$1 million grant passes in Angelina County to expand juvenile detention center

ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KETK) — The Angelina County Commissioners Court approved a $1 million grant that will add five new beds to the juvenile detention center.

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Mark Gorman, the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer of Angelina County, met with the court during their regular session on Tuesday asking the court to approve a $1 million Texas Juvenile Justice Department Detention Expansion grant.

The Angelina County Juvenile Detention Center Services is a hybrid department ran by the county and state. Gorman said by statute, the center is a county department, with the county providing equipment buildings and office space. The center also entered into a contract with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department primarily for services including counseling, salary and fringe operating.

Currently, the facility is an 11-bed pre-adjudication facility, a place where kids are placed as they await something such as a court date or placement.

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The grant would add five new beds, to be shared with the southeast region for five years as part of the grant agreement. It will also cover the costs of doors, locks, toilets and water basins.

“It’s only five beds, and a lot of people might think, why would we go into this for only five beds? But five beds is a lot in the juvenile business because at the end of the day, we try not to lock kids up because it has it adds a risk factor to their life,” Gorman said. “It’s an opportunity to have bed space without asking you guys for more money.”

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