Letters to the Editor

Feedback: No doubt it’s a juvie jail

I read Eric Berto’s article (News-Times, Oct. 23). I like the term jail rather than Juvenile Detention Center. The article is right. Juveniles do require things not found in an adult jail, such as classrooms, with multi-grade teachers, medical staff and indoor recreation area. The last is also required in an adult facility. I’m sure that lounges with television sets is not a requirement.

A multipurpose room is what is needed. Meaning a room with tables, chairs, books and games (not electronic). This room can also be used as classrooms, as the juveniles are required to attend school during the day. If there are two classrooms, then the facility needs no more than two TVs. The privilege to watch TV must be earned. Was a bed made, room cleaned and homework done? Were the rules of the jail followed?

Eric said it right, “jail.” The court has found that the juvenile has committed a crime! The court has determined that the juvenile shall be removed from the community where he/she has broken the law, for a set period of time. The jail’s requirement is to keep them safe, fed, taught, and give them a place to sleep and keep them away from the public, where they can do no more harm or damage.

We need a juvenile facility. I’ve heard more than one juvenile say, “if you’re going to do crime, do it in Island County they have no place to send you.” Or, “as soon as I turn 18-years-old, I won’t do this no more.” Hopefully we will get this place operational. I’ve waited for seven years now.

With a good staff and an austere environment, where they must follow the rules, we will impress them enough so that they will have no desire to come back again as juveniles or adults.

So people please write the Juvenile Court Services Department and the commissioners and make your wishes known. Don’t make the mistake of having a fun place for them to go. They just may want to come back.

Francis (Frank) Gavin

Island County jailer retired

Oak Harbor

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