Shelby County Sheriff Makes Plea to Parents as Youth Justice and Education Center Nears Capacity

Floyd Bonner

Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. is pleading with parents to provide their children with guidance and involvement as the Youth Justice and Education Center nears capacity.

The Youth Justice and Education Center is a 146-bed, single-occupancy secure detention center designed for youth “identified to be a danger to themselves, a danger to the community, or a flight risk.”

The sheriff announced Tuesday that the Youth Justice and Education Center currently houses 118 detained children, saying it is “disheartening to see such a high number of children” in the facility.

“We currently have 118 children detained at the Youth Justice and Education Center, and we are nearing our capacity. It is disheartening to see such a high number of children in our facility, with the youngest being only 13 years old,” Bonner (pictured above) said.

“Parents, we urge you to know where your children are and who they spend time with while away from you. Your guidance and involvement can make a significant difference in their lives,” the sheriff added.

The sheriff’s plea to parents comes as a bill (SB2571/HB1930) that would require parents of juveniles who commit crimes subject to a fine passed the Tennessee General Assembly and now awaits action from Governor Bill Lee.

The bill, called the Parental Accountability Act, would require juvenile court judges to assess a $1,000 penalty to any parent upon the second and any subsequent offenses committed by a juvenile.

If parents are unable to afford the fine, the bill allows them to work it off through community service.

State Senator Brent Taylor (R-Memphis), the bill’s sponsor, said it is “designed to incentivize parents to supervise their children following a juvenile court appearance more closely after a first offense.”

“Too many juveniles are routine offenders due to lack of parental supervision. By holding parents accountable, parents are more likely to know what their children are doing and more likely to get their children the help and oversight needed,” Taylor added.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Kaitlin on X / Twitter.
Photo “ Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr.“ by Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.





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