DAVENPORT-- The Scott County Juvenile Detention Center is the busiest it’s ever been during the holiday season.
“It seems like being full is our new reality and that is just something that we’re learning to deal with,” says Director Jeremy Kaiser.
Housing juvenile car thieves has kept the center filled, on and off for the past six months.
“This is the most full we’ve ever seen. Typically, we average 11 residents in a given day, in the month of November we averaged 21,” says Kaiser.
As of Tuesday, December 12, there are 18 kids from Scott County in custody, most of them are serving time for stealing cars. The 16-bed facility has filled up so many times since the summer, Kaiser says the county has spent an average of $20,000 more a month housing Scott County kids outside of the county.
“The volume is just so much there’s only so much that the juvenile court officers can do. When you have so many juveniles stealing cars and various types of violent crimes there are only so many that you can let out with their families,” says Kaiser.
The facility has since had to rely on more staff members to run the center. Plans to add four more people to a staff of 24, are already in the works.
In the meantime, it’s a problem Kaiser says shows no sign of slowing down.
“I’m glad that they are being held accountable, it’s a very serious crime and they should be held accountable, but it is definitely a concern out in the community,” he says.