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Juvenile Offenders: More Rehab or More Jail Beds?

Scott County
Scott County Juvenile Detention Center

Scott County may more than double the size of its Juvenile Detention Center. So, on Saturday, the Juvenile Justice Coalition of the Quad Cities will host a community forum at Modern Woodmen Park on the issue. 

Scott County Supervisor Ken Croken says that justice and jail are not synonymous.

"I believe that we need to develop a plan for not only how we will increase the number of cells, but how can we reduce the number of children that we are detaining through other means like restorative justice programs."

These programs include mediation, restitution, court diversion, community service, and community supervision.

Croken says if Scott County continues to incarcerate juveniles at its current rate, it will need that additional space to house them.

But, he believes that while public safety demands that violent juvenile offenders be incarcerated, the county should consider new approaches to stress rehabilitation. He also says increasing the detention center's capacity by 250% would cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

"I am not opposed to building a larger juvenile detention center if the nature of the detainee requires that. But I think that should be our last resort, not the first."

Shaena Fazal, Chief of Policy, Advocacy and External Communications for Youth Advocate Programs will be the keynote speaker at the event. The Juvenile Justice Coalition's community forum will be held this Saturday at noon at the Champions Club Room at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport. It is free and open to the public.