County poised to outsource Sierra Youth Center

Sonoma County is set to turn over its residential probation program for teenage girls to a private operator, the latest county service to be outsourced to the private sector in an effort to save money.

The shift, scheduled to go before the Board of Supervisors today, is designed to provide a similar level of supervision and help for the troubled teenagers, but at lower cost to taxpayers, county officials said.

It follows decisions in recent years to turn over other county services, including alcohol and drug treatment and management of five county-owned veterans buildings, to private companies or nonprofits.

Another decision coming next month could extend private operation of the county landfill -- now covered by an interim 2-year-old contract -- for as long as 30 years.

Today's board vote likely marks the end for the Sierra Youth Center, the county's 34-year-old probation camp for girls, tucked into a corner of the juvenile justice campus off Highway 12 in the Valley of the Moon.

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