VEGAS LOST: Local jail growing with a number of juveniles committing adult crimes


They house dozens of young inmates and more come every day.

There are more inmates then cells inside the Clark County Detention Center.

The reality for the detention center is that the number of juveniles committing adult crimes is growing.

“Our count usual spikes up during the summertime and on breaks, and since this is the last day of the school year, we'll expect the count to go up again,” Captain Nita Schmidt says.

While they are charged and sentenced as adults, we are not allowed to show them because they are kids, some as young as 15.

It wasn't long ago that Las Vegas housed teenagers with other adult criminals kept in jail.

In 2013, that changed with a new law called PREA. The Prison Rape Elimination Act forced cities and states to change the way they house young offenders. They couldn't put them with adults.

In Vegas, it means an entire wing of the Clark County Detention Center was set aside. It also means we started looking at those young inmates separately.

Programs grew around them with kids spending all day with counselors, Narcotics Anonymous and in school teaching.

Across from the 32 cell units is a classroom and a dedicated staff. They were classes through the Clark County School District.

Those teachers tell us when you take kids who were once lost to crime out of their environment and into school, something amazing happens.

Since its inception, the people here say it's working - separating young minds and filling their day with programming.

It is helping lower recidivism rates, getting kids ready for the day they come back to society.

Those statistics are difficult to track. However, what we do know is the small wing at CCDC is getting busier.

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