Lack of beds, staffing at Wayne County Juvenile Detention Center brings call for change

‘Kids come in there with a problem and go out with a worse problem’

A lack of staffing and beds at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Center brought a call for change at the facility. The county lacks applicants, and if you add into that mix too many teens who have court-ordered placement in a secure treatment facility, you have a problem.

DETROIT – A lack of staffing and beds at the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Center brought a call for change at the facility.

The county lacks applicants, and if you add into that mix too many teens who have court-ordered placement in a secure treatment facility, you have a problem.

The Detroit Free Press first reported the state is allowing the JDF to operate under a temporary disaster plan because it’s having a hard time hiring.

Wayne County Commissioners are extremely concerned about the situation.

“Kids come in there with a problem and go out with a worse problem,” said Commissioner Irma Clark-Coleman.

The commissioners heard from the Chief Judge of the Wayne County Circuit Court about why the issue is greater than the JDF, which is not meant to operate as a secure therapeutic environment.

“It’s shocking in my view to know there are only 150 some odd beds in the entire state that are secure beds for juveniles that judges have determined can just not be at home, can’t be on probation,” said Timothy Kenny. “They need to be in a residential environment.”

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans sent a statement on the measures being taken to ease the strain.


About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.