In a bipartisan vote at the state capitol on Mar. 7, the FY 25 state budget passed the house which includes $3.8 million to begin the development of a Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC) for Gwinnett County, which it currently does not have.

With Gwinnett County not having its own RYDC to house youth offenders, juvenile intake officers are forced to transport them across county lines to be housed in neighboring jurisdictions like Hall and Cobb Counties. The county’s lack of juvenile accommodations and programs poses numerous challenges for rehabilitating the county’s juvenile offenders.

House Majority Leader Chuck Efstration, Gwinnett County Sheriff Keybo Taylor, and Juvenile Court Judge Robert Waller applauded the passage of HB 916 in the house and the inclusion of the $3.8 million earmarked for the development of an RYDC for Gwinnett County.

“I want to thank Governor Kemp for including these important funds in his FY 25 budget proposal and House Appropriations Chairman Matt Hatchett for keeping those funds in the House version,” said Majority Leader Efstration. “Funding for a long-deserved RYDC in Gwinnett County represents a major step towards keeping our communities safer and ensuring our law enforcement officers have the tools necessary for success.”

“The introduction of a RYDC will yield a multitude of advantages for our community,” said Sheriff Keybo Taylor. “Gwinnett law enforcement will be accommodated by eliminating the requirement to transport juveniles across counties. This initiative is especially significant for single-parent, minority, and at-risk households, offering local resources, reducing the risk of behavioral issues, and fostering family reunification.”

“The Juvenile Court enthusiastically supports the development of the proposed Gwinnett RYDC. Having children housed near their homes, the court and treatment providers will make for better outcomes for them, their families, and the community,” said Juvenile Court Judge Robert Waller. “The new facility affords a unique opportunity for Gwinnett County and the state of Georgia to build a secure and humane detention center that will be a model for the entire country. We support the concurrent development of community-based treatment and supervision programs that will reduce the number of children detained and the length of stay for those who must be held.”

The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office also thanks Governor Kemp for appropriating the funds for the RYDC which will make the county better able to provide the programs necessary to rehabilitate the county’s juvenile offenders once it passes the senate and is signed by the Governor.

For more information on HB 916, click here.

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