Allegheny County to move forward with plans for juvenile detention center, officials say

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said the county is working on opening a juvenile detention facility “as fast as it can.”

Fitzgerald added that there is a major push, locally and statewide, to get a juvenile center opened, whether that’s Shuman or another facility regionally.

It’s also a political issue. A new county executive will be elected in November.

“We’ve been working on this for a long time,” Fitzgerald added. “There has certainly been a lot of political pressure from organization and courts.”

Democratic candidate for Allegheny County Executive, John Weinstein says juvenile crime is soaring because there’s no place to send kids and courts are often forced to send them home with ankle monitors. As we’ve seen time and time again, juveniles sometimes cut off those ankle monitors and reoffend.

“Too often young lives are being harmed or taken and too often, young people are in danger,” John Weinstein tells Channel 11. “We need resources and we need leadership, and we need it now.”

Allegheny County Council President Pat Catena said he’ll be introducing legislation to speed up the process. on Friday.

“We can’t sit on this any longer and I’m going to work with county council to develop legislation to address this and move this forward,” Catena said. “So we can help children, help get them off the streets.”

Fitzgerald said he hopes there is a new juvenile detention center open and ready to go within several months, and he has the support of Governor Shapiro to get it done.