Chelan County has entered into a contract which allows juvenile detainees to be housed at its facilities from neighboring Kittitas County under certain circumstances.

The agreement comes in the wake of a law passed by the State Legislature in 2019 that went into effect last year which requires some juvenile offenders to be housed in detention centers that offer state-approved crisis services.

"Our juvenile facility provides those services," says Chelan County Commissioner Kevin Overbay. "Kittitas County has signed a contract with us not for the detention of their juveniles but for those youth who are in unique circumstances where they might need to be provided with wraparound services because they are a danger to themselves or others or if they are in need of additional services."

Overbay adds that even though the County's facility for inmate youth services is attached to its detention center, they are both categorically different.

"The facility is actually part of our detention facility. We have a separate area that's utilized for this purpose. But we do provide juvenile detention services for Douglas and Grant Counties and the City of East Wenatchee, so these youth are confined but it doesn't fall under the detention side of our facility."

Since the agreement went into effect last year, Chelan County has only housed one qualifying juvenile from Kittitas County.

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