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Sunday, July 14, 2024 - 06:14 PM


First Published in 1994



A goal set by Greenville County in 2004 has finally come to fruition with the opening of the Juvenile Detention Facility and State Operated Assessment Center. The facility that was used to house work release inmates is now being used to bring together different agencies that will give Greenville County juveniles the best possible help that is offered. The facility is being hailed as a “one of its kind” support system unlike anything in the Southeast.

“The Greenville County Juvenile Detention Facility connected with the state operated assessment center is going to be a very successful program. We’ve brought together multiple agencies, placed them in a shared location allowing them to share resources while creating the best possible environment for at risk children and their families,” said Joe Kernell, Greenville County Administrator.

John Magill, Department of Mental Health Director, said, “With state agencies with tentacles in every county in the state, we can work together, we can cooperate together and with the local county authorities we can do something special and something different.”

For 10 years the county has been systematically going through and accomplishing goals. In 2012 it was time to move forward with public safety and fiscal responsibility in mind. Being able to renovate and use the work camp building saved the county millions of dollars.

Liz Seman, Greenville County Council, said, “This facility will continue to save money while providing outstanding services. First and foremost, county staff will no longer have to drive back and forth to Columbia (SC) to house the children and provide them with services.”

The facility that brings together agencies such as; the department of juvenile justice, department of social services, the department of alcohol and other drug abuse services and the department of mental health. The Phoenix center will also have a full-time employee on location.

Greenville County children will now be able to remain within reach of their support groups while also having continuing educational opportunities. Now that juveniles will remain in county they will not miss school the next day because the detention facility will have classrooms that will be taught by a teacher from the District of Greenville County.

Another motivational reason for bringing all of these agencies together is to offer families and juveniles the resources, help and counseling needed to keep the juvenile stay out of an adult detention center. The assessment of a juvenile is a critical step in the process, and within the facility steps will lead to a committed engagement from a trained professional.