AZTEC – The San Juan County Juvenile Detention Center will soon house youths from two more New Mexico counties as options for some counties shrink.
The county commission this week approved contracts with Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties to keep youth at the facility in Farmington at a cost of $225 per individual per day. San Juan County already has agreements with McKinley and Cibola counties.
The Farmington Daily Times reports that youth from Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties currently are housed at Santa Fe County’s juvenile detention center but that facility is limiting who it takes in and could close in the future.
There are six juvenile detention centers in New Mexico and two may close.
San Juan County Juvenile Services Administrator Traci Neff said the state may move to having regional juvenile detention centers. If that happens, San Juan County would service the northwest part of New Mexico.
Since juvenile detention centers have to meet more requirements and can be costly to operate, Neff said some counties save money by closing their centers and transporting youth elsewhere.
New Mexico has seen a more than 80% drop in its youth incarcerations over the last decade due to reforms aimed at less restrictive placements and early intervention, according to legislative analysts.