Polk County Sheriff’s Office on pace to save between $1.6 to $2.4 million through operation of the PCSO Juvenile Detention Facility compared to Department of Juvenile Justice cost
First quarter fiscal year costs reported; $413,023 compared to DJJ estimated cost of $1,024,271.30
“I am especially pleased that we are saving the taxpayers of Polk County hundreds of thousands of dollars—and it has only been a few months of operation. The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) was charging unsustainably high rates to Polk County to house pre-adjudicated juveniles at their facility in East Bartow. We are now operating a better, safer, cleaner, and more modern facility with better trained personnel at a much lower cost.” —Sheriff Grady Judd
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has operated the new PCSO Juvenile Detention Facility for adjudicated juveniles at a significantly reduced cost in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2011/2012 (October, November, and December, 2011) compared to estimated costs of the Juvenile Detention Center operated by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
According to figures released by the PCSO Department of Detention and Fiscal Services Division, the cost to operate the Juvenile Detention Facility was reduced by $611,248 in the first three months of operation. The total cost to operate the PCSO facility for the three months was $413,023 compared to $1,024,271, which is the estimated amount the Department of Juvenile Justice would have charged Polk County, based on the actual fiscal year 2010-2011 per diem they charged the Polk County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC). The Sheriff’s Office per diem for the three months averaged $119.02 per juvenile per day—roughly 60% less than the amount DJJ was billing the BoCC in 2010 and 2011. (See detail below.)
Prior to the Sheriff’s Office assuming responsibility for securely housing pre-adjudicated juveniles in Polk County on October 1, 2011, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) billed the Polk County BoCC to house pre-adjudicated juveniles at their facility in East Bartow. For example, from July 2009 to June 2010, DJJ estimated that Polk County would pay $237.03 per juvenile per day—Polk county taxpayers actually ended up paying $271.25 per juvenile per day. From July 2010 to June 2011 DJJ estimated that Polk County would pay $286.12 per juvenile per day—Polk taxpayers actually ended up paying $292.90—a total of $3,906,754.
The Polk County Board of County Commissioners paid the Department of Juvenile Justice $821,178 for the first three months of the state’s fiscal year (July, August, and September, 2011). The difference between what DJJ charged the county in July, August, and September, 2011 compared to what the Sheriff’s Office operated its facility in October, November, and December, 2011 is $408,155. This savings annualized would be $1,632,620. This figure does not count additional billing at the end of the state’s fiscal year—last year, DJJ additionally billed the Polk Board of County Commissioners $746,238.68.
The Sheriff’s Office Juvenile Detention Facility—maintained separately from any and all adult inmates—has juvenile-specific programs for education, medical care, nutrition, behavior management, use of control, parental contact and physical activities for juveniles. The Sheriff’s Office juvenile facility undergoes rigorous annual inspections by external national and state accreditation agencies and, as mandated by state law, the facility will be inspected by Certified Florida Model Jail Standards (FMJS) Inspectors. The FMJS criteria were developed specifically for juveniles by comparing and integrating standards used by the Department of Juvenile Justice.
The Sheriff’s Office Juvenile Detention Facility is operated and managed by certified detention deputies who are highly qualified and trained. The PCSO medical section is nationally accredited and staffed by well qualified professionals, including a medical doctor and psychiatrist, advanced registered nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and medical assistants. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office maintains eight independent professional accreditations.