Douglas County Considering Outsourcing Juvenile Detention Out Of State

Local Facilities Don't Meet Standards For Housing Young Offenders

Aimee (CC-BY)

A northern Wisconsin county is considering housing juvenile offenders in Minnesota because they are struggling to meet standards on where minors can be held.

A map of detention facilities in Wisconsin counties. Courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Douglas County Administrator Andy Lisak said the Sheriff’s Department could contract with a juvenile detention center in Duluth.

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“What we’re currently doing is transporting juveniles down to a detention center in Eau Claire,” Lisak said.

Jail Administrator Robert Galovich said that’s because the county jail doesn’t meet regulations for housing young people.

“They don’t meet the criteria of being out of sight, out of the area. They need to be completely isolated,” Galovich said.

That’s one of the requirements states must meet to receive federal incentive money, according to information provided by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. It’s part of an effort to get facilities to comply with federal standards. The idea is that separating juveniles limits exposure to threats or abuse from adult offenders.

The state has 13 juvenile detention centers but none are farther north than Eau Claire or Marathon counties.