Divided commission inks contract for juvenile study

Friday, August 16, 2002

JACKSON, Mo. -- A divided Cape Girardeau County Commission voted on Thursday to move ahead with a study of juvenile department needs.

The commission, by a 2 to 1 vote, hired Chicago consultant Bobbie Huskey to develop a master plan that among other things will look at how many juvenile detention cells will be needed over the next 10 years and what the alternatives are to locking up juvenile offenders.

Commissioners Gerald Jones and Joe Gambill voted to proceed with the nearly $61,000 study. Larry Bock, 1st District commissioner, voted against it as he did on an earlier vote in May. Bock has said the study is a waste of money.

But Jones said half of the cost of the study will be paid by a federal grant. The rest will come from the juvenile department budget.

The consulting work must be done before the end of September or the county will lose out on the funding, Jones said.

The study comes as commissioners and juvenile officers and circuit judges wrestle over whether to build a new detention center.

Jones said the commission had no choice but to proceed with the study.

The court, he said, could have ordered the study done even without commission approval.

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