining a fully functional criminal justice system is a priority for any community, but the details can prove complex and there are many aspects to consider. Much of the argument for or against the levy focuses on the jail and how much money would then be allocated to sheriff’s deputies, but often the juvenile justice piece is lost in the shuffle. That begs the question, is it worth allocating some of those funds raised by the levy for the youth justice in our county?
(Total levy would cost a household an additional $119 for every $100,000 value of their home)
First, what do the County and City currently have in place for troubled or at-risk youth?
Answer: Just about nothing since the County center was shut down 2 years ago.
So not only are there extremely limited options for dealing with dangerous youth who need detention, but there is nowhere to send abused children or other at-risk kids that need temporary shelter.
How much of a need is there?
The short answer: A lot.