Juveniles now being held at the main jail

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Ocala Post file photo (Photo does not necessarily reflect the housing area where juveniles will be held.)

Ocala, Florida — The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has relocated juvenile offenders into the main jail in order to consolidate manpower and reduce overtime. The move will also provide more corrections officers to assist with the manpower shortage in the jail.

The juveniles will remain completely out of sight and sound of adult inmates at all times during their incarceration. Additionally, all juveniles will be booked and housed separately from adult inmates. There will be absolutely no contact with adult inmates.

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, corrections officers who work with the juvenile inmates receive special training for dealing with juvenile offenders and use a lesser use-of-force continuum than is used for adult inmates. In addition, the officers watching over the juveniles are not relieved at any time during their shift by a corrections officer who has been monitoring adult inmates.

Many juveniles incarcerated at the Marion county Jail are serious violent offenders and housing them in the jail allows officers the ability to separate the juveniles from each other when needed. The facility is also more secure than the barracks that were previously used.

Sheriff Blair said the move will allow for expedited medical care of the juveniles and for an increased security response during emergency situations, thereby reducing the potential of injury to a juvenile or corrections staff.

The old building will not go to waste. MCSO will use the old facility for the housing, storage, and security of 80,000 pieces of evidence.

Sheriff Blair said he made these changes in order to make better and more efficient use of the resources available to the agency.

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