Contract could bring more than $2.1 million in annual revenues to County
LINDEN, NJ— The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders will vote on a measure that could clear the way for the County of Union to accept juvenile detention detainees from Hudson County into the County’s Detention Center in Linden. Approval of the measure next Thursday would clear the way to finalize a two-year contract that could bring $2.1 million annually in additional revenues to Union County.
Under the proposed terms of the contract, Hudson County would pay Union County $230 per day per juvenile detainee over the first year and $240 per day during the second year. The contract would guarantee that at least 20 juveniles be housed at the Union County facility. Hudson County, on the other end, would realize as much as $5 million in savings from shipping detainees to the Union County Juvenile Detention Center in Linden.
“This is an example of good governmental policy that would maximize the revenue potential of an asset the County has in our newer Juvenile Detention Center,” Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak said. “We are optimistic a final arrangement will be worked out soon.”
In March, 2008, Union County replaced its former thirty-four bed detention facility with a state of the art, 76-bed, 70,000 square foot facility. While the facility is first and foremost a secure detention center, its overarching theme is to promote the concept of normative justice where secure detention is viewed as an opportunity to change behavior in a way that will benefit the offender, family and the community at-large.
In another measure that raises revenue, Union County announced in 2009 it had executed a contract—that is still ongoing–with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DH&H) to provide 10 beds at its Juvenile Detention Center. The contract generates more than $1 million in annual revenues to County coffers. The children held in the detention center under this agreement have been involved in the juvenile justice system and have left their country of origin for multiple reasons such as to rejoin family members already in the U.S., to escape abusive family relationships, fleeing political or religious persecution or to find work to support their families in their country of origin.
Through its Division of Unaccompanied Children’s Services (DUCS), the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is responsible for providing a safe and appropriate environment from the time these children are placed in custody, reunified with family members or sponsors in the U.S. or until they are removed to their country of origin by the Department of Homeland Security.