Clark County is planning for a special center to better supervise juvenile delinquents, offering school programming, mental health therapy and drug counseling, among other services, in one place.
The county has set aside $630,000 cover the cost of five probation officers, one clinician and one supervisor to open an evening reporting center operated by the Clark County Department of Juvenile Justice Services. The intention is to help prevent youth who are already under supervision from reoffending or escalating further into the system, officials said.
Those who work with this population had been asking for a reporting center since 2004, Clark County Family Court Judge William Voy said.
Some youths who are on probation will be required to report to the center after school. The county regularly seeks ways to decrease the number of young people in detention while maintaining low recidivism and protecting the children and the community, county spokesman Erik Pappa said.
The center would prevent those in intense supervision, who are in the community with or without an ankle bracelet, from escalating to the next level and being sent to Spring Mountain Youth Camp or Caliente Youth Center, Voy explained.
Candidates for the center are in “medium supervision,” which could include juveniles exhibiting risky behavior, those who have been detained once or twice, skip school, are abusive or affiliated with a gang, said John “Jack” Martin, director for the Clark County Juvenile Justice Services Department.
There are about 400 youth under medium supervision in Clark County, Martin said, but officials say they hope the center will serve about 40 at a time.
“This is going to be a pretty intensive program,” Martin said. “We really want to target a very specific population.”
The county hopes to open the center in October or November, and is looking for a location — preferably in a vacant, county-owned building in an area with a high crime rate. Neighborhoods with the ZIP codes 89030, 89106 and 89108, are on the list.
The Dr. William U. Pearson Community Center on West Carey in North Las Vegas is under consideration.
If the concept works, and youths transition to less intensive supervision, the county may expand it to other areas, Martin said, “To have a safe environment where kids can grow and stop the escalating of criminal behaviors.”
Contact Yesenia Amaro at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0440. Follow @YeseniaAmaro on Twitter.