Marathon County Juvenile Facility plans to reopen in October

The facility was closed in late 2021 due to staffing shortages
Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 7:54 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Staffing shortages originally forced the Marathon County Juvenile Facility to close late last year. The Marathon Sheriff’s Office plans to reopen it in October. However, it will function in a new way when it reopens its doors.

”Our hope is that there will be an interest in partnering with us and we will become a regional center for other counties across the state,” said Deputy Chief Chad Billeb, Marathon County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Chief Billeb said Brown County and Fond Du Lac County have already expressed interest in partnering.

But, that won’t be the only change. The building used to function as a secure detention facility and a shelter. When it reopens, they’ll no longer have a shelter.

”As we were doing our research, and trying to figure out what other counties sheriff’s offices were actually running shelter homes we learned that we were the last, that there were no others and it’s likely something that we shouldn’t be involved in,” said Deputy Chief Billeb.

Social Services will instead take on a larger role. Deputy Chief Billeb said re-opening the secure detention facility should help the children.

“Having our secure detention center closed poses a huge challenge for our social services department as well as attorneys that represent these kids and more importantly their families,” said Deputy Chief Billeb.

That’s because those kids are now in other counties. Portage County is housing Marathon County’s kids until the building reopens.

”Over the last few months, all we’ve been doing is moving kids across the state when we could have been housing them here,” said Deputy Chief Billeb.

Driving to Stevens Point to bring kids back for their court hearings has taken away from other patrol duties, according to Deputy Chief Billeb.

The goal is to bring Marathon County kids home.

“We could bring our kids back to Marathon County and provide them with the resources and services that they need in order to be great members of our community, and work with their families to have their children back so that they can help them in that process,” said Deputy Chief Billeb.

Deputy Chief Billeb said they still need to hire more staff. Job requirements include a high school diploma and strong character. Marathon County Sheriff’s Office will pay for your training. Click here to learn how to contact the Sheriff’s Office.