The privately-run Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center will be closing on Dec. 31, putting 68 people out of work and forcing sheriffs who use the center to go to RYDCs in Floyd or Clayton Counties instead, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Paulding Department of Juvenile Justice Assistant Commissioner Mark Sexton told the AJC that the move is totally based on economics, saving the department about $3 million the rest of this budget year and $6 million in the next year.
"We are less than two minutes from the Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center (PRYDC)," Corporal Ashley Henson said in an email, Paulding County Sheriff's Office. "With its imminent shutdown looming, our Deputies will have to travel to Floyd and Clayton Counties to transport and pickup juvenile offenders for intake and judicial proceedings.
"We certainly hate to see that the facility is closing, but we understand that in this day in time, budgets are short and the State of Georgia has to overcome budgeting shortfalls somehow," Henson added.
Earlier this year, the troubled facility had a high rate of sexual misconduct, exceeding the national rate of 9.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Paulding also had the highest rate of staff-on-youth sexual victimization (31 percent). About 7.1 percent of respondents said the staff sexual misconduct was the result of force or other forms of coercion.
There are presently 45 teenage boys being held in the 100-bed facility, according to the AJC, some of whom have been arrested in Paulding, Carroll, Cherokee, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Heard counties and have not yet had their cases adjudicated.