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Putnam Detention Center Limiting Juvenile Capacity

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Detention Center Limiting Juvenile Capacity

Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris said the Putnam County Juvenile Detention Center does not have capacity issues.

The facility can normally handle 22 offenders but is limiting that capacity to 14 juveniles due to COVID. Right now, nine juveniles are housed at the detention center.

“There is no way we can be in full capacity with COVID going on,” Farris said. “We are certainly selective. Probably 12, 13 or 14 at the max is  probably all we can imagine holding right now.”

Putnam’s facility holds 13 to 17 year old offenders of all genders. Farris said the county takes juveniles from across the state but especially the Upper Cumberland.

“We have several counties across the state. There are only so many juvenile detention centers across the state,” Farris said. “Certainly, we try to service our Upper Cumberland area more so then other areas in the state. (…) There are times we have kids from Memphis, Shelby County and as far as Mountain City.”

The White County Commission Monday approved a new agreement with Rutherford County to house some of its juvenile offenders. Farris said agreements like this are common to provide counties a back up plan.

“Keep in mind, the juvenile facility certainly fluctuates a lot,” Farris said. “There has been many times in the past we are full with 22 and the next day or day after we are back down to 12 or 13. Juvenile is certainly is flexible in coming and going.”

Farris said he does not see any additional juvenile spaces being added with the jail expansion. Farris said juvenile offender numbers have decreased the past two years due to new criminal justice reforms allowing judges to limit holding times.


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