HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Madison County is stepping in to help its detention center after seeing a drop in funding over the last seven years.
"We've gone from half a million dollars in funding for staff down to $150,000, which has required us to cut staff," said Jacques Cothren, administrator of the Neaves-Davis Center for Children.
The facility houses an average of fifteen to eighteen juveniles at any given time. Cothren says he has enough staff for now, but is concerned the financial decrease could cause Neaves-Davis to run into a serious problem in the future.
"Low staff means we can't supervise as many kids properly," said Cothren.
When Cothren went before county commission, he received encouraging words from the commissioners, who say they will seek out additional subsidies to supplement the center.
"We're having to stretch it further," said Commission Chairman Dale Strong. "The state of Alabama is limited in their resources. Madison County is doing everything we can to make sure that we have the appropriate staff there to maintain."
Neaves-Davis currently receives funding from a number of different sources. Strong says the county allocates more than a million dollars annually, and the city of Huntsville gives them over $100,000.
While the county is not left to shoulder all of the burden, the commissioners say they are determined to do whatever it takes to help the county's youth.
"This is something that is rehabilitation 101," said Strong. "Trying to detour children from making the same bad decisions again."
Cothren says he is hoping to get more funding for a staffing budget in years to come.