Sonora, CA — Despite a ribbon cutting in early January, the Mother Lode Regional Juvenile Detention Facility is not yet housing any juveniles.
County Probation Officer Linda Downey reports that it is partly due to a delay in getting all of the security electronics in place. In addition, a county health inspection was recently completed, but a final building inspection still needs to be done. She estimates that the facility could open by late this week. It remains unclear how many juveniles will initially be admitted to the facility. The 24,630 ft. facility has 30 beds and is situated at the Law and Justice Center property off Old Wards Ferry Road.
Tuolumne County received $16-million in state grant funding to construct the facility. County officials estimated earlier this year it will take around $400,000-500,000 more per year to operate the facility versus continuing with the current way of sending kids out of the county.
Many county officials have stated it is a social cost of keeping juveniles closer to their families in hopes that they get back on the right track.