Skip to main content

Saying incarceration alone doesn't work, Olmsted County closes its juvenile detention center

The closure mirrors a nationwide trend as communities shift away from juvenile detention centers.
The Olmsted County Juvenile Detention Center in Rochester

The Olmsted County Juvenile Detention Center in Rochester

After 22 years, a small juvenile detention center in Rochester is closing.

The Olmsted County Juvenile Detention Center says its 16-bed facility’s occupancy has declined over the past five years. This is partially because the county has switched its focus to restorative justice initiatives, the county said.

“The evidence shows that juvenile incarceration alone does not work; in fact, in many cases, it can lead to juveniles experiencing further issues with the law as adults,” Dodge-Filmore-Olmsted Community Corrections director Travis Gransee said in a statement. 

"That’s why with each juvenile we work with, we take a multi-systemic approach that involves connecting the youth and the family with community services."

The move comes as advocates push for the release of children held in juvenile detention centers to limit the spread of COVID-19, but the county has not yet clarified to what extent the pandemic was a factor.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Instead, the county emphasized that operating the center no longer made financial sense with so few occupants – mirroring a national trend.

Nationwide, the number of incarcerated youth decreased from 107,493 in 1999 to 43,580 in 2017, according to Kids Count Data Center.

The center's two occupants have moved to a facility in Dakota County, and its 11 full-time employees may transition to other county jobs while maintaining their salary, the county said. 

Next Up

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man dies after being shot during argument in Minneapolis

It's the 70th homicide in Minneapolis this year.

NearNorthEncampment

Minneapolis police, city employees clear out Near North encampment

This comes as colder weather moves through the state.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.32.46 PM

New T.J. Maxx to open in the Twin Cities this month

Opening day will kick off with extended hours.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 3.04.24 PM

Former Hennepin County commissioner arrested for DWI

The 61-year-old was being held in Hennepin County Jail as of Thursday morning.

Evie Carshare

Electric carshare network showing growth in Twin Cities

Over 25,000 trips have been logged in a six-month span.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 1.11.01 PM

Popular Apple Valley ice arena could be replaced

A concept plan to transform the ice arena is being considered.

21a171abc8c6a3619739a786eed516a563206c38bec4a972944e80fa213b9ab6

Low river levels bring cancellations for St. Paul-New Orleans Viking cruises

The low water also impacted some barge traffic making its way down the river.

10.6 Tempest Weather Thumbnail

Drought tightens grip as Twin Cities reaches 'extreme' level

By this time last year, drought was fading fast in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 11.23.49 AM

Woman missing since car crash has been found

The 49-year-old is believed to have been driving when the crash happened.

COVID-19 vaccine testing Mall of America

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, Oct. 4

The 7-day average number of cases has been dropping.

Related

Screen Shot 2021-08-01 at 9.16.26 AM

'Zero respect for authority': Olmsted Co. Fair wracked by wave of juvenile disturbances

Fair officials imposed strict new rules to deal with the problem.

Rochester man dies in motorcycle crash in Olmsted County

The motorcycle left the roadway and hit a sign.

Screen Shot 2021-04-16 at 10.06.46 AM

Deputy dies suddenly while on duty at Olmsted County Jail

The deputy had worked for the county since 1995.

rochester city hall

COVID-19: City of Rochester limiting in-person services, closing recreation facilities

It comes as Olmsted County and the state is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Quarry

Stearns County closes popular swimming quarries

The quarries have do not have enough space for social distancing, the county said.