The Scotts Bluff County Commissioners have rejected renewing a contract with the state of Wyoming to hold that state’s juveniles at the county jail following a discussion that raised the possibility they might consider suspending the local juvenile detention operations for a second time.
Board Chair Mark Masterton was emphatic the county should not consider obligating themselves to holding juveniles when it was costing them $3,500 a day to farm out 78 adult prisoners to other facilities because that section of the jail remains overcrowded. Three of Masterton’s colleagues agreed, but Commissioner Ken Meyer cast the lone vote to renew the contract.
Meyer said he did not think now was the time to mess with the juvenile contract and said any talk of suspending housing juveniles to hold more adults in that area again should be squelched. Meyer maintained the county still needed a place to hold troublesome local youth committing adult crimes.
The vote Monday night followed Wyoming’s refusal this summer to accept adult prisoners from Scotts Bluff County at the Torrington jail. That was something the commissioners felt would help relieve the local adult overcrowding situation and allow them to open the juvenile area when it was closed on a temporary basis at mid-summer.