The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice is closing its privately-run and troubled short-term detention center in Paulding, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The move will put 68 people out of jobs and will require local sheriffs in the six counties that now use the Paulding Regional Youth Detection Center to take them to other counties. There are 45 teen boys in the 100-bed facility. The agency’s Mark Sexton said the decision to close the center was based totally on economics.
He said the Florida-based company that runs it, Youth Services International (YSI), would continue to operate two other centers in the state. The move should save the department about $3 million the rest of this budget year and $6 million in the next year. This year, Paulding topped a U.S. Department of Justice list of juvenile facilities with the highest proportion of reported claims of sexual contact between juveniles and staff. YSI, which manages the Paulding lockup, also has a troubled past in other states where it operates youth detention centers.