Pushing For A New Juvenile Justice Center In Tulsa

The people who work in Tulsa County's juvenile system are praying that the voters will support them on Tuesday. The ballot will contain issues to expand the David Moss Center and to build a new Juvenile Justice Center.

The juvenile center would require a tax increase of .041% over 15-years.

The people who do the work, say the current building is worn out and overcrowd. It was built for 50, but it now houses 150 employees. The building is so old they have problems getting parts for the mechanical facilities and the antiquated security system.

County Commissioner Karen Keith says having a functional court system is a basic government function, so she's hoping the voters will say yes. One building houses the courts and the detention facilities. That creates a problem, because the center only has one waiting room.

So that creates a dangerous mix of visitors in one place. Juvenile crime suspects sit next to people who are involved in custody cases or adoptions. It's not uncommon for child abuse victims and the suspects in their cases, to be in the same room before court visits.

Keith says it's a miracle that they've avoided problems with violence.

The building can't be expanded or rebuilt in the same location because it's on a flood plain.

So a new facility would be built in the downtown area.

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