Smith County Leaders Break Ground for Juvenile Detention Center

A vision came alive for some Smith County leaders as they witnessed groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Smith County Juvenile Services Facility.

The new facility will house Smith County juvenile offenders who currently are housed in a building with asbestos and water damage. When finished, the new juvenile detention center on Morningside Drive will have 64 beds, 40 more beds than the current center.

County leaders started planning the new juvenile center three years ago in reponse to their overcrowding problem.

"Juvenile crime is a very important issue," said County Court at Law Judge Flod Getz. "We need to deal with it effectively so that we can hopefully decrease the amount of adult crime in our community as well."

The new detention center is expected to open in the fall of 2003.