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Sunday May 24th, 2015 7:21AM

State to close youth detention center in NW Ga.

By The Associated Press
DALLAS - State officials say they are closing a juvenile detention center in northwest Georgia.

Department of Juvenile Justice Assistance Commissioner Mark Sexton on Monday announced the closure of the Paulding Regional Youth Detection Center.

The decision will put 68 people out of jobs, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported ( http://bit.ly/1gVszts ). The closure also will lead local sheriffs in the six counties that now use the Paulding Regional Youth Detection Center to take them to other centers in Clayton or Floyd counties.

Sexton said the decision to close the facility in Paulding County was based totally on economics. He said the Florida-based company that runs it, Youth Services International, would continue to operate the state's regional youth detention center in Crisp County and the long-term Youth Development Campus in Milan.

The move should save the department about $3 million the rest of this budget year and $6 million in the next year, according to Sexton.

The facility is expected to close Dec. 31.

Currently, there are 45 teenage boys being held in the 100-bed facility, including 14 who have already been before a judge and are waiting for a cell in a long-term facility. The others are juveniles who have been arrested in Paulding, Carroll, Cherokee, Coweta, Douglas, Haralson and Heard counties and have not yet had their cases adjudicated.
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