Editor's note: This is part of an everyday series exploring individual line items in state and local budgets. Read the entire series at www.dailypress.com/watchdog.
In Newport News, more than 1,700 felony or misdemeanor complaints about juveniles work their way through the court system every year, and dealing with what judges decide the kids need – up to the point they go to a state correctional center – is the job of the city's Juvenile Services department.
It stretches $7.3 million a year to run everything from a secure detention center – the lock-up that holds young people for up 90 days – to crisis intervention services for families to electronic monitoring programs to court-ordered counseling.
The biggest part of the budget, though, goes for the detention center. It will cost $4.9 million to run next year, mostly for the 93 men and women who work there. State Department of Juvenile Justice data show about 750 cases a year involve a stay in the detention center
The department's administrative expense runs just over $1 million. Electronic monitoring, at $773,000, is the next biggest piece.
Next year's budget includes a $10,500 cut for travel, training, certifications, telecommunications and mileage reimbursement, but also a $9,900 increase in medical services, $52,000 in its food budget and $55,000 for repairs to the detention center.