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Last Mecklenburg detention center juveniles being relocated

Sarah Delia

The remaining minors at the Mecklenburg Juvenile Detention Center were scheduled to be relocated Tuesday, Nov. 15, to accommodate the Dec. 1 closure of Jail North.

Most juveniles have been relocated to the next-closest juvenile detention center in Cabarrus County, said Willliam Lassiter, deputy secretary of the state Department of Public Safety.

He said the department did its best to keep those incarcerated close to family and their attorneys, but it wasn’t possible in some cases.

“We don’t have the capacity at Cabarrus County to take them all in. That’s where the majority went to that where from Mecklenburg County, but not all of them,” Lassiter said.

He said the farthest relocation was to Wilmington, North Carolina, 3.5 hours away.

The juvenile detention center stopped accepting juveniles from outside Mecklenburg County on Oct. 1. By mid-October, the center stopped accepting any additional minors.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Gary McFadden told county commissioners in June that he declined an offer from the state to rent Jail North and continue to run it as a juvenile detention center. The decision came as staffing shortages hit Jail Central in uptown.

The state contracted with the sheriff’s office to run the juvenile detention center but that contract ends in December.

McFadden declined WFAE’s interview request for this story.

WFAE'S Lisa Worf contributed to this story.

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Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.