By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – A $9.8 million budget for fiscal year 2023 has been approved for Canadian County’s juvenile facility.
The new Gary E. Miller Canadian County Children’s Justice Center (CCCJC) budget includes a 4% cost-of-living increase for personnel salaries and benefits effective Jan. 1, 2023.
Canadian County Commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the facility’s annual FY23 budget at their June 27th meeting.
The document was submitted by Associate District Judge Bob Hughey, Facility Director Melanie Johnson and Assistant Facility Director Cedric Mills.
Total budgeted expenses are $9,807,656.66, of which 69.4% is for personnel.
Other large costs are for maintenance and operations (15.6%), teachers’ salaries (6.2%) and sheriff services (4.6%).
The center’s budget totaled $9,149,064.74 in 2022 and $9,297,721.66 in 2021. The FY23 budget is 7.1% more than FY22.
The personnel budget increase includes coordinator and counselor salaries for a new Restorative Justice program aimed at keeping adolescents out of the criminal justice system, Mills told commissioners.
This program works with juvenile offenders to help “integrate them better” and understand the consequences of their actions, he explained.
The CCJC’s FY22 budget also had a 4% cost-of-living hike for personnel that took effect Jan. 1.
The Canadian County Children’s Justice Center, 7905 E US Hwy 66, is funded primarily through a .35% countywide sales tax approved by voters about 25 years ago.
The CCCJC maintains a detention center and alternative school and has a courtroom for juvenile-related hearings and trials.
The facility offers educational and independent living services, along with treatment and diagnostic services for people suffering from chemical dependencies.
The center also administers substance abuse prevention and sanctions programs.
Total budgeted funds available for the CCCJC in FY23 are:
- Projected $7,057,768.54 income through county sales tax revenues. This averages $588,147.38 monthly, earmarked for center operations.
- Projected $991,458.80 income through contract revenues. These are contacts with outside agencies like the Office of Juvenile Affairs, NorthCare child welfare program and Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
- $1,758,429.32 unencumbered balance from FY22. These are carryforward funds.
Here is a breakdown of projected FY23 expenditures:
Administration ($1,901,141.06), Maintenance and Operation ($583,453.56), Drug Screening Program ($255,530.52), Behavioral Health ($1,199,670.54), Group Home ($1,092,774.62), Canadian County Education Center ($748,794.24), Comprehensive Home-Based Services ($350,314.87), Detention ($1,747,913.89), Juvenile Bureau ($1,064,252.53), Kitchen ($603,481.59), and Supervised Visitation ($260,329.24).
Meanwhile, Canadian County Commissioners on June 27 approved contracts with 22 counties to house juveniles at the CCCJC. District 1 Commissioner Marc Hader voted “no.” (See story in upcoming edition)