Sheriff denies request to control juvenile detention center

Sheriff denies request to control juvenile detention center

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The Independence County judge wants to turn the White County Juvenile Detention Center over to the sheriff's department. But the sheriff has denied the request.

Sheriff Steve Jeffery says the juvenile detention center is an entity all on it's own and not under law enforcement.

Jeffery says the detention center was originally owned by an independent contractor, but they went bankrupt.

The center reopened years ago and that is when the judge took over, according to the sheriff.

The sheriff says his department cannot handle taking over the detention center.

"We are short of man power and I just don't have the man power to send someone to school right now to learn the detention rules and procedures," Jeffery said.

Jeffery says the sheriff's department has never had control of the detention center. He says the judge knows more about overseeing it than any law enforcement office.

Independence County Judge Robert Griffin told Region 8 News he wanted to turn over control since that is how most juvenile detention centers are set up.

Only five counties in Arkansas have the county judge overseeing juvenile detention centers. Independence County is one of them.

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