Detroit Evening Report: Public health emergency declared for Wayne County juvenile jail

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Wayne County Juvenile Detention

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Wayne County Executive Warren Evans has declared a public health emergency at the county’s troubled juvenile detention center.

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A recent report by the Detroit Free Press detailed dangerous and overcrowded conditions.

During his State of the County address Tuesday night, Evans said part of the problem is a lack of residential treatment facilities where some kids have spent more than 100 additional days in detention instead of getting treatment.

“The situation has become untenable for nearly 140 youths that are currently residing there,” Evans said during his speech at the Ford Performing Arts Center in Dearborn. “Extraordinary action has become necessary.”

The facility can comfortably hold 80 inmates — there were 137 juveniles counted as of Tuesday.

Evans encouraged state officials to help remedy the problem.

“As our partnership with the state progresses, our hope is that we’ll be able to rely on them to do their part and get our children out of our facility and into the long-term placements they deserve,” Evans said.

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  • Nargis Rahman
    Nargis Hakim Rahman is the Civic Reporter at 101.9 WDET. Rahman graduated from Wayne State University, where she was a part of the Journalism Institute of Media Diversity.