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July 16, 2014

Funding cut opposition to be taken to juvenile affairs board

DUNCAN — The head of Duncan’s Community Intervention Center will take 15 letters of support to Oklahoma City to try to restore severe budget cuts that will cripple facilities that handle juvenile crime suspects.

The letters will be presented to the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs board meeting on Friday, said Youth Services for Stephens County Executive Director John Herdt.

The office of juvenile affairs offered the Community Intervention Center in Duncan only $53,200 to fund the its operation after providing $179,676 last year.

Herdt said the center will be forced to lay off all four of its full-time employees and all but one part-time employee.

The layoffs will occur in August unless the center receives more funding by the end of the month, but Herdt said he will continue to fight for more funding.

Police will be forced to “babysit” juveniles picked up for crimes if they don’t receive the extra help from the center, City Manager Jim Frieda has said.

Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford said the budget cuts could result in fewer officers on the streets because officers would have to take over duties formerly handled by the center.

Duncan’s center isn’t the only one in the state facing budget cuts, though.

Woodward’s Community Intervention Center is estimated to receive $59,495 less next year, Clinton’s is set to receive about $119,159 less, and Lawton’s about $104,854 less, according to a CIC plan.

Enid, Norman, Tulsa, Muskogee and Oklahoma City’s Community Intervention Centers are also estimated to face smaller budget cuts, according to the plan.

Herdt said representatives of the other centers will also make their case for more funding on Friday.

“They all were affected by the cuts,” he said. “There is about $610,000 in cuts.”

The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs is still discussing and finalizing next year’s budget.

 

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