Clay County finds alternative temporary housing for juvenile offenders

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The Brazil Times on January 7, 2016 by FRANK PHILLIPS, Times Reporter

On most days you can read about adults who have committed crimes or been arrested. But there is a whole generation of people in trouble with the law whose names are not usually reported but their crimes are whispered about and sometimes are the subject of items on social media. They are juvenile offenders.

They are arrested but by law they cannot be housed with adult offenders in county jails so juvenile probation officers in Indiana, like Clay County’s Cathy Judd, have to find temporary housing for them until their court dates. Then, they are often returned to their parents or guardians, she said.

But for at least a couple days, they are housed in private facilities designed for juvenile offenders. For at least a year, Clay County has sent juvenile offenders to Ladoga’s Muskegon River Youth Home of Indiana, an arrangement that was very good until the facility temporarily closed in December. Ronald Hunter, the chief executive officer of the company, Youth Opportunity/The Muskegon Group, said he hopes to re-open the Ladoga facility as a long term facility as soon as possible.