Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The Morris County Freeholders have approved an agreement to accept Hudson County youths at the Morris County Juvenile Detention Center in Morris Township, which would serve as an emergency backup facility for potential overflows of youthful offenders from Hudson County’s current lockup arrangement.

Morris County would provide housing, meals, supervision and in-house medical and mental health services for the youths, under terms of an agreement approved by the freeholders on Wednesday evening. The contract runs through Dec. 31, 2016.

Hudson County would pay $215 per day, per youth to house the youths in Morris County, plus a one-time $100 medical examination fee per youth, and provide all required transportation and pay for any out-of-facility medical, dental and mental health services costs not covered by Medicaid or a third-party insurer.

“This is a good deal for Morris County, which has the space and capability to handle potential Hudson County overflows at the detention center, and which will financially benefit the from the arrangement. It is a great example how sharing services can benefit government and the taxpayers,’’ said Freeholder John Cesaro, who chairs the Freeholder’s Shared Services Committee.

Located on West Hanover Avenue in Morris Township, the 42-bed Morris County Juvenile Detention Center is operated by the Morris County Department of Human Services. It currently houses juveniles from Morris, Sussex, Hunterdon and Warren Counties, through shared services agreements.

 The mission of the Morris County Juvenile Detention Center is to provide secure, short term care and custody to juveniles who are accused or adjudicated, pending court action, or awaiting transfer to another facility, and who cannot be served in an open setting.

 Hudson County is closing its juvenile detention center and contracted with Union County to house and provide services to a maximum of 20 Hudson County youths. Pursuant to state Juvenile Justice Commission regulations, Hudson County also is required to have a designated backup centers, to be used if the Union County Juvenile Detention Center reaches its contracted capacity.

It costs Morris County $2.3 million-a-year to operate its juvenile center, which has 33 fill-time and 9 part-time employees. The county recouped $659,475 last year due to contracts with Warren, Sussex and Hunterdon counties, for a minimum of five, three and two beds daily. 

For more information on the Morris County Juvenile Detention Center, please visit: http://www.morrishumanservices.org/detention/