County to seek grant dollars to reestablish juvenile detention programmingWORTHINGTON — Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a request seeking $400,000 in grant dollars to reestablish a juvenile detention facility and programming in Worthington.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a request seeking $400,000 in grant dollars to reestablish a juvenile detention facility and programming in Worthington.
Nobles County Family Services Administrator Mary Fischer said the grant, if received, would be split over two years and would fund a large share of the estimated $280,000 annual staffing costs for the program. Among the services she outlined include secure detention, in-patient and out-patient chemical dependency, behavioral programming and shelter.
“Once we get the program up and running … we should be able to break even if not make (income),” Fischer told commissioners.
The grant application must be submitted by July 23, and Fischer said the county would have until mid-September to accept the funds if they are offered.
“What we’re hoping, by securing the grant, is to decrease the risk for Nobles County for going into a venture like this,” she added.
Since the closing of KidsPeace Prairie Academy in Worthington, Nobles County has had to send its juveniles to the Brown County Detention Center in New Ulm.
However, recent cuts made by Gov. Tim Pawlenty have made it difficult for the New Ulm facility to make all of its programs available.
“As time goes by, our access to these services becomes farther and farther away,” Fischer said. “We are hoping to put together a programming strategy to meet the needs of our kids and make the lowest risk for Nobles County.”
Fischer said other counties in the region have to do the same, and have voiced support for Nobles County Family Services’ idea to rejuvenate the program. Among the counties anticipated to utilize a program if it were reestablished include Rock, Pipestone, Murray, Cottonwood, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Watonwan and others, she said.
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