CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office announced it will close the Mecklenburg County Juvenile Detention Center later this year.
The discontinuation is effective at the end of a three-year agreement with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety on December 1.
In its budget submission to the Mecklenburg County Manager, the sheriff's office said detention center operations were considered because of depopulation efforts recommended by the State. It comes after inspections that found staffing at the Detention Center Central inadequate to operate that facility.
Sheriff Gary McFadden provided the following statement along with the announcement:
“I remain committed to the welfare of the youth in Mecklenburg County as I have been over the past four decades. We really had to prioritize the services that we are mandated to provide and discontinuing operations at the Juvenile Detention Center was not an easy decision, but when you consider the operating costs for a non-mandated function it made sound financial sense to end juvenile operations at the end of the three-year agreement with NCDPS. MCSO has a responsibility to submit a fiscally responsible budget and our focus must be on the mandated services that we provide to the citizens of Mecklenburg County. It is the State of North Carolina’s responsibility to provide juvenile detention services and with reduced funding and rising daily cost this area had to be considered for reduction.”
Residents of the juvenile detention center will be transferred to other NCDPS juvenile detention facilities in North Carolina.
Most employees are eligible to transfer to Mecklenburg County Detention Center – Central and other vacant positions.
In December, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office said 23 juveniles currently being held at the detention center facing criminal charges in counties other than Mecklenburg County would be relocated due to staffing shortages.