Juvenile reception center begins pilot period

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Marion County Juvenile Detention Facility has hit what some consider its lowest population in at least 12 years, evidence that a risk assessment tool implemented about two months ago is working. A new reception center may lower those numbers even more.

Earlier this week, the Marion Superior Court announced the population was at 98 - below the facility cap of 144 that was often filled prior to the recent changes. The number had increased to about 118 on Wednesday but was much lower than the high 100s past years have yielded.

Juvenile Magistrate Geoffrey Faither, who has been on the juvenile court bench since 1995, wrote that he has never known of a count that low.

This is part of a continuing push for improvements to the facility's battered image arising from controversial findings of a federal Department of Justice investigation last year that deemed the facility wasn't safe for staff or residents. Part of an assessment included a study workgroup that identified a need for a reception center where low-risk children can be taken by law enforcement instead of to the detention center.

A reception center will begin its pilot period Sunday with $150,000 in funding from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. With the center, organizers anticipate that fewer low-risk children will intersect with the juvenile justice system and, in turn, will leave more time for courts and attorneys to focus on cases involving serious, violent offenders. More violent offenders will continue to be sent to the juvenile detention facility.

The Reception Center will be at the existing reception center for runaway children, known as Youth Emergency Services, at 4144 N. Keystone Ave. In the nine-month pilot, coordinator Gael Deppert expects about 500 children to be referred to the center for class B and C misdemeanors.

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  1. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  2. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.

  3. maybe if some of the socia workers would treat the foster parents better, they would continue to fostr.

  4. We have been asked to take in a 2 no old baby because mother is in very unstable situation. We want to do this but will need help with expenses such as medical and formula... Do we have to have custody thru court?

  5. Very troubling. A competent public defender is very much the right of every indigent person in the US or the Fifth amendment becomes meaningless. And considering more and more of us are becoming poorer and poorer under this "system," the need for this are greater than ever.... maybe they should study the Federals and see how they manage their program? And here's to thanking all the PD attorneys out there who do a good job.