The Benton-Franklin Juvenile Justice Center might need extra security because of a state Supreme Court ruling prohibiting youths from being shackled or physically restrained in juvenile court.
The ruling takes effect Sept. 1.
Juvenile court Administrator Darryl Banks told Franklin County commissioners at their meeting Wednesday that he is concerned about kids either attempting to assault someone in the courtroom or running away.
The court has one armed security officer in the courtroom and another at the door. When a youth appears threatening, they will bring the officer from the entrance to the courtroom, Banks said.
"But that leaves the front door unsecured, and a staff member has to cover," Banks said.
Banks will need another security officer in the courtroom, he said. That is estimated to cost $43,300 for 30 hours a week.
Banks will first look in his own budget for the money, he said. If he can't find it, he will have to ask for money from both county commissions.
Each county pays into the juvenile center based on what percentage of the area's at-risk youth they have, which is 67 percent for Benton County and 33 percent for Franklin County, Banks said.
The security issue should be addressed in renovations for the juvenile center, Banks said. Commissioners from both counties last month approved hiring an architect to do a feasibility study for improvements to the facility, which was built in 1979.
The current juvenile courtroom is cramped, with the suspects in close proximity to friends, family and others from the public, Banks said.
"We need more separation and some physical barriers," he said.
-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom