Judge LaCross does a great job
Yet another article on Oct. 30, flogging Judge Thomas LaCross for going over-budget when he, as the article states, “placed seven juveniles into treatment centers, which costs $300 a day per child and $14,700 a week for all.” The facts? Yes, it costs $300 per day to place a juvenile in a secure setting. The rest of the story? I am a court bailiff and the days I am assigned to Judge LaCross family court, I see the passion the Judge has for reuniting families who have been in crisis. His focus is on the well-being of the child. The last thing the Judge wants to do is send a juvenile off to a detention center. Every available option is explored before a decision is made by the court to detain a juvenile. And it’s not just because it costs $300 per day, it’s because the Judge sincerely cares for the juveniles who come before his court. He always acts in the best interest of the child; with the caveat that the public is protected should an individual display potentially threatening behavior. In reality, there probably should have been more than seven juveniles sent to secure settings, but through the efforts of Judge LaCross, the attorneys involved and DHS, programs have been put into place, locally, to facilitate the reunification of families wherever possible, and turn around bad behavior before it becomes ingrained in the youth’s being and he or she enters a life of crime, costing the taxpayers much more in the long run. Judge LaCross and his staff should be complimented for the work they do, day in and day out, not flogged in public by county officials as reported in the two recent articles in the Alpena News.