Miller Co. Juvenile Detention Center reaches funding agreement with city, county

*NOTE: This is a stock photo.
*NOTE: This is a stock photo.(piqsels)
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 1:40 PM CDT
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MILLER COUNTY, Ark. (KSLA) - There’s some good news for employees at the Juvenile Detention Center in Miller County following a joint meeting with county and Texarkana, Ark. city leaders.

Earlier in 2022, the possible closure of the Miller County Juvenile Detention Center, located in Texarkana, was announced. When the facility was built more than 20 years ago, there was an agreement with the county and city to split the cost of operations, but county leaders say the city has not lived up to their end of the deal.

“They have not paid on that in several years and it was continuous of the court. We could not continue to operate the juvenile detention center with us doing the complete funding,” said John Haltam, chairman of the Miller County Juvenile Detention Committee.

Tuesday night (May 3), the detention and finance committees met with city leaders to consider another intergovernmental agreement to keep the center up and running. The agreement states the city will pay $80 per day for each city juvenile housed at the facility.

“It’s a first step. I think it is a step in the right direction and we hope we can continue to work with the city and county,” Haltam said.

Linda Dudley is the assistant administrator for the juvenile center and has worked at the center for 22 years.

“I feel like everything is going to work out and we will keep our jobs and I’m excited,” she said.

“I tell them to be optimistic, I tell them to continue to do a good job. They have done a good job. I think it is one of the tougher jobs in the county,” Haltam said.

These subcommittees accepted the city’s proposal and will present it to the entire quorum court for approval. Officials say they will again address funding for the juvenile detention center when considering 2023’s fiscal budget, but for now, the doors will remain open for business.

“We hope we can continue to maintain the juvenile detention center in its current condition and we hope the city will continue to work with us,” said Haltam.

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