Changes are coming to the Department of Juvenile Justice. One detention center is closing and another will no longer house convicted youths.
The changes come after years of trying to close a budget gap. However, money isn't the only reason behind these changes.
According to the department, the number of juveniles committing serious crimes has actually decreased. Since 2008, it's seen a 31-percent decrease in the number of youths going to jail.
Due to the low numbers, the department says it doesn't make sense to keep all five correctional centers open. As a budget cutting measure, the Hanover Correctional Center will close and later be repurposed.
Oak Ridge Center, which is one of Bon Air's two juvenile detention centers, will be repurposed into an evaluation center.
The state's remaining three facilities will house inmates.
"From a public safety standpoint it's actually good news," said Greg Davy with the Department of Juvenile Justice. "It also fits very nicely into the Governor's request for all agencies to look at some budget cutting measures.
According to Davy, some security guards and staff will be reassigned to other facilities. Other employees are also expected to retire.
While the goal is not to lay off anyone, it is still a possibility.
Hanover's inmates and employees will start to move early next year. At that time, the department will begin to study what the Hanover facility should be repurposed as.
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