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Budget cuts may close Shawnee juvenile detention center

Pottawatomie County Public Safety Trust says the state has cut its payments for housing juvenile offenders by 10 percent, putting Shawnee facility in the hole about $3,500 a month.

BY ANN KELLEY Modified: May 24, 2010 at 5:59 am •  Published: May 24, 2010

/> The agency has contracts with private entities for 300 beds across the state.

"We are concerned about losing contract beds, but right now there’s not much we can do to help the situation,” Christian said. "Our goal is to make cuts across the board so we can still maintain a diverse, comprehensive system.”

Christian said many programs and services are being cut. The work force is being reduced by 20 percent, or 200 employees, he said.

Pottawatomie County jail trust member Russell Frantz said he’d like to see Carter Hall remain open. Frantz, who is Shawnee’s police chief, said there are too few juvenile centers in the state and having one in Shawnee makes it more convenient and affordable for area law enforcement. Above all, Carter Hall provides a positive community service.

"It’s not just a lock down and throw away the key,” Frantz said. "They’ve helped a lot of troubled kids with education, counseling and training.”