Letters to the Editor

Correction on Detention Center

I wish to express my appreciation to the Whidbey News-Times for all of the coverage of the Island County Juvenile Detention Center. We are extremely proud of our facilities and the resources that it provides to the children and families of Island County.

However, as a point of clarification, in the article dated May 20, 2006, “Attorney general tours Juvenile Detention Center,” our average daily population is not 17 as indicated in the article. Seventeen has been the maximum number of youth in our facility at any one time. Since our opening in April 2006, our average daily population is 9.39, which is more consistent to the average detention population of 2005 which was approximately 10.

Although detention is a useful resource, it is only utilized at the end of a continuum of less restrictive options. It is generally used as a last resort to gain compliance to court orders and to protect the community and the youth. We look forward to further articles from the Whidbey News-Times on our facility and would welcome anyone from the community to contact us for further information and how to become involved as a volunteer or serve on the Detention Advisory Committee.

Michael S. Merringer, administrator

Island County Juvenile and Family Court Services

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