Volusia OKs funding for new center to address juvenile crime

Facility aims to get to the underlying causes of a juvenile’s criminal activity

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood supports the plan for a new juvenile assessment center.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Volusia County Council approved funding for a new facility that the sheriff’s office says would provide a multi-faceted approach to juvenile crime.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve $5.4 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan to build a new juvenile assessment center in Daytona Beach.

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The sheriff’s office, however, says this is not a typical juvenile detention center.

The facility will house a number of resources under one roof with a family resource center that is meant to assess each juvenile brought to the center for the underlying causes of their criminal activity, including social services, health care and behavioral services.

“We’re putting together a unified front to make sure there are consequences for criminal behavior and resources for (children) and families who need them,” said Sheriff Mike Chitwood in a statement from the sheriff’s office. “Kudos to the Volusia County Council and administration for having the vision to bring the funding to the table.”

The goal of the new facility is to try and move children away from crime before they end up committing an offense that lands them in an adult jail.

The funding approved will cover the costs of modifying the building for the program, plus four years of sheriff’s office operations.

Other partners in the project include SMA Healthcare, Halifax Behavioral Services, the Children’s Home Society of Florida and Volusia County Schools.

The sheriff’s office says the facility is needed amid several high-profile and serious criminal cases in Volusia County involving juveniles.

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.