Warren County is considering a juvenile detention contract with Putnam County.
According to County Executive Herschel Wells, he has been in contact with Putnam County Juvenile Detention Center director Casey Flatt since four juveniles were arrested in January for the murder of a man during a botched robbery in Mt. Leo. Wells says an agreement can be reached for Putnam County’s assistance in future housing needs.
“We couldn’t get them in at Putnam County, so we had to go to Murfreesboro and they don’t work with us very well,” said Wells. “Unless it takes an ambulance, Flatt will run them over to the doctor for us and bring them back. Murfreesboro would not do that. We only have these two juvenile detention centers close to us. If you have juveniles, they have to go to Cookeville or Murfreesboro. The next one, I think, is in Memphis.”
The information was presented to members of the county Financial Management Committee on Monday with members Wells, chairman, County Commissioners Terry Bell, Linda Jones, and David Rhea, and Director of Schools Bobby Cox in attendance.
The contact is a memorandum of understanding that included “Putnam County Juvenile Detention Center will exhaust all efforts for any juveniles that are housed at the Detention Center to receive any emergency services. Juveniles will be evaluated by the staff nurse and if any further treatment is needed, they will be transported to a medical center.”
Warren County will reimburse Putnam County all medical expenses and pay $150 per day per juvenile detained.
“This will allow you to take them right up there, if you have anymore, instead of having to hunt somewhere for them to go,” said Bell.
Cox asked if the county’s legal counsel has reviewed the contract, to which Wells replied, “Yes, he has.”
Murfreesboro County Denton Center charges $175 per day per juvenile. An estimate given in January placed the price at detaining the four 17-year-old juveniles until each turns 18 at approximately $80,000, a cost that has to be paid by Warren County.
According to Finance director Linda Hillis, the actual cost from January through March to house the juveniles in Rutherford County was $45,675.
“If April, May and June remain about the same, the cost will be over $80,000,” said Hillis. “It’s going to be about $93,000.”
The measure to enter into the contract with Putnam County passed unanimously.