Tonasket opposes moving juvenile facility

TONASKET – Mayor Patrick Plumb and all five Tonasket City Council members signed a resolution for maintaining and operating a juvenile detention facility in Okanogan County. The resolution was adopted at the May 10 city council meeting.

Resolution No. 2016-08 states:

Whereas, pursuant to RCW 13.16.030 the construction, acquisition and maintenance of juvenile detention facilities is a mandatory function of the county; and

whereas, pursuant to RCW 13.40.038 and the Juvenile Justice Act of 1977 it is state policy that all county juvenile detention facilities provide a humane, safe, and rehabilitative environment and that youth remain in the community whenever possible; and

whereas, the Okanogan County Juvenile Detention Facility has operated faithfully providing public safety and service to the citizens of Okanogan County since 1974; and

whereas, the Board of County Commissioners began discussions for potentially closing the Okanogan County Juvenile Detention Facility and for contracting detention services outside the county; and

whereas, the effect of closing the Okanogan County Juvenile Detention Facility will have negative impacts both socially and economically on the communities and families of Okanogan County; and

whereas, the costs to contract with other facilities outside of the county are significantly higher; and

now, therefore, be it resolved by the city council of the city of Tonasket, Washington, that it is the desire to fully support the Okanogan County Juvenile Detention Facility to continue providing services for the public and we urge the Okanogan County Commissioners to do the same.

“I have talked to many people involved in the system and in the county justice system who have expressed grave misgivings about the juvenile detention center closing,” said Plumb. “We need to take a strong stand on this. We don’t want to throw these kids away.”

The motion to adopt the resolution and make it an official statement of the city of Tonasket was made by Council Member Claire Jeffko and seconded by Council Member Dennis Brown.

Tonasket opposes moving juvenile facility