Gila County — Although the Gila County Juvenile Detention Center in Globe is officially closed, the Juvenile Probation Department continues to detain juveniles as needed in a different facility. Closing the detention center was prudent for fiscal reasons, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars for Gila County taxpayers every year. Over the past decade, juvenile crime has been on the decline in Arizona and across the country. As juvenile crime has declined, so has the number of juveniles detained in detention facilities and juvenile prisons.
• 2008: 11,674 Arizona juveniles detained in local detention facilities
• 2016: 7,883 Arizona Juveniles detained in local detention facilities
• 2008: 924 juveniles were sentenced to ADJC (juvenile prison)
• 2016: 218 juveniles were sentenced to ADJC (juvenile prison)
This reality combined with the high cost of running a detention center led to the closing of the Globe Detention Center. Recognizing there will still be juveniles that need to be in a detention facility, the Gila County Board of Supervisors has approved an agreement with the Pinal County Juvenile Justice Center (Detention) to house those youth needing detention.
The closing of the detention center did not result in any layoffs in Globe, as the Juvenile Probation Department began a soft-closing of the Globe Detention Center a year ago to allow detention officers to transfer to other positions in the County or find work in the community.
A smaller contingent of detention personnel will continue to carry out the mission of the Probation Department by transporting juveniles to the Pinal County Detention facility and other functions such as radio dispatching for field probation officers and supervising community work service crews in the community.
Juveniles enter the criminal justice and probation system through direct contact with local law enforcement. Law enforcement contacts probation to determine eligibility for detention, and if eligible, detention staff detain juveniles, taking them from law enforcement and transporting them to Pinal County.
This process ensures law enforcement can return to the streets quicker, especially for Payson police officers, who no longer have to transport kids to Globe. Further, this is a cost savings as it reduces the cost of law enforcement being tied up in transporting juveniles to intake in another County.
In the future, the Probation Department wants to pursue taking juveniles from law enforcement who do not qualify for detention, allowing detention staff to talk to the juvenile and bring him or her back to a responsible parent or adult.