The Savannah Morning News is reporting that the detention center can take 105 kids before juveniles start being routed to another facility. That happened eight times from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011.
During that time period, the facility was at or over capacity for boys on 75 days, or 21 percent of the time, the newspaper said. For girls the facility was at or over capacity for 123 days, or 34 percent of the time.
There’s a detention facility an hour away in Claxton where Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) officials route kids when the Savannah facility gets too full. The problem is that DJJ doesn’t provide transportation and local police don’t have the time to constantly transport young people to the alternate facility, Savannah-Chatham police Chief Willie Lovett told the newspaper.
The overcrowding appears to be in direct result of the May 1 closures of youth detention centers in Blakely and Griffin brought on by state budget cuts, leaving 20 facilities statewide. The children were moved out gradually so Savannah reportedly was left to pick up the kids from Effingham County that used to go to the Claxton facility. Read the full story here.