COUNTY BREAKS GROUND ON NEW JUVENILE DETENTION FACILITY

COUNTY BREAKS GROUND ON NEW JUVENILE DETENTION FACILITY

With about 75 regional, state and local dignitaries in attendance, Doña Ana County broke ground Wednesday, March 1, 2000, on the site of the new 50-bed Juvenile Detention Facility at 1850 Copper Loop in Las Cruces.
At the ground-breaking, Commission Chairman Carlos Garza called the facility “a $4 million investment in our collective peace of mind, and an investment in second chances for juvenile offenders.”
When the doors to the facility open next January, Garza said Doña Ana County will be at the forefront of juvenile detention in the State of New Mexico. “The youths who come to this facility will be offered an array of programs designed to help them break bad habits and turn their lives around. They will be supervised by a staff of professionals who will both maintain discipline and instill hope. Our goal will never be to warehouse young offenders, but to set before them some of the tools they will need to return to society as productive members.”
The Juvenile Detention Facility has a construction budget of $3.9 million. Upon completion, it will house up to 50 juveniles in a 20,993-square-foot building completely separate from the adult detention center. Meals, however, will be coordinated through the adult facility kitchen, thereby creating construction and operating savings for the county.
The Juvenile Detention Facility will be located on the southwest corner of the detention center complex property in a building designed by Custer-Basarich Architects of Albuquerque and constructed by Sam Corp of New Mexico.
The facility will employ an additional 32 people, along with the 15 who oversee the current 5,200-square-foot juvenile wing of the adult detention center. Under a temporary operating agreement with the state, juveniles are currently kept in the detention center under sight and sound separation from the adult population. When the new juvenile facility opens, the space currently used for juveniles will be opened up for adult offenders.
“We are obligated to give each boy and girl who comes into this facility the programs and incentives that will pave the way for productive change,” Garza said. “This facility and its staffing will give us this county’s best-ever shot at this worthy goal. This facility is designed from the ground up to signal the beginning of a new chapter for the troubled youth of our many fine communities. Together, using this facility as one of our tools, we can be the catalysts for positive change.”