Franklin Co. Juvenile Detention Center employees fear of shut down

Employees worried Franklin Co. juvenile detention center will close
Board members told detention center employees they are doing their best to keep the center open. (Source: Giacomo Luca/KFVS)
Board members told detention center employees they are doing their best to keep the center open. (Source: Giacomo Luca/KFVS)
The Methamphetamine Treatment Program housed at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center was halted in March by Gov. Bruce Rauner.
The Methamphetamine Treatment Program housed at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center was halted in March by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - The Franklin County Board met in a closed session Monday to talk about personnel and financial matters as a dozen Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center employees worried their jobs are in jeopardy.

Workers are concerned the center may be shut down due to budget concerns.

The Methamphetamine Treatment Program housed at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center was halted in March by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

No agenda was provided for Monday's session.

Before the board went into closed session, a detention center employee asked if the county had a budget for the 2016 fiscal year and a board member replied that they did not.

After the board's closed session, board members told detention center employees they are doing their best to keep the center open.

However, they board members also mentioned that the county is required to provide certain services, such as the sheriff's department. The detention center is not considered a required service.

Board members also said that departments across the entire county are facing cuts.

The board hopes to have a budget put together for review by Nov. 15, and until Nov. 30 to make a decision.

Detention center employees fear that the center will be the only program to be eliminated completely and say they are left with more questions than answers.

They say they just want to know whether they will have jobs in the near future.

"But I'm hoping that we hear good news," Heather Harbison, a detention center employee said. "Even if it's just another year until we have to figure it out again, you know, it's giving us time."

County board members say they are hopeful, but can't make a guarantee.

"That doesn't mean it'll stay open, that doesn't mean it'll shut down," Vice Chairman Keven Hungate, with the Franklin Co. board, said. "But what it does mean is like Jack said, 'this board is very supportive of that detention center.'"

More than a dozen center employees showed up to the meeting. It houses teens from 28 Illinois counties.

If the juvenile detention center shuts down, 23 people would lose their jobs and the 20 juveniles housed there would need to be moved elsewhere.

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