The more the merrier.  Apparently that even goes for juvenile detention centers.

Guilford County already generates a nice revenue stream – about $1 million a year – by holding federal inmates in the county’s jails, and now the US Marshalls Service has asked Guilford County to provide that same service for juveniles in federal custody.  For that right, the Marshall’s Service is willing to pay $244 a day per youngster.

Guilford County already houses juveniles from other North Carolina counties in its juvenile detention facility at that same daily rate, but the deal to hold federal juvenile detainees – expected to be approved and go into effect later this month – will be a new source of revenue for Guilford County.

Currently, there’s extra room at the county’s detention center at 15 Lockheed Ct. near Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro.  However, space is expected to get tighter in December 2019 after a new state law goes into effect.  That law raises – from 16 to 18 – the age at which people may be charged as an adult.

Guilford County has room to house juveniles from other parts of the state, as well as from the feds, and the county is in talks with the state to get state money to expand the juvenile detention center, creating even more holding capacity.

The state will need a lot of space for all the 16 and 17-year-olds who’ll be moved from jails to juvenile detention centers when the law goes into effect since many counties don’t have any facilities equipped to hold juveniles.

This week, Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing said that talks with the state regarding state funding aid for that proposed project had “cooled down” recently.

“There was a lot of urgency in what they were doing for a while and now they have slowed down,” Lawing said.  “I think it’s because they realized that, on day one [of the new law], they are not going to take all the juveniles out of the adult facilities and move them to juvenile facilities.”

The law will not retroactively apply to those 16 and 17 year olds already in custody.

Guilford County is currently making about $1 million a year housing juveniles from other counties – roughly the same amount the county is making by holding adult federal inmates.

Lawing said that $1 million revenue stream is essentially covering the operating cost of the detention center every year.