CHAPTER 394

APPROPRIATION - STATE DETENTION HOME FOR JUVENILES

AN ACT APPROPRIATING MONEY TO A TEMPORARY COMMISSION TO BE APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR TO ACQUIRE AND EQUIP A STATE DETENTION HOME FOR JUVENILES.

PREAMBLE: The purpose of this Act shall be to provide suitable quarters for the detention of juveniles to the end that they shall not be housed with adult offenders with consequent exposure to criminal behavior but rather that their detention shall offer shelter accompanied by proper direction and wise counseling so that they may be helped to become useful citizens.

WHEREAS, the gross inadequacy of the present Detention Home for Juveniles for the State of Delaware, located at 308 West Street, Wilmington, Delaware, with respect to both design and available space, has severely handicapped efforts of the Family Court for New Castle County and the Juvenile Court for Kent and Sussex Counties to formulate appropriate disposition for those delinquent children who require detention, study and guidance, and short-term rehabilitation; and

WHEREAS, in 1949 twenty-six (26) children were held illegally in the Sussex County jail for periods ranging up to fifteen (15) days, and forty-five (45) children were held illegally in the Kent County jail for periods ranging up to twenty-four (24) days, and one hundred and ten (110) children were held illegally in the Wilmington Police Lock-up for periods ranging up to six (6) days, all of which was stated to be necessary due to lack of adequate and secure detention facilities, and all of which is contrary to the best known practices of handling children with behavior problems; and

WHEREAS, New Castle County Grand Jury reports for more than seventeen (17) years have consistently condemned the present detention facilities as unfit and unsafe for detention of children; and

WHEREAS, these inadequacies could be eliminated and the vicious practice of locking children either with adult offenders or into a building which is not fireproof could be discontinued by the provision of a building or buildings suitable for the detention of those children who need detention for study or for security; NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Within ninety (90) clays from the date of the approval of this Act, the Governor of the State of Delaware shall appoint a temporary Commission of five (5) persons; one of whom shall be appointed from the City of Wilmington; one from rural New Castle County; one from Kent County; one from Sussex County, and one at large. This Commission shall be known as "State Detention Home for Juveniles Building Commission".

Section 2. The Commission shall select and purchase, or otherwise acquire, a suitable site for a building to provide adequate detention quarters for juveniles. If there be no suitable building on the site, then the Commission shall alter any buildings thereon, that may be, by such alteration, made suitable for the aforesaid purpose; or if there be a building on the site which cannot be made suitable, then it shall dispose of or demolish the building on such terms as to the Commission may seem proper. Thereafter the Commission shall erect or otherwise acquire suitable buildings and purchase or otherwise acquire all the necessary equipment for the buildings. The Commission may supervise the purchase or erection of such building or buildings and the installation of such equipment.

In carrying out its duties hereunder, the Commission may employ architectural or other technical advisors and pay for such services.

Section 3. The Commission shall organize by the selection from its members of a Chairman, a Secretary and a Treasurer.

Section 4. The title to any lands, buildings or equipment acquired shall be taken in the name of "The State of Delaware".

Section 5. The land, together with the buildings and equipment, when completed and ready for use shall be turned over by the Commission to the Board of Managers of the Detention Home of the State of Delaware, and the Commission shall then wind up its affairs.

Section 6. The sum of Eighty-five Thousand Dollars ($85,000.00) is appropriated for the use of the Commission in carrying out its duties. Said funds shall be made available to the Commission as needed by the Commission for expenses incurred in the discharge of its duties.

Section 7. The said sum of Eighty-five Thousand Dollars ($85,000.00) or such part thereof as may be necessary for the purposes herein set forth, shall be paid upon warrants made out to the State Treasurer and signed by the President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Commission, and approved by the Auditor of Accounts.

Section 8. This act shall be known as a Supplementary Appropriation Act and the money hereby appropriated shall be paid out of the General Fund of the State of Delaware, not otherwise appropriated, unless an omnibus bond bill including the above appropriation is enacted into law by the 117th General Assembly of the State of Delaware, in which event the above appropriation shall be paid out of moneys received by the sale of bonds authorized under said act.

Approved July 15, 1953.