Polk County Regional Juvenile Detention Center

The Polk Regional Juvenile Detention Center is a 70 bed, hardware secure facility that serves youth detained by various circuit court(s). Youth are detained pending adjudication, disposition or placement in commitment facility.

The facility provides supervision of youth in a safe, secure and humane environment. Services for youth include: education, mental health, substance abuse, and health care. Medical and mental health are contracted services. Polk County School Board provides educational services.

Do we really make a lifelong difference?

I often contemplate this question when working at the Juvenile Detention Center with the incarcerated youth.  We meet with them, talk with them, share our lives with them, pray with them, and yes, even cry with them, but are we making a lifelong difference in their lives?

Sometimes I think … “I wonder what so-and-so is doing now and how they are doing?”

I was at a doctor’s office the other day in Highland City, not a very big town, and thought of Tyler.  We met Tyler in the Juvenile Detention Center; he would attend the church services regularly and he came out and visited with us every chance he got.   It was great to see him smile when we came in and he always gave a hug and thanked us for taking our time to come and speak with the boys there.  I was there in Highland City, but could not find where he lived.  I was bummed out a little, and said a little prayer for him.  I thought … “well that is that”.

But God had other plans … fast forward to a few days ago and I was going into the Publix there in Highland City to grab a bite to eat.  To my surprise I heard my name being called.  I looked around there was Tyler.  He ran up to me gave me a big hug and told me how much he appreciated the time that we took with him in the Juvenile Detention Center.  He made sure that I have his new phone number and made me promise that I would give him a call.  We talked for a few minutes there and I found out that he was doing well, was back in school and on schedule to graduate this year, and was attending a local church.

Wow … This confirmed my suspicions … we are making life long changes in some of these young people’s lives.  This is one of many confirmations that God has revealed to me lately.

Kevin Perdomo

Photos of sharing at the JDC


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