Desktop Guide

Desktop Guide web_admin Wed, 12/22/2021 - 14:48
Image
Desktop Guide cover image of a girl in a correctional setting

to Quality Practice for Working with Youth in Confinement

The Partnership Strives to…

Download the Desktop Guide as a PDF

  • File size: 6 MB
  • 831 Pages comprised of 25 Sections
  • Version 1.0 (snapshot 02/11/2015)
  • This website can and will get updated in the future without notice. A PDF downloaded to your local computer will, in time, become out of date.

Getting Started

Getting Started web_admin Wed, 12/22/2021 - 14:57

Foreword

Recent successful juvenile justice and juvenile detention reforms have resulted in better and more meaningful public policy on the use of custody facilities and have triggered significant reductions in juvenile detention and corrections populations. However, a secondary—and perhaps unintended—consequence has been a parallel reduction in the resources available to continue providing much needed training and technical assistance to facilities that still must confine the most troublesome youth. As history continues to show, juvenile detention and corrections remain the “forgotten” elements of the juvenile justice system. We now must add adult facilities that are responsible for the care and custody of youthful offenders to this list of isolated elements.

In addition to enlightened thinking, reforms have been motivated by the high costs and poor outcomes associated with the operations of youth facilities, especially those using an adult corrections model. Reform thinking includes policies and strategies based on improved screening instruments for purposes of diversion, community-based alternatives that emphasize the least intrusive placement of at-risk youth who require some form of limited supervision and care, and an expansion of community-based programs that meet the needs of at-risk youth. The “new normal” in juvenile justice now means that only those youth that pose the greatest threat to public safety should be in juvenile custody facilities. However, youth that remain in custody are not only the ones who present the greatest risk of violence, they are the youth with the most serious needs—those who require additional specialized resources and services. It is a constant challenge to remind this nation’s juvenile justice leaders and experts that a critical role for juvenile facilities is to address the needs of these youth. They must not be forgotten.

Although research has identified deficiencies within the juvenile confinement community, custody remains a critical and integral function of America’s juvenile justice system. Of the approximately 92,000 youth in custody on any day, 81% are held in secure facilities.[1] Further, the persistent problem of youth of color being overrepresented at every stage of the juvenile justice system has been well documented for the past two decades[2]

The public relies on the leadership and staff of more than 1,200 facilities—juvenile detention, juvenile corrections, and adult facilities that serve youth—for protection against juvenile offenders, for humane and constitutional conditions of incarceration, and for equipping youth with the skills to live peaceful and productive lives. However, despite the changes and improvements from recent reforms, the frequency and intensity of institutional failures to protect youth from harm show no signs of waning. Facilities—both state and local—continue to face potential litigation or are subject to consent decrees for such failures.

The lack of research on critical issues and effective practices, coupled with limited access to usable and effective risk-prevention programs and policies, can increase the potential of harm to youth, staff, and the public. The field has long needed a resource that systematically assesses conditions of confinement issues, outlines pathways to improving those conditions, and provides information and resources to empower juvenile justice leaders and staff.

To bridge this resource gap, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) commissioned the development of this resource to encourage the implementation and understanding of proven and promising practices, policies, and programs. The Desktop Guide to Quality Practice for Working with Youth in Confinement constitutes one of many key products and resources developed for the field by the National Partnership for Juvenile Services’ National Center for Youth in Custody. This new version is more comprehensive than the original Desktop Guide to Good Juvenile Detention Practice, which was published in 1996 and was of enormous benefit to the field.

The purpose of the Desktop Guide is to provide practitioners—line staff, supervisors, and administrators—along the various points on the youth-custody continuum with an operational resource that describes promising and effective practices that are rooted in theory and tested by research. Accordingly, the Desktop Guide will serve as a core resource for staff development and training as well as for academic course work.

The Desktop Guide is enriched by the constructive counsel of numerous practitioners and leaders within our allied professions. It is our hope that the Desktop Guide to Quality Practice for Working with Youth in Confinement will fulfill its promise—to strengthen our nation’s juvenile confinement continuum by offering a useful resource to the field and to stimulate the personal growth and professional development of the dedicated practitioners who provide services to youth.

As professionals, we must advocate for comprehensive policy that continues to reduce inappropriate placement of youth in our facilities and to improve the quality of care for those youth who do require a secure environment. We must strive to improve the conditions of confinement for youth in custody. And we must develop informed, skilled leadership and mentor the staff who work tirelessly and diligently to ensure each youth’s safety and positive development. Every bit as important is that we must not allow these youth and staff to be forgotten or ignored.

Earl L. Dunlap
Transitional Administrator
U. S. Federal Court Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division
Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center
Chicago, IL

David W. Roush, Ph.D.
Juvenile Justice Associates, LLC
Albion, MI


[1] Howard Snyder and Melissa Sickmund, Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report, (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2006).

[2] Alex Piquero, “Disproportionate Minority Incarceration,” The Future of Children 18, no. 2 (2008): 59–79.

Acronyms

Acronyms web_admin Wed, 12/22/2021 - 15:04
AA Alcoholics Anonymous
AACAP American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
ACA American Correctional Association
ACCESS Alternative, Community, and Correctional Education Schools and Services
ACEs Adverse Childhood Experiences
ACLU American Civil Liberties Union
ACYCP Association for Child and Youth Care Practice
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADP Average Daily Population
AED Automated External Defibrillator
AMA American Medical Association
ANA American Nurses Association
AODA Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
ART Aggression Replacement Training
BIA Bureau of Indian Affairs
BIST Behavior Intervention Support Team
BJA Bureau of Justice Assistance
BJS Bureau of Justice Statistics
BOP Bureau of Prisons
BSFT Brief Strategic Family Therapy
CbS Community-based Standards
CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CCE Certified Corrections Executive
CCHP Certified Corrections Health Professional
CCJTDC Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center
CCO Certified Corrections Officer
CCO/P Certified Corrections Officer—Provisional
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CEA Correctional Education Association
CHIP Children's Health Insurance Program
CJCA Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators
CJRP Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement
CJSP Certified Juvenile Services Practitioner
CLIA Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment
COOP Continuity of Operations
CPR Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
CRIPA Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980
CYC-P Child and Youth Care - Professional
DBT Dialectical Behavior Therapy
DBT-CM DBT-Corrections Modified
DHS Department of Homeland Security
DMC Reduction of Disproportionate Minority Contact
DMDD Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
DNA do not associate
DOJ Department of Justice
DOT Directly Observed Therapy
DSM Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
DTI diffusion tensor imaging
EAP Employee Assistance Program
EEOC Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
EHR Electronic Health Record
EMDR Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EPSDT Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment
ESEA Elementary and Secondary Education Act
FAPE Free and Appropriate Public Education
FAS Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency
FERPA Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
FFP Federal Financial Participation
FFT Functional Family Therapy
FJDA Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act
FLSA Fair Labor Standards Act
FMLA Family Medical Leave Act
fMRI functional magnetic resonance imaging
FOIA Freedom of Information Act
FQHC Federally Qualified Health Center
G-TREM Trauma Recovery & Empowerment Model for Girls
GAIN Global Appraisal of Individual Needs
GED Genderal Education Development
HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
HPV Human Papillomavirus
IAP Intensive Aftercare Program
ICE Immigration and Customs Enforcement
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IDT Interdisciplinary Team
IEP Individualized Education Program
IJA-ABA Institute for Judicial Administration and the American Bar Association
INS Immigration and Naturalization Service
IT Information Technology
JDAI Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative
JDC Juvenile Detention Center
JJDPA Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act
JPI Justice Policy Institute
JTDC Juvenile Temporary Detention Center
KOP Keep On Person
LEA Local Education Agency
LEP Limited English Proficiency
LGBTQI Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex
LOP Local Operating Procedure
LWOP Life without the possibility of parole
MAYSI Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument
MDFT Mulitidimensional Family Therapy
MET Motivational Enhancement Therapy
MI Motivational Interviewing
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
MRSA Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
MST Mulit-Systemic Therapy
NA Narcotics Anonymous
NAAT Nucleic Acid Amplification Test
NAC National Academy of Corrections
NCCD National Council on Crime and Delinquency
NCCHC National Commission on Correctional Health Care
NCJFCJ National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
NCLB No Child Left Behind
NCSL National Conference of State Legislatures
NCYC National Center for Youth in Custody
NDTAC National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent or At Risk (formerly Neglected or Delinquent Technical Assistance Center)
NFPA National Fire Protection Association
NGIC National Gang Intelligence Center
NIC National Institute of Corrections
NIJC National Immigrant Justice Center
NIMH National Institutes of Mental Health
NJDA National Juvenile Detention Association
NJJN National Juvenile Justice Network
NPJS National Parnership for Juvenile Services
NTTAC National Training and Technical Assistance Center
OC Oleoresin Capsicum
OCFS Office of Child and Family Services
ODD Oppositional Defiant Disorder
OJJDP Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
ORR Office of Refugee Resettlement
PBIS Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
PBNDS Performance-Based National Detention Standards
PbS Performance-based Standards
PE Physical Examination
POSIT Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers
PPACA Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
PRC PREA Resource Center
PREA Prison Rape Elimination Act
PTSD Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
PYD Positive Youth Development
QMHP Qualified mental health professional
RAI Risk Assessment Instrument
REA Regional Service Educational Agencies
RLUIPA Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000
SAFE Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner
SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
SANE Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner
SEA State Education Agency
SMU Special Management Unit
SPARCS Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress
STEEP Social, technological, economic, environmental, political arenas
STEM Science, Technology, Engineering, Math
STG Security Threat Groups
STI Sexually Transmitted Infection
SVORI Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative
SYRP Survey of Youth in Residential Placement
TARGET Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy
TB Tuberculosis
Tdap Tetanus, Diptheria, and Acellular Pertussis
TF-CBT Trauma-Focused CBT
TJDR Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Training and Technical Assistance Center
UCR Uniform Crime Reports
USDOJ U.S. Department of Justice
VFC Vaccines for Children

Using the Desktop Guide

Using the Desktop Guide web_admin Wed, 12/22/2021 - 15:01

As with the original Desktop Guide for Good Practice in Juvenile Detention, this new Desktop Guide for Quality Practice for Working with Youth in Confinement (Desktop Guide) is a working document intended to enlighten, inform, and challenge the user. It assumes that totally competent and skillful professionals who work with confined youth need a solid understanding of the basic concepts and principles relevant to their work.

All of the contributors offer the Desktop Guide's immeasurably valuable content freely and expect that its readers will use it to improve the field, give the authors their due credit, and publicly state the source of their information as being the Desktop Guide. (Please see the Recommended Citation below.)

The Desktop Guide is not intended to be a “how to” manual, even though it contains information intended to inform facility policy, procedure, and practice. Getting the full benefit of the information contained in the Desktop Guide will require the reader to read, reflect on the content and, then possibly reevaluate current practices. It may also lead to a rethinking of a person’s professional commitment and career development. The authors and other contributors to this resource trust that the content of the Desktop Guide will stimulate the reader and generate and support professional growth. The authors also feel that you, the practitioner, will be the best judge of how to use this resource. To that end, practitioners have suggested the following range of possibilities:

  • To inform staff training content.
  • To help elected officials understand what constitutes quality practice to leverage financial and other support.
  • To supplement and support presentations by juvenile justice leaders to local, state, or federal policymakers and legislators.
  • To form the foundation of an independent study for staff seeking to become managers and leaders in their agencies.
  • To craft lesson plans for teaching juvenile justice or other academic courses.
  • To guide decision-making on whom to include on a facility’s advisory board.
  • To enlighten or influence judicial sentencing and prosecutorial practices.
  • To guide development of emergency preparedness plans.
  • To use as a resource in academic curriculum development.

A host of nationally recognized and respected experts and professionals wrote the nineteen chapters of the Desktop Guide. Many other practitioners contributed quotes, examples of programs and practices, policies and procedures, and more that they have found to be useful and effective and that may be of value to those currently working with youth in confinement. The field of juvenile justice is privileged to be the beneficiary of so much generous support.

The Desktop Guide has two parts. Part I: Principles and Concepts explores the background principles, concepts, and knowledge at the core of juvenile justice and services for youth in confinement. Part II: Daily Practice identifies what is quality practice, including the skills needed to effectively serve youth in confinement.

Part I: Principles and Concepts

Chapter 1: Historical Perspective, by Michele Deitch, J.D., in partnership with a number of her students at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin.

This chapter looks at major milestones in the history of the juvenile justice system and the juvenile court in the United States. It discusses the emergence of a national agenda on juvenile justice reform through the passage of the Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Act in 1974 and the increasing roles of federal and state governments in juvenile justice matters. The chapter then explores the shift in attitude towards juvenile crime that took place in the 1980s and 90s and the impact that this “tough on crime” era had on juvenile justice practices, as well as the current national trend that emphasizes the differences between juveniles and adults and promotes the use of a “developmental model” in meeting the needs of youth.

Chapter 2: Types of Facilities, by Pam Clark, MSW, LSW, Program Associate with the National Center for Youth in Custody (NCYC).

This chapter describes the different types of facilities in which youth are confined—both juvenile and adult—and the general purposes of each of these facility types. It also covers confinement facility standards, licensing, and audits.

Chapter 3: Physical Plant Design and Operations, by Jim Moeser, Deputy Director of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families.

Chapter 3 discusses the role that facility design and programming play in conditions of confinement and the impact of the organization’s mission and values on the facility environment. The chapter covers issues related to new construction versus remodeling existing facilities, operational costs and cost efficiency, and facility downsizing and closures. Issues related to the safe physical management of youth in confinement, including a comparison of short- and long-term programs and legal requirements are also discussed.

Chapter 4: Developing and Maintaining a Professional Workforce, by Pam Clark.

This chapter focuses on the criticality of developing and maintaining a professional workforce to the overall success of the facility. It discusses job function, quality of staff, the importance of training and staff development, the core competencies of youth work, the movement toward practitioner certification, and the role of ethics in professional practice.

Chapter 5: Rights and Responsibilities, by attorney Michael Umpierre.

This chapter focuses on the rights and responsibilities of youth in confinement and the staff serving those youth. It discusses youth access to family and community services, education, grievances, due process rights, and protection from harm. Chapter 5 also examines importance of cultural competency and boundaries for both youth and staff.

Chapter 6: Adolescent Development, by Dr. Rodney Erwin, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.

Chapter 6 addresses the numerous factors that contribute to adolescent development, including biology, family, and social influences. The chapter offers a picture of typical adolescent development and discusses the factors that may alter this development in a negative manner. It also covers recent research findings related to adolescent brain development and the impact of this research on legal issues such as the transfer of youth to the adult criminal court and the sentencing of youth. The chapter also addresses theories of delinquency, the role of gangs, and the impact of trauma.

Chapter 7: Evolving Issues, by Charles Kehoe, CEO of Kehoe Correctional Consulting.

This chapter examines emerging issues for confinement facilities that serve youth including fluctuating crime rates, funding and budget challenges, the impact of alternatives to incarceration movements, the push toward evidence-based practices, and much more.

Part II: Daily Practice

Chapter 8: Management and Facility Administration, by Anne Nelsen, MSW, MPA, Juvenile Justice Consultant.

Chapter 8 focuses on issues related to leadership and management including the importance of articulating an organizational vision and mission, capacity building, and succession planning. The chapter also addresses in some detail the purpose and value of having a well developed policy and procedures manual, and both internal and external communication plans. It also covers staffing issues, specifically those related to staffing adequacy, the evaluation of staff, and labor law issues.

Chapter 9: Admission and Intake, by Anne Nelsen.

This chapter defines and examines admission and intake processes and procedures, including the various elements and steps involved. It also discusses the need for a broad array of appropriate screenings and assessments, resident orientation, classification, and housing.

Chapter 10: Effective Programs and Services, by Wayne Liddell, CEO of W.R. Liddell & Associates, in collaboration with Kathy Starkovich, M.S., Deputy Director of the DuPage County Department of Probation and Court Services, and Pam Clark.

Chapter 10 discusses evidence-based and evidence-informed practice and decision-making and the importance of fidelity in using such practices. It also covers various types and elements of programming for youth in confinement—with an emphasis on cognitive behavioral interventions—and the role of reentry.

Chapter 11: Mental Health, by Dr. Lisa Boesky, clinical psychologist and expert on mental health and suicide prevention in juvenile justice facilities.

This chapter addresses key issues related to youth in custody with mental health disorders: co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, head-injury trauma, suicide prevention, self-injury, screening and assessment, mental health treatment, psychotropic medication, and isolation. Dr. Boesky provides effective management strategies and highlights the importance of trauma-responsive care, line staff, and family engagement.

Chapter 12: Healthcare, by Dr. Michelle Staples-Horne, Medical Director with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Chapter 12 looks at all of the various aspects of healthcare including medical and dental services, dietary services and nutrition, health risk behaviors such as substance abuse, and sexual safety. It also discusses special healthcare needs, such as eating disorders and infectious and communicable diseases. In addition, the chapter addresses the importance of communication among staff, the impact of HIPAA on communication with both staff and families, and the effect of the Affordable Care Act on the juvenile justice system.

Chapter 13: Education, by Randy Farmer, Educational Director with the Lancaster Youth Services Program, in collaboration with Carol Cramer Brooks, Director of the National Center for Youth in Custody (NCYC) and CEO of the National Partnership for Juvenile Services (NPJS).

This chapter presents a comprehensive discussion of educational requirements and quality education services for youth in confinement, including liaisons with local school districts. It also looks at career development and vocational programs, bridges to post-secondary education, and the importance of the relationship between facility and education staff in integrating education into the facility culture.

Chapter 14: Behavior Management, by Michele Deitch.

Chapter 14 discusses the importance of establishing a therapeutic culture and using a multi-tiered approach to behavior management that is grounded in positive staff–youth relationships and structured daily schedules. The chapter also addresses crisis management, the criminal prosecution, and transfer to and management of youth in adult facilities.

Chapter 15: Service and Treatment Plans, by Dr. Nelson Griffis, Juvenile Justice Consultant, in collaboration with Jennifer Sloan, MSW, Spectrum Juvenile Justice Services, Wayne R. Liddell, and James Moeser.

Chapter 15 discusses the development of various types of service and treatment plans needed for youth in confinement and suggests who should participate in planning. The chapter addresses the need for these plans to be culturally sensitive and inclusive of both family members and the community where youth will need support and services after their release from confinement.

Chapter 16: Behavior Observation, Recording, and Report Writing, by Anne Nelsen.

This chapter addresses youth safety and monitoring, the purpose and importance of documentation and report writing, and the recent shift in many facilities to electronic forms of documentation. The chapter also addresses documentation as it relates to suicide prevention and information on mandatory reporting requirements.

Chapter 17: Quality Assurance, by Dr. Kelly Dedel.

Chapter 17 covers at certification, accreditation, and audits—such as those required by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)—optional audits—such as Performance-based Standards (PbS) and the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) self-assessment—as a means of assuring quality. The chapter also discusses mandatory reporting and the existence of other local and state requirements.

Chapter 18: Transition Planning and Reentry, by Joyce Burrell, Principal Researcher with the American Institutes of Research (AIR) and James Moeser.

This chapter discusses transition planning and reentry, emphasizing family engagement, education services, referrals to community-based services, and other community linkages.

Chapter 19: Complex Issues and Vulnerable Populations, by a panel of experts and professionals.

A great deal of discussion among members of the Desktop Guide team went into what topics and issues should be discussed in this chapter. The original list was extensive (22 topics), and yet it was not exhaustive. The team eventually decided to focus—at least initially—on nine areas of practice that were most often mentioned during focus groups and in other conversations with practitioners across the country. Coverage of additional areas may be added to this chapter as the need is indicated through input from the field.

  • PREA, by Steve Jett, Director of the Southwest Idaho Juvenile Detention Center, Certified PREA Auditor.
  • Working with LGBTQI Youth, by Mykel Selph, Criminal Justice Consultant with The Moss Group, Inc.
  • Youth in Adult Facilities, by Elissa Rumsey, Compliance Monitor Coordinator with OJJDP.
  • Emergency Preparedness, by Chuck Kehoe.
  • Dual Adjudication Youth, by Laurie Elliott, J.D., Executive Director at the Youth Law T.E.A.M. of Indiana.
  • Sex Offenders, by Dr. Hugh Hanlin, Psychologist.

The material contained in the Desktop Guide should evoke a reaction from the reader. Although NPJS hopes that the reaction is positive, it also hopes that any disagreements and negative reactions will result in renewed dialog on specific subjects. Representatives of NPJS are open to discussing dissenting or contrary beliefs and to working through any differences to the ultimate benefit of practitioners and youth.

Tech Guide

The Desktop Guide is designed to be user friendly, so the best approach is for you (the reader) to just jump in and start exploring. You won’t get lost and you can’t break anything. Here are a few pointers to get you started.

The Main Navigation Bar runs across the top of all pages on the site; its contain the primary navigation options.

The Homepage introduces you to the Guide (Welcome Letters, Foreword, etc.) and directs you to a list of volunteers from across the country who helped develop the Desktop Guide’s content.

The Principles and Concepts and the Daily Practice tabs list the Desktop Guide’s nineteen chapters. Select a chapter and, when you arrive at the top of the narrative, you will also be able to click on the author’s name to see his or her bio. You can also find a print-friendly version of the chapter.

The Contributors tab lists the project team members and the focus group participants and centralizes all of the authors’ bios, which you can also print or download.

The Left Column Navigation Bar allows the reader to jump to the chapter sections, defined by the headings. The chapters are lengthy, and this will help you minimize scrolling and searching.

The Keyword Search window is located at the top of the Left Column Navigation Bar. Enter your search term, and if it appears within the Desktop Guide, you will get a list of the related material.

The Links point you to interrelated chapter topics. Each chapter may refer to key issues or topics addressed elsewhere within the Desktop Guide. Follow the links to those additional discussions, use the return arrow to resume.

The Annotations are in endnote format. You can click the note number in the text to view the endnote, and click back again to resume reading. The reference list contains the full bibliographic entry and related external links.

Recommended Citation for This Guide

When citing this guide, please include the authors name and the chapter title. The following is one suggested format:

Author Last, Author First, Author First and Last. 2014. "Chapter Title." in Desktop Guide to Quality Practice for Working with Youth in Confinement. National Partnership for Juvenile Services and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. URL for the cited chapter.

Principles and Concepts

Principles and Concepts web_admin Wed, 12/22/2021 - 15:08

Ch.1 Historical Perspective

Ch.1 Historical Perspective web_admin Wed, 12/22/2021 - 15:11

Author(s): Michele Deitch, J.D., M.Sc. and Class
In collaboration with graduate students in her seminar on Juvenile Justice Policy—Rebekah Lamm, Rebecca Lange, Dianna Muldrow, Gabrielle Smith, and Meghan Young.

The Importance of Understanding History

Understanding the history of the juvenile justice system and its reforms allows practitioners to learn from past successes and failures and gives insight into current challenges in the field of juvenile justice. Historical trends illustrate broad shifts in policy and practice, with the pendulum swinging between more punitive policies and those emphasizing rehabilitation. For example, reforms in the 1970s aimed at decreasing the population of detained youths preceded the “tough on crime” reforms of the 1990s that increased the number of incarcerated youth. However, recent trends, such as the emphasis on community-based interventions, indicate a shift in focus back to youth rehabilitation.

There appear to be four major phases in the development of juvenile confinement after the creation of the juvenile court system in 1899. The early years leading up to World War II saw the establishment of juvenile detention homes and secure juvenile corrections facilities. The second phase, which lasted up to the 1980s, saw a shift in the role of state and local governments—during which time juvenile justice services became increasingly decentralized—and the increasing involvement of the federal government in juvenile justice issues. This era was marked by the passage of the federal Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Act (JJDPA), and reforms that stemmed from civil rights litigation and changes put in place by visionary leaders of juvenile justice agencies. These reforms recognized the rights of youth, the need to operate facilities according to best practices, and the benefits of keeping youth in the community. A third period, the “Tough on Crime Era,” occurred in the 1980s and 1990s as juvenile justice policies became substantially harsher and oriented toward corrections. This phase occurred in the wake of an increase in juvenile crime and a simultaneous shift toward punitive approaches for adult offenders. Finally, a new wave of reforms began around the start of the 21st century, with an emphasis on strategies for reducing the population of incarcerated youth, the development of professional standards, the provision of improved rehabilitative services for youth in custody, and efforts to improve safety in juvenile confinement facilities. This current national trend appears to be based on a “developmental model” that emphasizes the differences between juveniles and adults.[1] This approach arose in response to abuse and maltreatment of youth in custody and the poor outcomes for youth held in correctional-style environments. There is now a greater awareness of the social-developmental needs of youth.

Reforms and philosophies in juvenile justice evolve at different rates and in different ways at the federal, state, and local levels. Some of the more transformative national initiatives, such as the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) and the more recently enacted Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), have taken (and are taking) time to trickle down to the state level. Although some states, such as Missouri, were visionary in their move away from large state-run institutions a couple of decades ago, other states continue to operate correctional training-school style facilities for youth. Similarly, counties within the same state may vary widely in their approach.

The Campaign for Youth Justice maintains a helpful website that tracks some current developments in juvenile justice reform at the state level. It can be found at http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org

Who is a Juvenile?

The federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) defines a juvenile as anyone under the age of 18. That bright line is also drawn by other federal policies, including PREA. However, it is important to note that this legal definition varies among states, depending on the maximum age of juvenile jurisdiction in that state, that is, at what age a minor will be automatically prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system. Although 40 states set the maximum age of juvenile jurisdiction at 18, there are 8 states that consider a 17-year old an adult for criminal justice purposes and 2 states that set the age at 16. And every state has some mechanism for transferring a youth into the adult criminal justice system, even if he or she is below the maximum age of juvenile court jurisdiction. Once in adult court, that youth may be labeled an “adult” under state law.

Further complicating the issue of who should be considered a juvenile is our increasing awareness of developmental and neurological differences between adults and children, including scientific studies that show the brain is not fully developed until roughly age 25. (See Ch. 6: Adolescent Development)

What is the Juvenile Justice System?

The juvenile justice system encompasses different levels of government and different departments within those governments. These include the courts, juvenile probation departments, juvenile detention and correctional facilities, and treatment service providers. Some may be operated by the state, while the county or another local unit of government may operate others. Some functions may be contracted out to private providers. Together, these departments and providers deliver a continuum of services—prevention, intervention, reentry, and aftercare and include programs such as alternative education, foster care, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, probation, and detention. It is important for practitioners to understand how these programs work together toward the goal of diverting youth from the criminal justice system or ensuring the safe and healthy conditions of confinement for those youth that must be held in custody.

Unlike the adult criminal justice system, the juvenile system operates under the strict time constraint of a youth’s age, which determines his or her eligibility for treatment, institutional placements, and transfer to the adult system. With lengthy delays, older youth may age out of the juvenile system before receiving appropriate treatment. The juvenile court must focus not only on services provided to youth, but also on the length of time youth are eligible to receive those services.

Some federal policies and constitutional law relevant to juvenile justice apply across the entire country, but most are the province of state and local government. Thus, the system functions differently from state to state, as well as among counties within a particular state.[2] These structural differences include which level of government funds juvenile probation, detention, and corrections, and the jurisdiction of the civil and criminal courts.

The division of responsibility between state and local government varies as well. Probation and pre-adjudication detention are at the “front end” and are typically overseen by local governments; long-term commitment and aftercare are the “back end” and are often centralized at the state level.[3] Responsibilities can be divided into three categories:

Centralized states are characterized by a state executive agency having across-the-board state control of delinquency services, including state-run juvenile probation services, state correctional facilities, and aftercare.

Decentralized states administer basic delinquency services characterized, at a minimum, by local control of traditional probation services. Often, local authorities run detention centers as well. Some also share responsibility for aftercare services with state agencies.

Combination states use a mix of state and local control to operate delinquency services. For instance, they may have largely state-run systems—but with significant local control in the more populous, urban areas. Some states operate most delinquency services for youth but divide responsibility between the executive and judicial branches of government.

The Appendix Table 1 describes the structure of the juvenile justice system in each state and the agencies responsible for each state’s juvenile justice functions. The Juvenile Justice Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics website has related information on jurisdictional boundaries, juvenile justice services, and systems integration, among other topics. OJJDP offers information on questions of jurisdictional boundaries and the organization of administration and delinquency services on its Statistical Briefing Book FAQ page.[4]

The Development of the Juvenile Court System

The roots of the juvenile court in this country can be traced to educational and religious reform movements in 16th century Europe, which ushered in a view of children as gradually developing into adulthood instead of being “miniature adults.” Boarding schools of the era had strict regimens designed to shape the mentality and morality of the child.[5]

Industrialization and immigration in the U.S. in the 1800s accelerated the application of criminal law to children. Rapid urbanization disrupted families, resulting in overcrowding and an increase in crime, including crimes committed by children. A strong public concern for these children began to surface, setting the stage for a series of social reforms such as the development of child labor legislation, specialized care for the disabled, and public education. Such social reforms were evidence of growing support for governmental responsibility for individuals who needed special protection and care.[6] The creation of the juvenile court in 1899 extended predictably from a reform movement throughout the 1800s to protect children.

Houses of Refuge

A Quaker-led movement in New York City that began in 1796 focused on reforms to the criminal justice system, including legislation that, for many crimes, replaced punishment by whipping and death with confinement in newly built prisons.[7] General concerns about the plights of the poor, combined with awareness of the special plight of poor children wandering the streets and falling into a life of pickpocketing and other crimes, led to a desire to remove these children from the city streets. But reformers feared the harm that would come from confining these pre-delinquent youth in prisons with hardened adult criminals.[8] In 1824, the New York Legislature approved construction of a House of Refuge for juvenile delinquents, establishing the first detention system that separated youth from adults. However, only those youth deemed “salvageable” and “novices in anti-social conduct” could be housed in these facilities.[9] Historian Sanford Fox contends that these notions of “predelinquency” and the potential for rehabilitation, along with the belief that these children were truly victims of poverty and neglect rather than offenders, characterized the next century of juvenile justice reforms in the United States.

New York’s House of Refuge became the prototype for similar institutions in Pennsylvania and Boston. The Philadelphia House of Refuge—established in 1826—was the second such institution and accepted children who had been convicted of crimes or who were vagrants. These institutions held youth for indeterminate periods of time, and emphasized values similar to the Protestant work ethic such as discipline and hard work.[10]

In 1835, Pennsylvania added incorrigibility as a reason to confine youth. The new law was soon challenged as unconstitutional after an incorrigible child had been committed to the House of Refuge without a jury trial. However, in Ex Parte Crouse, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the commitment, finding that “The House of Refuge is not a prison, but a school, where reformation, not punishment, is the end.”[11] The Crouse Court based its ruling on the notion of parens patriae, finding that when the parents of a child neglect their parental duties, the state has an obligation to intervene and to provide the youth with guidance, supervision, and schooling. The emphasis is on the welfare of the child, permitting the proper balance of social and economic interests. The court might have limited its concern to dependent, neglected, and destitute children but chose to include delinquent children as well. Delinquent children were often also dependent, neglected, and destitute, and all of these children needed the court’s benevolent intervention.

The early Houses of Refuge were founded on principles of education and religion, generally providing a program for children based on strict discipline and useful labor, while protecting them from adult criminals. Theory and practice often diverged in the operations of these facilities, however. While judges sent youth to these institutions with the expectation that they would receive beneficial treatment and services, many children were subjected to brutal forms of discipline rather than parental guidance. The work program also devolved into a system of indentured servitude and contract labor. The environment of the schools was characterized by violence and escapes, making rehabilitation of the youth unlikely.[12] Nor did the removal of these children from their communities have any impact on the juvenile crime problem.[13]

Concerns about the mistreatment and neglect of children in Houses of Refuge gave rise to the so-called “Child Savers” movement in the Victorian era, with prominent women citizens in urban areas acting as the lead advocates for children. These reformers pushed for increasing state intervention into the lives of at-risk youth, including schooling.[14] This led to the establishment of state-operated reform schools and industrial schools, such as the Lyman School, established in rural Massachusetts in 1886 as the nation’s first reformatory. Some scholars have suggested that the purpose of the “child savers” was less about protecting the children than about protecting the middle and upper classes from the scourge of juvenile crime.[15]

John Augustus and Probation

Equally important to the development of the juvenile court system in the U.S. was the development of probation. Probation was derived from a logical extension of the English common law practice of the conditional suspension of punishment. Use of the judicial reprieve, release of offenders on recognizance, release on bail, and suspension of sentence were direct precursors of probation.

In 1841, a local cobbler named John Augustus took the first step beyond these common law practices in Boston, Massachusetts. He began to attend court hearings and requested the court to allow him to post bail for defendants, promising to supervise them in the community and guide their behavior pending the sentencing hearing. His efforts were generally successful, and they saved the state the costs of building secure facilities to hold these defendants. Although Augustus initially worked with men, he gradually began to provide supervision for women and children. After Augustus’s death, other volunteers stepped up to continue his work, but Augustus is generally credited as the first to use probation as an alternative to incarceration when it came to juvenile delinquents.[16]

In 1869, Massachusetts appointed salaried officers to serve the function of supervising youth placed on probation, and in 1880, a statewide law went into effect allowing cities and towns to employ probation officers. These local departments soon grew into large bureaucracies.[17] Other states followed suit by establishing juvenile probation offices.[18]

Advent of the Juvenile Court in 1899

The first juvenile court was created in Cook County (Chicago), Illinois, in 1899, using the parens patriae doctrine as the legal basis for the court’s jurisdiction over youth and relying on a philosophy that children should be seen as delinquent rather than as criminal. The primary purpose of this new juvenile court system was rehabilitation rather than punishment.[19]

Although the impetus for creating the new court came out of a desire for reform of the system for handling delinquent youth, the passage of the Juvenile Court Act resulted only in a change in court procedures and not in a change to institutional conditions for youth in custody.[20] The final version of the bill passed by the Illinois Legislature deleted provisions meant to improve conditions in reformatories, detention facilities, and other institutional settings for delinquent youth.[21] The Illinois Bar Association had championed efforts to reform these institutions, led by reformers Julia Lathrop and Lucy Flowers, following Illinois Governor John Altgeld’s request that Lathrop investigate conditions for juvenile offenders in custody.

Although the commonly held belief is that the creation of the first juvenile court was revolutionary in its reshaping of juvenile justice practice in this country, Fox argues that this is a “myth” and that the legal system had not actually “turned a corner in its dealings with children….”[22] However, the Juvenile Court Act of 1899 did reaffirm the state’s concern for delinquent youth and for efforts to prevent criminality through rehabilitation, as well as the principle that youth should be kept separate from adult inmates.[23] The Act formally established a system of probation and characterized the juvenile court as a civil rather than criminal court. It further eliminated procedural protections for youth, such as warrants to arrest children, the use of indictments, and most other features of adult criminal proceedings. The focus was on individualized justice delivered in a more informal setting than adult criminal court; in fact, the judge was seen as a “father figure.”[24] The court’s task was not to punish juvenile crime but to guide delinquents toward a responsible and productive adulthood. The focus of the juvenile court proceeding shifted from the particular offense that a child had committed to the child him/herself.[25]

Parallel evolution of juvenile courts was taking place in several other states. The practice of trying children separately from adults began in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, in 1870. The practice spread statewide in 1872. New York developed a similar statute in 1892, followed soon thereafter by Indiana and Rhode Island.[26] In 1905, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a statute creating a separate juvenile court, relying heavily on the parens patriae doctrine as the basis for different procedures for children.[27]

The juvenile court movement gained considerable momentum after Illinois’ passage of the Juvenile Court Act in 1899, and by the mid-1920s, nearly every state had enacted juvenile court statutes. Many jurisdictions used the Illinois act as a model statute.[28] Some reformers criticized these courts for the absence of procedural safeguards for children, and the intensity of the criticism increased throughout the 20th century. Nevertheless, the juvenile courts of the early 1900s functioned virtually unchanged until 1966, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on certain procedures of juvenile courts. (See later section: Supreme Court Rulings on Sentencing and Criminal Procedure, and Ch. 19: Challenging and Vulnerable Populations)

Due Process

During the 1960s, civil libertarians found powerful allies on the U.S. Supreme Court and successfully challenged various aspects of the criminal justice system for failing to provide procedural due process. Once the adult criminal courts had been “blasted into constitutional submission,” the focus of reformers shifted to the lack of due process in the juvenile courts.[29] With the Kent decision in 1966, Gault in 1967, and Winship in 1969, the Supreme Court denounced the informality of juvenile proceedings and demanded that juvenile courts consider a defendant’s rights, due process, and constitutional safeguards. These decisions resulted in states adopting more formal procedural protections for youth in juvenile courts. Some scholars believe that, except for the range of available rehabilitative dispositional options and greater concern for the protection of the youth, these rulings reshaped the proceedings in juvenile court into something more closely resembling those in adult criminal court.[30]

Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Cases for Due Process in Juvenile Cases

Kent v US, 383 U.S. 541 (1966).

The Kent case established a juvenile’s due process rights in a hearing to transfer the youth to adult criminal court. The decision required that:

1) There must always be a hearing in the matter of waiver of jurisdiction.

2) There must always be assistance of counsel in such a hearing.

3) The plaintiff's counsel must have access to all social records.

4) If there is a waiver, the judge must include in the record a statement of facts based on a full investigation, including the judge's reasons for the waiver.

In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967).

Gault was a landmark decision that established the constitutional right to legal counsel for children facing delinquency proceedings. The case involved a 14-year-old boy that was sentenced to seven years in a juvenile detention center after making a lewd phone call.

In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358 (1970).

Winship held that, when a juvenile is charged with an act that would be a crime if committed by an adult, every element of the offense must be proved beyond reasonable doubt, not preponderance of the evidence. The case’s broader application is that, in a criminal prosecution, every essential element of the offense must be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Current Court Authority

Age of Jurisdiction

Every state has a statute establishing the jurisdiction and authority of the juvenile court, including the minimum and maximum ages of juvenile court jurisdiction.[31] Under common law, a child younger than seven could not be held criminally liable for his or her actions, however some states set a different minimum age.[32] Children younger than the minimum age are handled through the child welfare system. Many states have opted to set the maximum age of juvenile court jurisdiction at 18, but in some states, the upper age limit is lower. Youth older than the upper age limit are automatically transferred to adult criminal court, preventing the judge from considering individual circumstances.[33]

There is also a maximum age for the juvenile court to exercise control over a youth who is adjudicated in that court (also called “extended juvenile court jurisdiction”). For example, to give the judge and probation staff time to work with older youth, a term of probation may last beyond a youth’s 18th birthday. In addition, each state sets a maximum age for youth in juvenile confinement facilities; that age can range anywhere from 19 to 25.

Each state has also developed one or more mechanisms for waiving the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and transferring a youth to adult criminal court. These transfer mechanisms allow children as young as age seven to be prosecuted in adult criminal court under certain circumstances.[34]

Recent statutory changes that raise the maximum age of juvenile jurisdiction and that reduce the eligibility of youths for transfer to adult court indicate a shift toward greater jurisdiction of the juvenile court.[35]

Dispositional Options

Juvenile judges typically have a great deal of discretion in assessing youth and determining how to handle the case before them. Although the vast majority of adjudicated youth are placed on nonresidential probation, which can include community service and rehabilitation treatment, about a quarter receive court-ordered residential placement, ranging from group homes to secure confinement facilities.[36] The juvenile court often combines these with other dispositional options, such as treatment programs, fines, and restitution. Placement in a juvenile correctional facility may be either determinate (a set length) or indeterminate (dependent on the youth’s progress in treatment programs).

The terminology in juvenile court differs from that used for proceedings in adult criminal court. After adjudication (the juvenile equivalent of a trial), a hearing is held to determine a youth’s disposition (the equivalent of a sentence). Placement in a secure juvenile correctional facility is a commitment (the equivalent of a prison sentence).

In the 1990s, some states began giving courts the option of issuing a blended sentence, in which a youth begins his or her sentence in a juvenile facility and, depending on the level of program completion and rehabilitation, is subject to transfer to an adult prison facility for the remainder of the sentence.[37]

Every state allows for a juvenile court to waive its jurisdiction over certain youths and transfer them to adult criminal court for prosecution. Once transferred to adult criminal court, youth are often subject to the same sentences as adult offenders, with the exception of the death penalty and some the possibility of parole sentences (LWOP). Many states do not allow judges or juries to consider an offender’s age as a mitigating factor in sentencing decisions. The topic of extreme sentencing for youth—the practice of subjecting teens to LWOP sentences or other extremely long terms of confinement—has been the source of much national attention since the mid-2000s. Several important decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court have set limits on the types of sentences applicable to defendants under age 18.

Origins of Contemporary Services for Youth in Custody

The First Juvenile Detention Center

Limited availability of historical records makes it difficult to identify the first juvenile detention facility in the United States. Tappan identified the first such facility to be the Arthur J. Audy Home, operated by the Cook County (Illinois) Juvenile Court.[38] Opened in 1906, soon after the creation of the juvenile court, the Audy Home was a multi-story residential building near downtown Chicago.[39] The Audy Home was rebuilt in 1923 using state-of-the-art designs, but by 1970, the demand for increased capacity led to the construction of a 500-bed Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center.

Around the same time, Los Angeles established its own large juvenile detention facility, called the Central Juvenile Hall (Eastlake). This was the first permanent juvenile detention facility in Los Angeles County and was renamed Los Angeles County Juvenile Hall in 1912.

Juvenile Detention Homes and Training Schools

For the first 50 years of the juvenile court, such large, secure, locally-operated juvenile detention facilities were expensive and uncommon, other than in large urban centers. In rural communities, family networks were able to manage a great deal of the response to juvenile delinquency, thus limiting the need for detention facilities. Most small jurisdictions met their detention needs through non-secure detention homes, foster homes, and group homes with fewer than 20 beds. Some juvenile courts purchased large houses to be used as detention facilities for status offenders, minor offenders, and dependent or neglected children. The legacy of the homelike approach to juvenile detention survived through the 1960s, and today a few detention centers are still called homes, for example, the Calhoun County (Michigan) Juvenile Home. There has also been a resurgence of the detention home approach in Missouri and other states or counties that have adopted the so-called “Missouri Model.” The small, homelike facilities that have been used for youth in custody in Missouri since the mid-1970s closely resemble the ideal of the early juvenile detention home or group home model.

Most jurisdictions without access to a detention center made arrangements to detain youth in county jails or municipal lockups. By 1945, nearly 27% of all youth detained overnight were incarcerated in a county jail or police lockup as opposed to a juvenile detention facility.[40] As the practice of jailing youth continued, reports of deaths, injuries, and unsanitary living conditions led to questions about whether the practice of detaining youth in jails was appropriate.[41] Construction of more appropriate juvenile confinement facilities was hindered, however, by the economic problems associated with the Depression and World War II.

The most serious juvenile offenders were sent by the courts to state-run training schools for youth. Training schools were established around the turn of the century with the intention of keeping the public safe by housing the largest numbers of serious and chronic juvenile offenders.[42] Training schools were also supposed to be treatment institutions, holding youth accountable for their crimes and providing rehabilitation through education and vocational development.[43] However, in practice, these institutions strayed far from the goals of rehabilitation. Feld observed that, “Despite the rehabilitative rhetoric and clinical euphemisms, incarcerated delinquents’ institutional experiences remained essentially custodial and punitive.”[44] Research on the training school model has revealed conditions that would undoubtedly be seen as unacceptable today: “cottage parents” who staffed the institutions used harsh physical punishment and youth were frequently kept in isolation units called “tombs.”[45]

The Post-World War II Construction Boom

Post-World War II prosperity enabled those working within the juvenile justice system, as well as the public, to look more closely at the problems surrounding juvenile delinquency, especially the practice of jailing youth and the need for appropriate confinement facilities for children and youth. As a result, a significant construction boom for juvenile confinement facilities occurred in the 1950s and 1960s. By 1971, a national survey of children in custody from the U.S. Department of Justice revealed a total of 303 locally run detention centers and 192 state-operated training schools for juveniles across the country. Additionally, there were numerous smaller facilities, such as shelters, group homes, forestry camps, and diagnostic centers, for a total of 722 facilities holding youth. The detention centers tended to be quite small, while the training centers typically had capacities of 150 beds or more.[46]

These facilities quickly became overcrowded, and the construction patterns continued throughout the 1970s. By 1979, there were 1,015 public detention and correctional facilities for youth. There was also a rise in reliance on private facilities: the government census in 1979 found 1,561 privately run juvenile confinement institutions.[47]

The NCCD Survey of Confinement Facilities and the National Advisory Commission

By the 1960s, juvenile crime was on the rise and recognized in the media as a national problem.[48] The federal government started to get involved through the collection of data about state and local approaches to juvenile delinquency. One of the most important national developments in juvenile justice reform occurred in 1966, when the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) surveyed state and local correctional agencies and institutions across the U.S. at the request of the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. The survey documented use of juvenile detention and correctional facilities, as well as the use of juvenile probation, juvenile aftercare, and adult correctional programs. NCCD found that 93% of juvenile court jurisdictions in the United States had no dedicated place of detention for youth other than a county jail or police lockup. Perhaps most troubling was the survey’s finding of widespread use of both adult and juvenile confinement facilities to house youth accused of noncriminal conduct (so-called “status offenders”), often without court involvement.[49] Jurisdictions also varied widely in the rates at which they confined youth and the lengths of stay for these children, thereby compounding concerns about misuse and overuse of juvenile confinement. NCCD concluded that, “Confusion and misuse pervade detention. It has come to be used by police and probation officers as a disposition; judges use it for punishment, protection, and storage” of youth.[50]

Juvenile reformatories also fared poorly in this study. NCCD documented overcrowding in more than half the nation’s training schools and found that they offered very limited rehabilitation services, with huge variations in the quality of services across facilities.[51] Although these training schools were theoretically created to serve a hardened delinquent population of youth with specialized programming, in practice these facilities were used as warehouses with deplorable conditions for a wide range of children, up to half of whom were not delinquent.

NCCD also documented the harms caused by confining youth in adult jails, finding a lack of supervision for these children and indiscriminate mixing of youth with all types of adult offenders. The report also revealed high rates of physical and sexual assaults, suicides, and even murders of youth, as well as deaths of children from substandard medical care.[52]

The NCCD report recommended the development of standards restricting the use of juvenile confinement facilities and limiting their use to those who are delinquent and at significant risk of committing further offenses that present a danger to themselves or to the community, as well as those likely to run away pending court disposition. Also, the organization urged that no youth be confined in adult jails or lockups.[53]

Many of these same concerns and recommendations about deinstitutionalization of youth were echoed in the work of the National Advisory Commission (NAC) on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, a high-profile commission appointed in the early 1970s by the U.S. Department of Justice to develop crime-reduction proposals and standards. The NAC emphasized the need to prevent juvenile delinquency and to minimize a youth’s contact with the criminal justice system. Among its voluminous recommendations pertinent to every part of the criminal justice system, the NAC called for the removal of juveniles from all places of detention for adults, for the use of probation and diversion rather than confinement, for the use of confinement only as a last resort and only when the youth’s conduct is criminal in nature, for a moratorium on construction of new state-operated facilities for juveniles, and for the phasing out of “major institutions for juveniles” over a five-year period.[54]

These reports, and similar ones issued by other national associations, set the tone for the coming shift in juvenile justice policy at the federal level.

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA)

Passage of the JJDPA

In 1974, in response to the NAC report, Congress proposed new legislation aimed at preventing juvenile delinquency. The 1974 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) represented the first time lawmakers supported a coordinated federal response to the issue of juvenile delinquency.[55] This legislation had three components:

Create federal institutions. The JJDPA created the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to coordinate federal efforts. OJJDP was initially housed within the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, but has since become a stand-alone office within the DOJ. The JJDPA also created the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to oversee the federal government’s juvenile delinquency programs and the National Institute for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to coordinate data distribution on best practices for the treatment and control of juvenile offenders.

Develop grant programs. The JJDPA established discretionary grant programs available to states, local governments, and nonprofits to support innovative approaches to prevention and treatment of delinquent behavior.

Develop and implement state mandates. Finally, the JJDPA mandated that states do the following to qualify for federal funding:

  • Remove from detention facilities juveniles who committed status offenses—known as the Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO) requirement.
  • Create “sight and sound” protections to separate youth from adults when youth are housed in adult facilities by limiting, or preferably, eliminating contact between juveniles and adults. (Note that the protection does not apply to juveniles who are waived to adult criminal court, only to those who remain in the juvenile system for prosecution.)

Subsequent reauthorizations of the JJDPA in 1980 and 1992 added “jail removal” and Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) components to these mandates, among other changes. The jail removal focused on removal of youth classified as juveniles from adult facilities. The DMC provision called on states to address racial disproportionality and reduce the number of minority youth that come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

Some critics argued that the JJDPA was too vague and offered few implementation guidelines for states. Moreover, advocates who wanted to remove youth from adult jails entirely were disappointed that the sight and sound mandate still allowed youth who are tried as adults to remain confined in adult jails. Despite these criticisms, the JJDPA transformed the field of juvenile justice and the nature of juvenile confinement by modernizing the federal response to the issue. It was widely considered a victory for juvenile justice professionals, child advocates, and public interest groups, signifying that juvenile justice had become a national priority.[56] Many viewed it as the driving force for statewide reforms that occurred in the years that followed.

The JJDPA was last reauthorized in 2002, and it expired in 2007. Though several reauthorization bills have been filed, no subsequent reauthorization has yet occurred.

Monitoring DSO Compliance

There were three rationales behind the original DSO requirement of the JJDPA to keep status offenders out of confinement. The first was that, when status offenders are treated as delinquents and are placed in secure detention facilities, both physical and psychological harm can result. Second, it is a disproportionate response to confine these youth in a detention facility when they have not actually engaged in criminal conduct. Finally, status offenders tend to be victims of abuse and neglect and may suffer additional harm from the juvenile justice system’s response to their behavior.

The DSO requirement compelled states seeking grant funds under the JJDPA to submit a detailed plan that would ensure within two years’ time that youth charged with status offenses would not be placed in detention or correctional facilities. If such youth needed to be removed from their homes, they were required to be held in shelters, group homes, or other community-based settings. States were also required to create a system for monitoring compliance with the DSO requirement in all jails, detention facilities, and correctional facilities and for reporting the monitoring results to the federal government.[57] The DSO requirement thus helped spark the transition of juvenile justice responsibilities from a state and local function to a system requiring ongoing coordination of state-level authorities with the federal government.

Valid Court Order (VCO) Exception to the DSO Requirement

Congress amended the JJDPA in 1980, responding to concerns from juvenile judges that the DSO provision undermined their ability to enforce stricter sanctions on parole violators who flouted the system. The amendment allowed judges to place in secure detention those status offenders who violated a Valid Court Order (VCO), such as probation requirements, which can include curfews or school attendance.[58]

This practice has resulted in thousands of youth being detained for running away, truancy, and liquor law violations. Those violations represent the majority of detentions for status offenses; however, increasing numbers of youth are being detained for incorrigibility and curfew violations.[59] The National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition (NJJDPC), a partnership of key juvenile justice advocacy groups, argues that the VCO exception “undermines the DSO core requirement and harms youth.”[60]

Several bills to reauthorize the JJDPA in recent years would have removed the VCO exception, but the 2008, 2009, and 2010 proposals failed to receive a congressional vote. Texas and Connecticut are among the states that have passed laws limiting or prohibiting the use of the VCO exception, while New York has attempted to expand the practice of detaining these youth.[61]

The First Wave of Modern-Era Reforms

The Role of Litigation in Reforming Juvenile Confinement Facilities

Around the same time that the JJDPA was enacted by Congress, the federal courts began to get involved in juvenile justice reform efforts. Reform-minded lawyers filed a number of class action lawsuits on behalf on confined youth alleging poor conditions in confinement facilities and violations of the youths’ constitutional rights. Many of these suits started in the early 1970s, coinciding with national concerns about civil rights and class action cases on behalf of adult prisoners. In 1980, Congress enacted the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), which allowed the U.S. Justice Department to investigate facility conditions and to sue on behalf of incarcerated individuals to press for corrective measures.[62]

Though relatively few lawsuits were filed, the successful cases resulted in court-ordered improvements and helped establish the constitutional right of youth to safe and healthy conditions of confinement.[63] The cases also sent a powerful message to juvenile justice administrators and policymakers around the country that youth in custody have rights that will be vindicated by the courts. Fear of lawsuits—and the potential for protracted court oversight—spurred many jurisdictions to proactively improve conditions in their juvenile facilities. During this era, youth confinement facilities came to be guided by legal and constitutional constraints, and administrators demonstrated a greater commitment to best practices and to the safe and humane treatment of youth.

Morales v. Turman (1973) is considered one of the leading juvenile facility reform cases.[64] In 1971, 11 youth filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the director of the Texas Youth Commission (TYC), alleging violations of their constitutional rights in secure state-run facilities in Texas. The Morales lawsuit brought to light extensive accounts of abuse, segregation, neglect, and denial of constitutional rights. The court appointed, first, a Court Ombudsman and later, a Consultant Committee to monitor conditions in the facilities and required the TYC to change its policies concerning the use of physical force, corporal punishment, segregation and solitary confinement, visitation, mail, and internal due process.[65] The Morales lawsuit spurred Texas lawmakers to enact a specific juvenile code and establish various procedural protections for youth served by the TYC.[66] The Morales decision is widely considered the first case to influence national standards for juvenile justice by strengthening safety, health, and oversight criteria for juvenile confinement facilities.[67]

Another prominent case, arising a bit later during this era, was Jerry M. v. District of Columbia.[68] In that case, youths detained in the District of Columbia’s secure confinement facilities filed a class action suit alleging violation of their constitutional rights due to overcrowding and other conditions issues. The case resulted in a broad consent decree in which the parties agreed to a detailed set of reforms covering issues such as environmental health and safety, staffing, programming, education, mental health services, medical care, use of restraints, and discipline.[69] The court appointed a monitor to oversee implementation of the reforms and to help assess the agency’s compliance with a strict set of deadlines for improvement. Years of foot-dragging on the part of the agency limited progress on these court-ordered changes, but in the mid-2000s, there was dramatic progress following the appointment of a reform-minded administrative team. The District of Columbia is now held up as a model for other jurisdictions seeking to improve conditions of confinement for youth. The history of the Jerry M. case is an important reminder that winning the case in court is not the same thing as changing the culture of a troubled agency and that there are limits to the power of a court to effect organizational change; nevertheless, the ruling in the case and the subsequent court orders clearly established a willingness on the part of the court to enforce the rights of youth.[70]

Cases such as Morales and Jerry M. ushered in an era of changing national norms in the operation of juvenile confinement facilities across the country. Judges’ rulings turned on evidence of best practices provided by national juvenile justice experts, and the consent decrees in these cases mandated that agencies adopt these practices. As agencies under court order showed they were capable of reform, with demonstrated benefits for both youth and staff, other jurisdictions took notice. The court cases thus helped inform the development of standards, policies, and practice applicable to other agencies. Many states also came to see the value in having some form of ongoing monitoring of conditions as a legitimate method of ensuring both public transparency and accountability for the protection of confined youth.[71]

Although institutional reform cases such as these were highly influential in the development of modern-day juvenile confinement facilities, the heyday of such litigation is now past. In 1996, Congress passed the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which reduced the opportunity for both adults and youth to sue for poor conditions of confinement or abusive treatment and limited the courts’ ability to exercise long-term oversight to ensure compliance with reform orders.[72] Nevertheless, patterns of horrific conditions in juvenile confinement facilities can still lead to successful lawsuits, including ones in which a court monitor is appointed to help oversee implementation of needed reforms. Ohio, for example, has been under the supervision of the federal court since 2004 following litigation there (S.H. v. Stickrath) about abuse of youth, poor conditions, and lack of services.[73]

Visionary Leaders and Institutional Reform

Although some improvements to conditions in youth confinement facilities resulted from federal legislation or litigation, other juvenile justice reforms during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s arose from the vision of juvenile justice agency leaders. In many cases, leaders sought a way to overcome a recent crisis or scandal, and decided to make a radical break with established policy or practice. Their visionary approaches successfully reshaped juvenile justice practice in their states, and these grand experiments eventually became catalysts for reforms in other jurisdictions as well. Notably, Massachusetts and Missouri both staked claims to fame with their juvenile justice system reform initiatives and became models that reshaped the landscape of youth confinement at a national level.

The Massachusetts Experiment

Jerome Miller became director of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services in 1969 following a series of crises in the state juvenile justice system and a gubernatorial mandate for reform of the state’s training schools. Within 27 months of his appointment, he had closed all the juvenile correctional institutions in the state in favor of decentralized community-based services and a few small, secure facilities for the most serious juvenile offenders. Miller’s original intent had been to create therapeutic communities within the training schools, but staff intransigence and resistance to reform made that approach untenable.[74] Needing to act quickly, he decided to close the institutions even before he had obtained funding for the community-based programs. Using “creative juggling” of available resources, Miller managed to depopulate the training schools and find alternative placements and services for the youth.[75] One scholar called these changes the “Massachusetts revolution” and contended that Miller’s actions “constituted the most sweeping reforms in youth corrections in the United States since the establishment of juvenile training schools and juvenile courts in the 19th century.”[76] Massachusetts’ experiences with deinstitutionalization showed that the large training school model was not an essential element of an effective juvenile justice system, and that youth could be diverted without compromising public safety.[77] Success in Massachusetts encouraged other states to begin moving toward use of community-based alternatives to detention and incarceration.

The Missouri Model

Missouri began a similar path towards reform in the early 1970s, following years of revelations about abuse and neglect in its state-run training schools facilities for youth.[78] The primary facility for boys, the Boonville Training School, was closed down in 1983, followed closely by the closure of several other state institutions. In their place, Missouri developed a set of small group homes scattered around the state to be used for youth who needed secure placements. Lower-risk youth would be diverted to community-based services.

Director Mark Steward spearheaded the shift in approach for 17 years, beginning in 1988. Steward’s approach, however, went beyond an emphasis on deinstitutionalization. The so-called “Missouri Model” was characterized by the homelike environment of the secure facilities run by the state, as well as by the facilities’ focus on education, services, treatment, family involvement, and a strengths-based culture for the youth. The strategy paid off in terms of vastly improved outcomes for youth: Missouri’s recidivism rates are only about 8.5%, substantially lower than rates of 20 to 26% in other states.[79]

Missouri’s innovative approach to juvenile corrections has received a great deal of national recognition, and a number of jurisdictions have sought to adopt the Missouri model in recent years.[80]

Juvenile Detention Services

The most effective reform of egregious conditions of confinement in the past 40 years has involved the leadership of Earl L. Dunlap and his application of a detention services model based on the concept of juvenile detention as a process as opposed to a place.[81] Working from juvenile detention concepts that predate the Annie E. Casey and MacArthur Foundations reforms, Dunlap envisioned detention as a continuum of custody at different levels of restrictiveness depending on the behaviors of the youth. With the building called “detention” as the secure or most restrictive option on a range of alternatives that included staff secure detention, home detention, after school reporting, weekend programs, electronic monitoring, to name a few, Dunlap included the supervision of all these services under a larger organizational entity he called “juvenile detention services.” Hence, a court order to detention services was similar to ordering an adult into the department of corrections; the agency takes custody and responsibility but it determines the most appropriate location or form of custody. Under this arrangement, Dunlap could “step down” a youth to a community-based alternative upon determination that the youth did not need secure custody. Furthermore, moving a youth to a less secure placement did not require a hearing.

Using this concept along with detention strategy for improving condition of confinement, Dunlap was the architect of impressive conditions reforms in Jefferson County (Louisville), Kentucky; Washington, DC; and Cook County (Chicago), Illinois. Dunlap enhanced programs and services to those fewer youth who required secure custody, achieved accreditation through the American Correctional Association (ACA) and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC), expanded mental health services, and improved youth safety. His initial repair work in Louisville earned it a designation from ACA as a National Resource Center, and many describe the Cook County experience as the most significant reform of conditions in the history of juvenile detention.

The “Tough on Crime” Years

During the 1980s and 1990s, rising crime rates coincided with increased media attention on youth crime, fueling fears of “juvenile super-predators.”[82] Policymakers in most states responded by advocating tougher sentences for youth. These policies reflected growing pressure for more serious sentencing options for violent youth and less public tolerance for treatment-oriented programs for delinquent youth.

The result of this shifting attitude towards juvenile crime was an increase in the number of youth incarcerated in adult facilities, and a huge expansion in the scale of juvenile lockups, including the addition of beds in large, state-run institutions. These facilities became more correctional in nature, and, with more youths incarcerated, the fiscal impact of operating juvenile facilities increased dramatically.[83]

Racial Disproportionality

Racial disproportionality had been a concern of reformers since the passage of the JJDPA back in 1974, but became more urgent during the tough on crime era of the 1980s. Sensationalist media portraying minority youth as violent—young African-American males in particular—fueled racial stereotypes and negative perceptions.[84] In the mid-1980s, homicide arrest rates for African-American youths were almost seven times higher than those of White youths, and similar racial imbalances could be seen throughout the entire criminal justice system.[85] In 1992, Congress amended the JJDPA to make reduction of Disproportionate Minority Confinement (DMC) a core requirement; states had to take steps to ensure that their confinement practices were not leading to disparities in the treatment of minority youth.

When Congress reauthorized the JJDPA in 2002, the term “confinement” was changed to “contact,” recognizing the disparity and discrimination at every stage of the justice system. States receiving formula grants were required to collect data on the impact of DMC in their jurisdictions, assess the reasons this disproportionality existed, and work on strategies for prevention. OJJDP created a five-phase reduction model to help states evaluate their efforts. The five phases were: identification, assessment/diagnosis, intervention, evaluation, and monitoring. To encourage states to take a more in-depth look at the racial makeup and demographics of youth in the system—from arrest to incarceration—OJJDP created opportunities for training and technical assistance, sponsored events, published research reports, and held trainings across the nation.

Research has shown that the overrepresentation of minorities in the juvenile justice system is attributable to a number of social and systemic factors. According to Mauer, those factors include:

  • Selective enforcement of delinquent behaviors.
  • Differences in patterns of offending.
  • Differing opportunities for treatment.
  • Institutional racism.
  • Byproducts of socioeconomic factors.
  • Biased risk assessment instruments.
  • Differential administrative practices.
  • Unequal access to effective legal counsel.
  • Legislation that has a disparate impact on youth of color.[86]

Data on the race and ethnicity patterns in juvenile arrests illustrate that, while minority youth are generally overrepresented in the system, the levels of overrepresentation differ based on the crime. Native-American and African-American youth tend to be overrepresented in homicide arrests, and African-American youths are overrepresented in drug abuse violations, even though White youth self report higher levels of drug use.[87] Racial stereotyping can disadvantage youth and lead to the overrepresentation of minority populations in the system. For example, African-American youth are seen as more “adult-like,” leading to an increased perception of blameworthiness.[88]

Juvenile agencies around the country continue to take steps to reduce disproportionate involvement of minority youth in the juvenile justice system, with varying degrees of success. The JJDPA’s requirements have had a significant impact on practitioners’ awareness of this problem, but few agencies have made substantial inroads into eliminating it.[89] As the research of Mauer and others has shown, the roots of the problem go much deeper than what any particular agency can reform on its own. Racial disproportionality is truly a systemic issue, requiring the concerted efforts of many stakeholders, including those operating outside the juvenile justice field.

Transfer of Juveniles to Adult Court

The tough on crime era of the 1980s and 1990s saw major expansion of mechanisms that allowed more youth to be transferred to adult court. Many states categorically lowered the age so that youth 17 or older would automatically be charged as adults for all crimes.[90] Deitch and her colleagues found that 27 states allowed at least some youth aged 12 and over to be transferred to adult criminal court; 23 of these states have no minimum age of transfer.[91]

Many states changed their laws to broaden the circumstances for which a youth could be transferred to adult court for prosecution and sentencing, giving judges and prosecutors the discretion to transfer youths at even younger ages. Judges also became much more likely to use their discretion to transfer youth to adult criminal court under judicial waiver laws. Prosecutorial discretion is also known as “direct file.”[92]

These laws also expanded the range of offenses for which youth could be transferred. Some states passed laws known as “statutory exclusion” or “automatic file” laws, requiring youth charged with certain serious offenses to be tried as adults.[93] These strict waiver laws apply within 29 states and prohibit certain offenses from being tried in juvenile courts.[94]

Methods of Transfer

  • Age of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction laws set the age of adulthood as the age when juveniles will be placed within jurisdiction of adult courts.
  • Transfer and Waiver Provisions establish crimes for which juveniles can be tried in adult court.
  • Judicial Waivers provide juvenile judges authority to waive jurisdiction of the juvenile court system and transfer the juvenile offender to adult court.
  • Prosecutorial Waivers, also called “prosecutorial discretion,” gives prosecutors the option to file a case against a youth as either a juvenile or adult offender.
  • Reverse Waiver gives courts the option of transferring juveniles in the adult system back to juvenile court jurisdiction.
  • Statutory or Legislative Exclusion policies require cases meeting certain offense criteria to initiate in adult court, thus excluding the juvenile from entering the juvenile court jurisdiction at all.
  • “Once an Adult, Always an Adult” policies require juveniles to be tried as adults if they have ever previous faced prosecution as an adult.[95]

Appendix Table 2 provides a spreadsheet showing the specific transfer laws that apply in each jurisdiction.

Between 1985 and 2002, the number of youth under age 15 transferred to adult court doubled, and statistics show that this trend disproportionately affected African-American youth.[96] The year1994 was a peak time for youth to be transferred by judges to adult criminal court. During this same timeframe, even youth aged 12 and under were being transferred to adult court with surprising frequency.[97]

Current estimates suggest that, under these various waiver and transfer provisions, as many as 250,000 youth under the age of 18 are prosecuted in adult court each year.[98]

Harsh Sentencing

Prosecution of youth in adult court exposed them to harsh sentences intended for adult offenders. Many of these sentences were mandatory, giving the judge no discretion to take a youth’s age or capacity for rehabilitation into account as mitigating factors in sentencing.

Mandatory sentencing laws took on special concern in states where transfers to adult criminal court were required by state statute: in these states, no judge had the opportunity to consider youth as a factor in either prosecution or sentencing. Juveniles as young as 11 and 12 received mandatory sentences for as long as 30 years without the possibility of parole.[99] Some children age 13 received sentences of life without parole (LWOP) for non-homicide crimes.[100]

Nationwide, more than 2,000 youth are currently in prison serving LWOP sentences, and these sentences were given to juveniles three times as often as they were before tough on crime policies were implemented.[101] Countless other youth are serving sentences of life with the possibility of parole for crimes committed during the tough on crime era. The death penalty was a sentencing option for youth prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roper v. Simmons. Roper established that differences in development are significant enough to render juveniles (defined as youth under age 18) ineligible for the death penalty.

During this same time, approximately 27 states also created what became known as “blended sentencing” laws for youthful offenders.[102] Blended sentences offer a middle ground between “pure” juvenile sentencing and transfer to the adult criminal court. Blended sentencing laws permit a judge to craft a sentence for youth that extend into their adulthood. The blended sentence typically requires a youth to start a placement in the juvenile system and, depending upon his or her success and behavior, face transfer to the adult system upon reaching the maximum age of juvenile confinement. On the one hand, this option prevented many youth from being prosecuted in adult criminal court, but it also resulted in the imposition of very long sentences on certain youth who previously would have received only a juvenile disposition. Blended sentences could be relatively short (under 10 years), but they could also be for terms of 40 years or so.[103] Typically, such blended sentencing schemes are available only for the most serious types of offenses.

Placement of Waived Juveniles in Adult Facilities

“Adult time for adult crime” exposed youth to longer sentences and the more punitive environment of adult facilities. As more laws were passed allowing youth to be prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system, more youth ended up confined in adult jails and prisons rather than in juvenile confinement facilities designed to keep them safe and meet their developmental needs.[104] According to 2009 data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), approximately 2,700 youth are locked up in adult prisons on any given day, and an additional 7,220 youth are held in adult jails while awaiting trial.[105]

The risks to these youth are significant: in adult confinement facilities, youth face much higher risks of sexual and physical assault, suicide, and mental health problems.[106] Many youth are held in isolation to protect them from adult offenders, but such strategies carry a painful price for youth, causing them to deteriorate mentally and physically.[107] In addition, adult confinement facilities lack developmentally appropriate programming and educational alternatives for youth.[108]

An Emerging Second Era of Reform

Although juvenile justice policy in the 21st century has not fully rejected the tough on crime attitudes of the 1980s and 1990s, it clearly reflects an increasing belief that punitive approaches can be harmful and that community-based services are often more successful than confinement when responding to youth crime.[109] This era may be characterized as relying on a “developmental model” of approaches to juvenile justice, which considers the specific needs of youth in designing programs and services.[110]

Reducing the Use of Youth Confinement

Perhaps the most fundamental shift in approach to juvenile delinquency in the last decade or so has been the movement to reduce the use of youth confinement facilities, following almost a century of expanded reliance on custodial settings for youth. Many states began documenting maltreatment and abuse in juvenile correctional facilities in the 1990s and early 2000s. In Texas, one of the nation’s largest juvenile corrections systems, scandals erupted in 2007, revealing numerous concerns about safety and treatment of incarcerated youth.[111] Other jurisdictions also began questioning the wisdom of their approaches to youth crime in the wake of highly publicized concerns about conditions.[112] In 2010, the first national study of sexual abuse in juvenile facilities revealed that 12% of youth offenders had been victims of sexual abuse while incarcerated.[113] Further, studies revealed a high use of isolation, seclusion, and restraints within these facilities.[114] The increasing awareness of such dangers helped fuel the move towards deinstitutionalization beginning in the first decade of the 21st century.[115]

Research findings also showed that incarcerating youth was not an effective means to deter recidivism. Studies found high rates of recidivism among youth who spent time in confinement.[116] Those youth who were transferred to the adult system and were incarcerated in adult prisons and jails faced even worse odds: an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control in 2007 showed that youth in adult facilities had a 34% greater risk of violent recidivism than those who remained in the juvenile system.[117] Youth advocates pointed to research that showed the better success rates of community-based programs located close to youths’ homes, and legislators began investing more heavily in non-incarceration options for delinquent youth.[118] The positive experience of Missouri in keeping youth out of large state institutions and close to their home communities lent support to these national reform efforts.[119]

Surely, one important consideration for lawmakers was the vast expense associated with the incarceration of youth, especially coupled with showings of abuse and ineffectiveness. These economic factors assumed even greater importance during the tough budgetary times of the mid-2000s. Legislators began looking closely at opportunities to deinstitutionalize youth and reduce the expenses associated with confinement, adding safeguards to address the troubling conditions.[120]

The first question that lawmakers and agency administrators needed to consider was which youth could be deinstitutionalized without an impact on public safety? Despite all the talk about juvenile super-predators in the 1990s, it was clear that the youth who were filling the detention facilities were in for relatively minor offenses. Only 12% of youth confined in juvenile facilities in 2007 had committed violent crimes—the majority were there for delinquent rather than criminal behavior.[121] Even more troubling, many youth were being incarcerated for status offenses, despite the DSO requirement of the JJDPA. But many jurisdictions have been slow to implement this requirement, which puts these youth at risk and is a costly practice for local authorities, not to mention a violation of federal law.

Policymakers in some states began to divert lower-level, nonviolent youth from state-run facilities. In Texas, for example, in direct response to the scandals of 2007, lawmakers eliminated the ability of judges to send misdemeanants to state-run juvenile corrections facilities. This change in the law quickly decreased the number of state-incarcerated youth in Texas from about 5,000 to around 1,100 in just a few years.[122] Other states, including New York and Ohio, have similarly emphasized diversion to community programs and probation supervision over confinement as a response to delinquent behavior.

Two national initiatives deserve significant credit for helping encourage this shift away from the traditional detention model and towards more effective community-based services. The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) model seeks to implement broad-based juvenile justice reform and has as one of its key objectives to reduce the detention of youth.[123] Launched by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 1992, JDAI established five model pilot sites to test more effective strategies for responding to delinquent youth. The model sites are in Bernalillo County, New Mexico; Cook County, Illinois; Multnomah County, Oregon; New Jersey (the first statewide model); and Santa Cruz, California. Almost 200 other jurisdictions have replicated the JDAI model, at least in part.

In its 2011 annual report on JDAI, the Annie E. Casey Foundation found a 30% decline in admissions to juvenile detention and a 5% increase in average length of stay, across all JDAI jurisdictions since 2009. The shift away from detention does not appear to have led to higher crime rates or increased recidivism. Moreover, the successes of the model have not been limited to deinstitutionalization: Santa Cruz, Multnomah County, and Cook County have all had success in reducing DMC. To help further the goals and success of the initiative and recognizing the limitations of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the OJJDP provided $1 million to support JDAI and its expansion for two years starting in 2011. Continued or more permanent federal funding for JDAI had not been established as of early 2014. [124]

The second relevant initiative is Models for Change, created in 2004 by the MacArthur Foundation by launching satellite programs in four states: Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Washington. There are eight guiding principles of the “Models for Change Framework”: fundamental fairness, recognition of youth and adult differences, recognition of individual differences, recognition of potential, safety, personal responsibility, community responsibility, and system responsibility. This effort is evaluating aftercare, mental health, community-based alternatives, DMC, indigent defense, and evidence-based practices in the juvenile justice system.[125] The emphasis this model places on strategies beyond secure confinement has been enormously influential in shaping the thinking of practitioners and advocates.

These diversion efforts are starting to bear fruit, and the trend is away from juvenile incarceration. Many local detention facilities and state-run juvenile corrections institutions report reductions in the number of confined youth. Moreover, large state-run facilities are closing all over the country. In 2011, the Annie E. Casey Foundation reported that 52 facilities in 18 different states had closed over a four-year period.[126] These closures are attributed in large part to the efforts described above to reduce juvenile confinement, but a lack of funding to support confinement facilities has also been an important factor.

Notably, juvenile crime is also down across the country, resulting in reduced numbers of referrals of youth to juvenile court and reduced demand for beds in secure facilities.[127]

Professionalizing Youth Custody Staff

The last couple of decades have also seen increased emphasis on the professionalization of staff working in confinement facilities, through increased training and ongoing professional development opportunities and the hiring of staff with special qualifications. When staff are made aware of applicable standards and innovations in their field through these professional opportunities, they are enabled to do their jobs more effectively. In turn, this improves conditions of confinement, the availability of services for youth, and interactions between youth and staff. (See Ch. 4: Developing and Maintaining a Professional Workforce)

This shift towards professionalism has many benefits for youth and the public. Positive relationships between staff and youth have an enormous influence on youth behavior in custodial settings, and can reduce the incidence of institutional violence. Also, youth receiving appropriate, effective services in a professional environment are more likely to participate and benefit from treatment, education, and other services, making them more likely to become positive, contributing members of their communities upon release. (See Ch. 14: Behavior Management: Staff Training and the Building of Positive Staff-Youth Relationships)

The Development of Standards for Juvenile Institutions

A key driver of increased professionalism and improvements in conditions of confinement in juvenile facilities has been the development of standards. Over the last couple of decades, a number of entities have sought to incorporate best practices into written standards to guide the operations of agencies that wish to demonstrate their commitment to professionalism and the delivery of quality services for incarcerated juveniles.

American Correctional Association (ACA)

In the mid-1970s, the ACA created an entire department charged with developing standards for correctional facilities. This group initially focused its attention on adult facilities; standards for juvenile facilities were not introduced until 1979. Under the leadership of Anthony Travisono and William Taylor, the ACA developed standards to address such issues as staff training, sanitation, safety, and the living environment. These standards have been updated numerous times over the years and provide a touchstone on best practices applicable to juvenile institutions.

Unless a facility chooses to become ACA certified, it is not mandated to comply with ACA standards, however, many state and local jurisdictions use the ACA standards as a guide for auditing or monitoring juvenile facilities. ACA standards can be used to assess a facility’s institutional strengths and weaknesses, identify and address problems, establish organizational goals, and develop and implement new policies and procedures. ACA standards may be helpful to facility administrators in advocating for additional resources to support improved conditions, needed services, and additional staff. Compliance with ACA standards can also be helpful in defending against frivolous lawsuits and providing for higher levels of staff professionalism and morale.[128]

Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA)

In 1995, the CJCA developed Performance-based Standards (PbS) that focus on the treatment services offered in juvenile correctional institutions. PbS go beyond the primarily facility-based requirements of the ACA and require an examination of the outcomes of the policies and practices employed in the institution. Participation in the PbS program is voluntary, and juvenile institutions in 29 states are currently participating to improve their performance.

The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC)

Other sets of standards target specific issues. The NCCHC provides national standards related to prison health. The NCCHC developed a separate manual for health services for youth, and established an accreditation program for both adult and juvenile correctional facilities.[129] NCCHC sponsors the annual National Conference on Correctional Health Care, as well as several other conferences, educational opportunities, and resources for correctional health care providers. Compliance with the NCCHC standards is voluntary, however, non-compliance can provide evidence to support liability in lawsuits that challenge correctional healthcare delivery systems.

Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

In 2003, Congress passed PREA to address the issue of sexual violence in confinement facilities. The Act called for the creation of the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, to study the causes and consequences of sexual abuse in confinement settings and to develop standards for the purpose of detecting, responding to, and eliminating this abuse. After much deliberation and multiple periods of public input, the final PREA Standards became effective on August 20, 2012. There are specific standards and protocols applicable to different types of facilities, including juvenile facilities operated by both state and local governments, and adult jails holding youthful inmates. (See Ch. 3: Physical Plant Design and Operation: Implementing PREA)

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)

Many agencies around the country participate in the JDAI, which incorporates an outside review process of each facility using groups of community volunteers and juvenile justice professionals. These inspection teams assess and report on facility policies, practices, and programs, and the evaluations are conducted using a set of comprehensive standards on issues related to health care, education, discipline, isolation, and the physical plant. These standards, developed by national experts and juvenile justice advocates, focus on the protection of youth in detention facilities.

American Bar Association (ABA)

In 2010, the ABA adopted its Treatment of Prisoners Standards, which cover a broad range of issues relevant to conditions of confinement. These are applicable to adult prisons and jails; however, some have direct relevance to youth housed in adult facilities. Specifically, Standard 23-3.2(b) calls for the removal of all youth from adult prisons and jails, for their separation from adults, and for specialized programming in cases when removal is not an option.[130] The ABA Standards are not enforceable, but they provide helpful guidance to professionals and to courts evaluating the constitutionality of the conditions in facilities.

State Standards

Many states also regulate the operations of juvenile confinement facilities through state-adopted standards. In Texas, for example, the state-run juvenile agency is charged with developing and enforcing standards on a wide range of issues applicable to local juvenile probation departments that operate secure detention and post-adjudication facilities.[131] State inspectors routinely audit the local agency’s compliance with the standards, which is necessary to maintain appropriate licensure.

As standards have evolved to reflect best practices and have become more protective of the rights and needs of the youth in custody, staff members in juvenile confinement facilities have become increasingly aware of their obligations to conduct their work in a professional manner and to strive to improve the delivery of services. Staff in well-run juvenile detention facilities have found that facilities that operate according to nationally-recognized standards achieve better outcomes for youth and are safer for both youth and staff.

Improved Safety and Services for Youth

The shift towards improved conditions of confinement has resulted in new policies at the federal and state levels, as well as new types of programs. These programs and policies are designed to ensure the safety of youth in custody as well as improved delivery of services to them.

PREA

The passage of PREA by Congress in 2003 drew nationwide attention to the problem of sexual assault in confinement facilities. To remedy this situation, Congress required the development of standards to protect individuals in custody as well as the collection of data to assess the extent of the incidence of sexual abuse in both adult and juvenile confinement settings.

In 2013, BJS published a report on sexual victimization of youth in custody, based on a national survey conducted in 2012. About 9.5% of the youth surveyed self-reported experiencing one or more incidents of sexual abuse by another youth or a staff member while in custody in the past year, with 70% of victims reporting multiple incidents.[132] Juveniles who self-identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or “other” had higher rates of victimization than those who identified as heterosexual. Staff sexual assaults were more prevalent than assaults by other youth (7.7% versus 2.5%).[133] These troubling data emphasize the real need for continued reform and enforcement in this area, and show that the passage of PREA was an important first step, but is far from the end of the story when it comes to the protection of youth in custody.

Educational Programming and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Congress passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990 to govern how public institutions—including juvenile confinement facilities—provide early intervention and special education services to individuals with disabilities up to 21 years of age. IDEA specifically requires that an institution provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment available to eligible persons. Juvenile confinement facilities are obligated under federal law to provide educational services.[134] Approximately one-third of confined youth have been identified as having a disability that qualifies them for special education and related services under IDEA.[135] This proportion is higher than in the general population, where only 10% of youth qualify for services and protection under IDEA.[136]

Several theories have been suggested to explain the connection between juvenile delinquency and learning disabilities. Youth with learning and behavioral disabilities often experience academic failure, placing them at a higher risk for dropping out of school. This can in turn lead to delinquency. Youth with disabilities may have poor impulse control or lack understanding of proper social cues. Due to poor planning, improper interactions with law enforcement, and failure to avoid being detected, these youth may be more likely to be caught for their behavior.[137]

Due to legal requirements such as IDEA and a growing recognition of the importance of education in preventing recidivism, juvenile justice administrators have made educational programming a top priority in their reform efforts.[138]

Mental Health Services

In recent years, awareness has increased regarding connections between mental illness and delinquent behavior. Emotional, behavioral, and substance abuse disorders increase a child’s risk of engaging in delinquent or criminal behavior. Often a youth has more than one disorder—a “co-occurrence.”[139] Research shows that roughly 70% of youth in custody have some form of mental illness, and 27% have severe mental health issues.[140] The absence of proper mental health treatment during confinement can lead to higher rates of recidivism and delinquency.[141] Lack of appropriate mental health services can have other tragic consequences, as confined youth historically have higher rates of suicide and self-harming behavior.[142] Another concern is the high rate of institutional violence and serious misbehavior among youth with severe mental health problems.[143]

The number of youth with mental health needs continues to increase, and confinement facilities often find it challenging to meet the needs of these youth, who would be better served in a more treatment-oriented environment. As a result, a great many facilities now use mental health screening instruments to better understand the needs of youth entering the facility to identify the youth that may require available mental health services or referral to a mental health facility. The Models for Change initiative has emphasized mental health screening and risk assessment and mental health training for juvenile justice staff among its top priorities.[144] Youth advocates, including federally designated protection and advocacy centers such as Disability Rights Texas, have been strong proponents of improved treatment services and conditions for youth in confinement, and for improved community-based options for this population.[145]

Girls and Delinquency

Awareness of the unique needs of specific populations of youth has also increased. Female offenders in particular warrant special attention and gender-specific programming.[146] Girls are victims of disparate treatment within the juvenile justice system. They are disproportionately charged with status offenses, have their family disputes incorrectly labeled as domestic violence, and are subject to a misperception that girls are becoming more violent.[147] Hygiene needs, pregnancy awareness, health considerations, prior victimization, and safety risks are all gender-specific concerns for girls.

Many jurisdictions have come to realize that females can often be served effectively in a less restrictive setting than a confinement facility and have begun offering special community-based programs for girls. For example, girls-only day-treatment centers allow girls to maintain ties to their communities and families while receiving specialized treatment.[148] Specialized courts for girls designed around gender-specific and strength-based programming have also sprung up in jurisdictions such as California, Hawaii, and New York.[149] Recognizing that boys and girls take different paths toward delinquency, these courts seek to find creative ways to address female behavior. The staff of these courts is entirely female. Many jurisdictions have instituted all-female probation units staffed by officers who specifically enjoy working with girls and their issues, as a means of keeping girls from slipping further into the system.

Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

Restorative justice calls for a different approach to the treatment of youth offenders and is an approach that is gaining momentum in juvenile justice reform. Restorative justice is governed by a set of guiding principles: (1) that all people have dignity and worth, (2) that repairing harm and rebuilding community relationships is the primary goal of the juvenile justice system, and (3) that results are measured in terms of repair rather than punishment.[150] Programs influenced by restorative justice emphasize victim–offender mediation, community dialogue, and community service. Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) gained prominence in 1993, and support for this model continues to grow with more than a dozen states legislating BARJ practices and more looking to enact laws and policies. Montana established the Office of Restorative Justice to promote the approach statewide, and a Minnesota statute requires victim offender mediation.[151] BARJ developed pilot programs in Palm Beach County, Florida; Dakota County, Minnesota; and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Each of these pilot sites received technical assistance visits authorized by the federal government, written materials, and training both on and off site. Each has demonstrated measurable progress in moving toward a restorative justice approach to juvenile justice.[152]

BARJ reflects a major shift from the punitive confinement strategy of the 1980s and 1990s towards the more rehabilitative emphasis of modern-day juvenile services. Far from a soft-on-crime approach, this child- and community-centered model is yielding tremendous benefits for youth, families, victims, communities, and taxpayers alike, with better outcomes at much lower costs. And the approach has gained support on both sides of the political aisle; conservative advocates—such as Right on Crime—and religious groups have endorsed this positive approach to youth justice.[153]

The “Children are Different” Movement

Over the last decade, there has emerged a reform movement in juvenile justice characterized by a growing recognition in policy and legal spheres that children are different from adults and have specialized needs. This recognition has taken a number of forms but it is reflected in developments in scientific research, decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, and legislative trends towards keeping more youth in the juvenile system, limiting prosecution of youth in the adult system and reducing the frequency of youth being placed in adult facilities.[154]

Research on Adolescent Development

We now know that teenagers are developmentally different than adults physically, intellectually, and emotionally; they are not just miniature adults. New developments in brain science research in the last decade called into question longstanding assertions that the brain is completely developed when puberty begins.[155] Research shows that the way the brain changes and develops during puberty can influence behavior, and there is variance in the onset and timing of puberty from one individual to the next that can have long-lasting ramifications on brain development and behavior.[156] This increased understanding about brain differences has brought a heightened level of public awareness that is playing out in the juvenile justice policy realm. The MacArthur Foundation Research Network has published numerous reports in an effort to spread research and scientific findings related to the realities of adolescent development, and these reports have been highly influential in informing and shaping the law regarding juvenile justice. The National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, published a major report in 2012 highlighting the importance of using a developmental approach to juvenile justice policy and practice that takes account of the substantial psychosocial differences between teenagers and adults.[157]

Supreme Court Rulings on Sentencing and Criminal Procedure

In light of this growing body of knowledge about adolescent development, recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have found that certain adult punishments and adult criminal procedures are not appropriate for children.

In the 2005 case of Roper v. Simmons, the Supreme Court examined the application of the death penalty to youth. Seventeen-year-old Christopher Simmons, along with his younger accomplice, broke into a woman’s home and then threw her off a bridge. Because Missouri automatically treats all 17-year-old offenders as adults, Simmons was tried as an adult in criminal court and sentenced to death. The Court found that there was a national consensus against sentencing youth to death, since the vast majority of states had already rejected the death penalty for individuals who committed a capital offense before age 18.[158] The Court further noted that only seven countries besides the U.S. allowed youth offenders to be executed. Relying heavily on the research showing that adolescent brains were not yet fully developed, thus making teens less culpable and more susceptible to rehabilitation than adults, the Supreme Court ruled that imposing the death penalty on youth under age 18 constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This case thus ended the practice of sentencing youth to death for capital offenses. The ruling in this case was especially important because it set a precedent that children are fundamentally different than adults for the purposes of sentencing.

Five years later, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Graham v. Florida, which extended the reasoning in Roper to apply to certain life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) sentences. Sixteen-year-old Terrence Graham, who committed armed robbery while on probation, was sentenced to LWOP. The Supreme Court held that it is constitutionally impermissible to sentence a youth to life without parole for a non-homicide offense.[159] Again, the Court relied on the research showing that children are different than adults and concluded that their lessened culpability and greater potential for rehabilitation made LWOP disproportionately harsh for a non-homicide crime.[160]

The Supreme Court has also held that the differences between youth and adults are relevant when it comes to criminal procedure. JDB v. North Carolina established that age is a determining factor in deciding whether an individual is in custody for purposes of receiving Miranda warnings.[161]

Most recently the Court decided Miller v. Alabama, further expanding the scope of the holding in Graham.[162] Evan Miller was 14 years old when he was transferred to the adult system for murder in the course of arson, a capital felony in Alabama. In a companion case, Jackson v. Hobbs, 14-year-old Kuntrell Jackson was convicted of murder during the commission of a robbery, a capital offense in Arkansas.[163] In both cases, the only possible sentencing option for a capital offense (post-Roper) committed by someone under age 18 was LWOP.

The Supreme Court ruled in Miller that it was unconstitutional under the 8th Amendment to have a sentencing scheme that required LWOP for juvenile homicide offenders. A sentencing scheme that required mandatory life without parole did not allow the decisionmaker to weigh mitigating factors, including the age of the defendant and his lessened culpability compared to adults. The holding in Miller lends further weight to the conclusion that children are different than adults and should be treated as such under the law. Moreover, punishments and procedures designed for adults are not necessarily appropriate for youth offenders.

In the coming years, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to continue to tackle more thorny questions about how to distinguish youth offenders from their adult counterparts. As state legislatures determine how to implement the Miller decision through statutory changes, there undoubtedly will be further challenges to the sentencing schemes that arise, the allowable length of sentences, and the mitigating factors that courts must take into account in the sentencing process. The reasoning in this line of cases will likely also be applied outside of the sentencing context, as happened in the JDB case. Some scholars believe that these cases also call into question statutes that require the transfer of certain youth to adult criminal court, especially for non-homicide offenses.[164]

The Supreme Court’s rulings provide a clear indicator that there is a bright line to be drawn at age 18, and children below that age have distinct rights under the Constitution. This should be a guiding principle for policymakers and agency officials as they seek to navigate the complicated territory presented by the special needs of youth who cross over into the adult criminal justice system for trial or confinement. The bright line drawn by the Court is also consistent with the federal law’s definition of juveniles as youth under the age of 18.

Legislative Reforms

The “Children are Different” movement has been the impetus for a range of statutory reforms at the state level. Motivated at least in part by the research on adolescent development, state policymakers have increasingly sought ways to create clearer demarcations between juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. To some degree, this has resulted in a rolling back of some of the initiatives of the 1990s that pushed more youth into the adult criminal justice system. In the past few years, state legislative reform has taken shape in four general categories: raising the maximum age of juvenile court jurisdiction to keep older teens in juvenile court; changing transfer laws to limit eligibility for transfer to adult criminal court; limiting the ability to house youth in adult facilities; and changing mandatory sentencing laws to account for developmental differences between youth and adults.[165]

These policy changes received widespread, bipartisan support in large part due to the much better outcomes that are expected for youth who remain in the juvenile system, as well as long-term cost savings from reduced recidivism.[166] Also, the belief that youth are capable of rehabilitation and deserve a second chance is now more prevalent than at any other point during the past three decades.

A number of states, including Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Mississippi, have recently raised the age of juvenile court jurisdiction, allowing more 16- and 17-year-olds to stay in juvenile court for adjudication. Other states, including New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin, are considering similar changes. Only 10 states continue to have the maximum age of juvenile court jurisdiction set below age 18.[167]

Texas and Idaho are among several states that took steps in 2011 to allow transferred youth to be held in juvenile custody. In 2013, Nevada changed its criteria for juvenile transfer to the adult system so that only individuals who are 16 years old, who have a previous felony conviction, and who commit certain felonies can be transferred to the adult system.[168]

Such policy changes ensure that teens remain in the more rehabilitative environment available in juvenile confinement facilities and that only the most serious offenders are subjected to the punitive setting of adult jail or prison. As policymakers and correctional administrators become more aware of the potential for harm facing youth confined in adult prisons and jails, there is greater justification for keeping even those youth who are prosecuted in adult court in juvenile settings.

It is important for those who work in youth confinement facilities to understand and prepare for the possible impact of these policy changes. It is reasonable to anticipate an increase in the number of juvenile confinement beds needed to accommodate this population of youth who were formerly confined in adult prisons and jails, along with the requisite staff and programs, unless beds are freed up by the deincarceration of lower-risk youth. This new population may be increasingly challenging for staff in some jurisdictions to deal with, given that they may be older teens and may have more serious criminal backgrounds and more significant mental health needs than staff are used to seeing. Older teens may also have different programmatic needs, including preparation for independent living. With the appropriate training, however, juvenile confinement staff are capable of managing this population safely and effectively, given that similar youth are already being confined in juvenile facilities in other jurisdictions with excellent success. As less serious delinquent youth are shifted to community-based settings, juvenile confinement staff will need to adapt to a changing population.

Conclusion

The juvenile justice system in the United States has undergone periods of tremendous change in the past century, from the creation of the juvenile court to the development of the due process model, to the tough on crime era, to the more recent understanding that children are different than adults and deserving of different treatment. The current system has evolved as a product of the ongoing tension between two strong forces: a desire for punishment and accountability versus a belief in the effectiveness of rehabilitative programming for youth. At times, it seems as though there is a seesaw effect, with one of these objectives clearly outweighing the other, but in reality, our nation’s policies have usually tried to accommodate both goals, with varying levels of success. It is important for practitioners to have this historical insight to be able to grasp the current state of the juvenile justice system in the U.S. and the precariousness of any reform initiative.

As juvenile justice enters a new stage of reform, with a strong focus on community services and local placement in lieu of confinement in large, state-run institutions, the system must balance its three primary aims: “to hold youths accountable for wrongdoing, prevent further offending, and treat youths fairly.”[169] This balanced approach incorporates a holistic perspective with regard to juvenile justice interventions. Some would argue that the original goals and objectives of the juvenile court are as relevant today as they were in 1899, and that the successes and failures of the past century’s shifting policies have provided insight on how to implement these goals and objectives with maximum efficiency and the best chance of successful outcomes.

If history is any indication of the future, we can expect to see the continuation of a separate juvenile justice system for youth under age 18, special treatment and programs for these youth designed to promote their rehabilitation and reintegration into the community, more low-level offenders being diverted to community-based programs, and an increasingly high-risk population of youth remaining in juvenile custodial settings. We can also expect that there will be ongoing challenges to these progressive approaches to youthful offenders, attempting to push the pendulum in the other direction once again.

 

Appendix

Table 1

State Centralized / Decentralized Detention Probation Juvenile Corrections Aftercare Services Governing Agencies Desc. of Responsibility
AL Decentralized L/C C/J S/E C/J Administrative Office of the Courts delinquency intake, predisposition investigation, and community supervision (including aftercare supervision)
            Department of Youth Services commitment programs
AK Centralized S/E S/E S/E S/E Division of Juvenile Justice (Dept. of Health and Social Services) detention, delinquency intake, community diversion, probation supervision, the juvenile corrections continuum, commitment and release, and aftercare/re-entry through 16 probation offices and 8 juvenile correctional facilities in 4 regions.
AZ Decentralized L/J L/J S/E S/E Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections The Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections administers the states juvenile correctional institutions and aftercare/re-entry supervision.
            County juvenile courts detention, intake screening, predisposition investigation, probation supervision, screening and petitioning delinquency cases
AR Decentralized L/C L/J S/E S/E Division of Youth Services (DHS) delinquency institutions and aftercare services and contracts with private providers for alternatives to secure placements.
            Local county boards, courts and law enforcement agencies secure detention, probation services
CA Decentralized L/C L/C S/E S/E County Probation Departments detention, commitment, delinquency intake screening, predisposition investigation, and probation supervision
            Division of Juvenile Justice state delinquency institutions, parolee supervision
CO Decentralized S/E L/J S/E S/E Local District Attorney Offices juvenile delinquency intake screening
            Judicial Districts predisposition investigation and probation supervision
            Division of Youth Corrections, epartment of Human Services juvenile detention, the juvenile corrections continuum, and juvenile parole
CT Combination S/J S/J S/E S/E Court Support Services Division pre- and post-adjudication services, encompassing detention and probation supervision
            Department of Children and Families (DCF) juvenile corrections continuum and aftercare services
DE Centralized S/E S/E S/E S/E Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services, Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families detention, diversion, probation supervision through eight district probation offices, commitment programs, aftercare, intake, and predisposition investigations
DC Combination D/E D/J D/E D/E Family Court of District of Columbia Superior Court juvenile probation services, encompassing delinquency intake, predisposition investigation, and probation supervision
            Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services administers secure detention, community-based alternatives, residential placement, and aftercare.
FL Centralized S/E S/E S/E S/E Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Prevention and Victims Services, Detention Services, Probation and Community Corrections, Residential Services, intake, investigation, and community supervision services, including aftercare
GA Combination S/E C S/E C Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice delinquency services, including secure detention and commitment programs
            Local juvenile courts delinquency intake screening, predisposition investigation, probation supervision, and aftercare services
HI Combination S/J S/J S/E S/E Family Courts secure detention, delinquency intake, predisposition investigation, and probation supervision
            Office of Youth Services, Department of Human Services commitment programs and aftercare
ID Decentralized L/E L/J S/E L/J County boards operate a secure detention facility in each of Idaho's seven judicial districts
            County Probation Departments predisposition investigation, probation supervision, and aftercare services
            Department of Juvenile Corrections, juvenile corrections continuum
IL Decentralized L/C L/J S/E S/E Circuit Courts (and Cook County Board) detention services , probation services including deliquency intake screening, predisposition investigations and probation supervision
            Department of Juvenile Justice commitment programs and aftercare services
               
IN Decentralized C L/J S/E S/E Local juvenile courts detention centers, predisposition investigation and probation supervision
            Department of Correction state juvenile corrections continuum and parole services
IA Combination L/E S/J S/E S/J County Executive Agencies/ Multi-country Regional Commissions administer secure detention
            Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning detention screening, delinquency intake screening, diversion, predisposition investigation, probation supervision, and aftercare services through eight judicial districts
            Department of Human Services juvenile corrections continuum
KS Decentralized L/E L/J S/E S/E County secure detention
            District Courts juvenile probation services, including predisposition investigation and probation
            Kansas Department of Corrections administers commitment programs and contracts with local providers for community-based intake assessment, treatment, and aftercare services.
KY Decentralized C/E (transition-ing to S/E) S/E S/E S/E County secure detention
            District Courts juvenile probation services, including predisposition investigation and probation
            Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice commitment programs and contracts with local providers for community-based intake assessment, treatment, and aftercare services
LA Combination L/C C S/E S/E County (Parish) secure detention
            Louisiana Youth Services, Office of Juvenile Justice predisposition investigation, probation supervision, and aftercare supervision services through 13 offices, commitment facilities
ME Centralized S/E S/E S/E S/E Department of Corrections, Division of Juvenile Services probation, diversion, and aftercare services through regional community corrections offices, detention and commitment programs
MD Centralized S/E S/E S/E S/E Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) detention, delinquency intake, predisposition investigation, probation, correctional, and aftercare services
MA Combination S/E S/J S/E S/C State Court's Juvenile Court Department intake, predisposition investigations, probation supervision, and some aftercare
            Department of Youth Services secure detention, residential commitment facilities, and a range of community corrections programs. Aftercare is administered by the Department of Youth Services for youth returning to the community from placement.
MI Decentralized C C S/E S/E Local Family Courts secure juvenile detention resources, intake, and probation supervision
            Department of Human Services, Bureau of Juvenile Justice community-based alternative services, Community Justice Residential Centers, some secure detention resources, facilities for public commitments, and aftercare for juveniles committed to the state
MN Combination C/E C S/E C County/ Department of Corrections/ Private Contractors detention services, delinquency intake screening, predisposition investigations and probation supervision
MS Combination L/C C S/E S/E Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Services delinquency intake, diversion, juvenile probation, commitment, and aftercare
            County secure detention, probation services
MO Combination L/J C S/E S/E Local Courts secure detention, probation services (through a Juvenile Office in each of the state's 45 judicial circuits, except in the state's 10 largest counties)
            Division of Youth Services, Department of Social Services commitment programs and aftercare.
MT Combination L/E S/J S/E S/E County detention facilities
            District Courts deliquency intake screeing, predisposition investigation, probation services
            Juvenile Division of the Department of Corrections juvenile corrections continuum and aftercare/parole services to committed youth
NE Combination L/E S/J S/E S/E County commissions/ boards secure detention centers
            Office of Probation Administration, State Court Administrator's Office probation services (through 15 probation districts, 3 of which serve counties with separate juvenile courts)
            Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Juvenile Services delinquent offender services, aftercare services
NV Decentralized L/C L/C S/E C/E District Courts secure detention facilities, probation services
            Clark County's Department of Juvenile Justice Services, under the Board of County Commissioners, detention, probation, and aftercare
            Youth Correctional Services, Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), Department of Human Resources commitment programs and aftercare services
NH Centralized S/E S/E S/E S/E Division for Juvenile Justice Services (DJJS), within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) court-ordered investigations; community-based services, placements, and programs; and supervises juveniles on probation and parole; and provides institutional services at its combined detention center and commitment facility
NJ Combination L/E S/J S/E S/C Administrative Office of the Court's Family Division delinquency intake screening and predisposition investigation, probation
            Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) secure and non-secure placement facilities and provides aftercare services to committed youth
NM Centralized L/E S/E S/E S/E The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, Juvenile Justice Services intake screening, probation, and parole (aftercare) services through district offices covering the 13 judicial districts and administers commitment services
            County detention facilities
NY Decentralized L/E L/E S/E C/E County commissions/ boards/ private agencies detention facilities
            Department of Juvenile Justice juvenile detention system, probation
            The Office of Children and Family Services' Division of Rehabilitative Services commitment and most aftercare services
NC Centralized C/E S/E S/E S/E Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice detention facilities, delinquency intake screening, probation supervision, commitment, and aftercare services
ND Combination C/E S/C S/E S/E Supreme Court Administrator's Office funds and administers juvenile probation services, including delinquency intake screening, predisposition investigation, and probation supervision through 7 judicial districts
            Juvenile Court to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Services' (DJS) case management, aftercare services, operation of state correctional facility
OH Decentralized L/C L/C S/E C County/ Juvenile Court fund detention services, detention facilities, intake screening and probation services
            Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) juvenile corrections continuum, parole services
OK Combination L/E C S/E C/E Office of Juvenile Affairs, Department of Juvenile Justice Services juvenile detention and contracts for service from a range of providers, probation supervision services in 73 counties and commitment and parole services in all 77 counties
            County juvenile bureaus intake and probation and aftercare services for direct placements in those counties.
OR Decentralized L/E C/E S/E S/E County juvenile departments secure detention, intake screening, and most probation supervision services
            Oregon Youth Authority probation supervision services, commitment programs, and aftercare.
PA Decentralized L/E L/J S/E L/J County juvenile courts detention facilities, juvenile intake, probation supervision, aftercare services
            Department of Public Welfare's Office of Children, Youth, and Families non-secure youth forestry camps and secure youth development centers.
RI Centralized S/E S/E S/E S/E Family Court of Rhode Island's 10 Intake Units delinquency intake screening and conduct predisposition investigations .
            Department of Children, Youth and Families' Division of Juvenile Correctional Services secure detention, probation supervision, the state's juvenile corrections continuum, and aftercare
SC Centralized C/E S/E S/E S/E Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) prevention, some detention, intake, evaluation, probation, aftercare, and community-based support services (through local field offices in 43 counties), juvenile corrections continuum (through DJJ's Rehabilitative Services Division)
SD Combination L/E S/J S/E S/E County secure detention
            Unified Judicial System's Court Services Department provides predisposition investigation and probation supervision services through seven judicial districts. T
            Department of Corrections state's juvenile corrections continuum
TN Combination L/C C S/E S/E County commissions/ boards/ juvenile courts/ private contractors detention facilities
            The Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) state probation services in 91 counties, all state juvenile corrections, and aftercare services in all 95 counties. Juvenile courts in Davidson (Nashville), Hamilton (Chattanooga), Knox (Knoxville), and Shelby (Memphis) counties administer their own juvenile probation departments.
TX Decentralized L/J L/J S/E S/E Local Courts probation, predisposition investigations
            Texas Juvenile Justice Department commitment, release, and aftercare of juvenile offender
            County Juvenile Boards juvenile justice system operations in that county (governing bodies of juvenile probation departments; monitor programs, institutional services, and residential placement facilities; set policies and approve annual budgets prior to submission to the county executive; designate the courts that will be the juvenile courts as well as the judges who will be juvenile court judges; and select and hire Chief Juvenile Probation Officers)
UT Combination S/E S/J S/E S/E State Juvenile Court Administrator juvenile probation officers to provide intake, investigation, and community supervision services in the State's judicial districts
            Department of Human Services, Division of Juvenile Justice Services secure detention centers, secure confinement residential centers, contracts for residential and non-residential community-based services, and aftercare supervision
VT Centralized S/E S/E S/E S/E Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention diversion, most detention, probation supervision, commitment, and aftercare
VA Combination C S/E C C Local juvenile courts probation services, secure detention
            The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) operates 32 Court Service Units (CSUs) Intake, predisposition investigation, probation supervision, and aftercare services, juvenile corrections continuum
WA Decentralized L/J L/J S/E S/E local courts probation and detention services, except in Clallam, Skagit and Whatcom counties, where, as allowed by statute, the courts have transferred this responsibility to the county legislative authority and in King County, where detention is administered by the County Executive
            The Department of Social and Health Services, Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, commitment programs and aftercare (i.e., parole)
WV Combination S/E S/J S/E S/C Supreme Court of Appeals predisposition investigations, probation supervision, and some aftercare services through offices in the state's 31 judicial circuits
            Division of Juvenile Services, within the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety pre-adjudication/pre-dispositional shelters and secure detention, commitment, and some aftercare services
WI Decentralized L/C L/C S/E C/E Local Social Service Departments secure detention, probation, and aftercare services
            Department of Corrections, Division of Juvenile Corrections secure juvenile corrections, some juvenile aftercare services, and community-based alternatives to secure care
WY Combination L/E C S/E S/E district/county attorney's office delinquency intake screening
            Department of Family Services, Division of Juvenile Services (except two district courts and one municipal court) probation services as well as commitment, release, and aftercare services
            local law enforcement detention services

Table 2: Mechanisms for Transferring Youth to the Adult System, 2011

  Judicial Waiver Type     Prosecutorial Discretion Statutory Exclusion Age of Jurisdiction Reverse Waiver Once an Adult/Always an Adult Blended Sentencing  
State Discretionary Presumptive Mandatory           Juvenile Criminal
Number of States 45 15 15 15 29 13 24 34 14 17
Alabama X       X 18   X    
Alaska X X     X 18     X  
Arizona X     X X 18 X X    
Arkansas X     X   18 X   X X
California X X   X X 18 X X   X
Colorado X X   X   18 X   X X
Connecticut     X     18 X   X  
Delaware X   X   X 18 X X    
Washington, D.C. X X   X   18   X    
Florida X     X X 18   X   X
Georgia X   X X X 17 X      
Hawaii X         18   X    
Idaho X       X 18   X   X
Illinois X X X   X 17   X X X
Indiana X   X   X 18   X    
Iowa X       X 18 X X   X
Kansas X X       18   X X  
Kentucky X   X     18 X     X
Louisiana X   X X X 17        
Maine X X       18   X    
Maryland X       X 18 X X    
Massachussetts         X 17     X X
Michigan X     X   17   X X X
Minnesota X X     X 18   X X  
Mississippi X       X 18 X X    
Missouri X         17   X   X
Montana       X X 18 X   X  
Nebraska       X   18 X     X
Nevada X X     X 18 X X    
New Hampshire X X       17   X    
New Jersy X X X     18        
New Mexico         X 18     X X
New York         X 16 X      
North Carolina X   X     18   X    
North Dakota X X X     18   X    
Ohio X   X     18   X X  
Oklahoma X     X X 18 X X   X
Oregon X         18 X X    
Pennsylvania X X       18 X X    
Rhode Island X X X     18   X X  
South Carolina X   X     17        
South Dakota X         18 X X    
Tennessee X         18 X X    
Texas X         17   X X  
Utah X X       18   X    
Vermont X     X   18 X      
Virginia X   X X   18 X X   X
Washington X         18   X    
West Virginia X   X     18       X
Wisconsin X         17 X X   X
Wyoming X     X   18 X      

 

References

Abrams, Douglas E. 2004. “Lessons from Juvenile Justice History in the United States.” Journal of the Institute of Justice and International Studies 4: 7–24.

American Bar Association. 2011. ABA Standards for Criminal Justice: Treatment of Prisoners. Chicago: American Bar Association.

American Correctional Association. “Standards and Accreditation,” https://www.aca.org/ACA_Member/Standards___Accreditation/About_Us/ACA/ACA_Member/Standards_and_Accreditation/SAC_AboutUs.aspx.

Ariès, Phillipe. 1962. Centuries of Childhood, trans. Robert Baldick. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Arya, Neelum. 2007. Jailing Juveniles: The Dangers of Incarcerating Youth in Adult Jails in America. Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice.
http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/cfyj-reports/item/jailing-juveniles

Arya, Neelum. 2011. “Using Graham v. Florida to Challenge Juvenile Transfer Laws.” Louisiana Law Review 71: 99–155.

Beck, Allen J., David Cantor, John Hartge, and Tim Smith. 2013. Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth 2012. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics. https://bjs.ojp.gov/redirect-legacy/content/pub/pdf/svjfry12.pdf.

Benekos, Peter J., Alida V. Merlo, and Charles M. Puzzanchera. 2013. “In Defence of Children and Youth: Reforming Juvenile Justice Policies.” International Journal of Police Science and Management 15: 125.

Berkheiser, Mary. 2011. “Death Is Not So Different After All: Graham v. Florida and the Court’s ‘Kids Are Different’ Eighth Amendment Jurisprudence.” Vermont Law Review 36: 1–61.

Binder, Arnold, Gilbert Geis, and Dickson D. Bruce. 1997. Juvenile Delinquency: Historical, Cultural, and Legal Perspectives, 2nd ed. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing.

Bonnie, Richard J., Robert L. Johnson, Betty M. Chemers, and Julie A. Schuck, eds. 2013. Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://www.nap.edu/catalog/14685/reforming-juvenile-justice-a-developme....

Boundy, Kathleen B., and Joanne Karger. 2011. “The Right to a Quality Education for Children and Youth in the Juvenile Justice System.” In Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice, edited by Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs, 286–309. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Brown, Patricia Leigh. 2014, January 28. “A Court’s All-Hands Approach Aids Girls Most at Risk.” New York Times.

Bureau of Justice Statistics. 1989. Children in Custody, 1975–85: Census of Public and Private Juvenile Detention, Correctional, and Shelter Facilities. NCJ 114065. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Bush, William S. 2010. Who Gets a Childhood?: Race and Juvenile Justice in Twentieth-Century Texas. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

Butts, Jeffrey A., and Douglas N. Evans. 2011. Resolution, Reinvestment, Realignment: Three Strategies for Changing Juvenile Justice. New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.

Butts, Jeffrey A., and Ojmarrh Mitchell. 2000. “Brick by Brick: Dismantling the Border Between Juvenile and Adult Justice.” In Criminal Justice 2000, Vol. 2, 167–213. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.

Cohen, Derek. 2013. Policy Perspective: Reviving Restorative Justice: A Blueprint for Texas. Austin, TX: Center for Effective Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Corriero, Michael. 2006. Judging Children as Children: A Proposal for a Juvenile Justice System. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Dale, Michael. 1998. “Lawsuits And Public Policy: The Role of Litigation in Correcting Conditions in Juvenile Detention Centers.” University of San Francisco Law Review 32: 675–738.

Daugherty, Carmen. 2013. State Trends: Legislative Victories from 2011–2013 Removing Youth from the Adult Criminal Justice System. Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice.

Deitch, Michele, and Neelum Arya. 2014. “Waivers and Transfers of Juveniles to Adult Court: Treating Juveniles Like Adult Criminals.” In Juvenile Justice Sourcebook, edited by Wesley Church, David Springer, and Albert Roberts, 241–263. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Deitch, Michele, Amanda Barstow, Leslie Lukens, and Ryan Reyna. 2009. From Time Out to Hard Time: Young Children in the Adult Criminal Justice System. Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Deitch, Michele, Amy Madore, Kate Vickery, and Alycia Welch. 2013. Understanding and Addressing Youth Violence in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department: Report to the Office of the Independent Ombudsman. Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Deitch, Michele, Anna Lipton Galbraith, and Jordan Pollock. 2012. Conditions for Certified Juveniles in Texas County Jails. Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Deitch, Michele, Rebecca Breeden, and Ross Weingarten. 2012. “Seventeen, Going on Eighteen: An Operational and Fiscal Analysis of a Proposal to Raise the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction in Texas.” American Journal of Criminal Law 40: 1–67.

Deitch, Michele. 2011. Juveniles in the Adult Criminal Justice System in Texas. Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Deitch, Michele. 2012. “The Need for Independent Prison Oversight in a Post-PLRA World.” Federal Sentencing Reporter 24, no. 4: 236–244.

DiIulio, John. 1996. How to Stop the Coming Crime Wave. New York: Manhattan Institute.

Disability Rights Texas, National Center for Youth Law, and Texas Appleseed. 2011. Thinking Outside the Cell: Alternatives to Incarceration for Youth with Mental Illness. Authors.

Dunlap, Earl L., and David W. Roush. 1995. “Juvenile Detention as Process and Place.” Juvenile and Family Court Journal 46, no. 2: 3–16.

Elrod, Preston, and Scott Ryder. 2014. Juvenile Justice: A Social, Historical and Legal Perspective. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Ex Parte Crouse. 4 Wharton Reports 9 (PA 1839).

Feld, Barry C. 1999. Bad Kids: Race and the Transformation of the Juvenile Court. New York: Oxford University Press.

Feld, Barry C. 2005. “Race and the Jurisprudence: A Tale in Two Parts.” In Our Children, Their Children, edited by Darnell Hawkins and Kimberly Kempf-Leonard, 122–163. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Fowler, Deborah. 2012. A True Texas Miracle: Achieving Juvenile Justice Reform in a Tough Economic Climate. Washington, DC: First Focus.

Fox, Sanford J. 1970. “Juvenile Justice Reform: An Historical Perspective.” Stanford Law Review 22, June: 1187–1239.

Gerhardstein, Alfonse. 2009. “Leveraging Maximum Reform While Enforcing Minimum Standards.” Fordham Urban Law Journal 36: 9–26.

Graham v. Florida. 560 U.S. 48 (2010).

Griffin, Patrick, Sean Addie, Benjamin Adams, and Kathy Firestine. 2011. Trying Juveniles as Adults: An Analysis of State Transfer Laws and Reporting. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/232434.pdf.

Guarino-Ghezzi, Susan. 1988. “Initiating Change in Massachusetts’ Juvenile Correctional System: A Retrospective Analysis.” Criminal Justice Review 13: 1–11.

Hahn, Robert, et al. (2007, November 30). Centers for Disease Control Task Force on Community Preventive Services. “Effects on Violence of Laws and Policies Facilitating the Transfer of Youth from the Juvenile to the Adult Justice System: A Report on Recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services,” MMWR 56, RR-9, 7. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr5609.pdf.

Hammond, Sarah. 2007. Mental Health Needs of Juvenile Offenders. Washington, DC: National Conference of State Legislators. www.ncsl.org/print/cj/mentaljjneeds.pdf.

Howell, James C. 1988. “NCCD’s Survey of Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facilities.” Crime and Delinquency 44: 102–109.

Human Rights Watch. 2005. The Rest of Their Lives: Life Without Parole for Child Offenders in the United States. New York: Amnesty International.

Hutzler, John L. 1982. “Canon to the Left, Canon to the Right: Can the Juvenile Court Survive?” Today’s Delinquent 1: 25–38.

In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967).

In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358 (1970).

Inderbitzin, Michelle. 2006. “Lessons From a Juvenile Training School: Survival and Growth.” Journal of Adolescent Research 21, no. 1: 7–26.

Inderbitzin, Michelle. 2007. “Inside a Maximum-Security Juvenile Training School: Institutional Attempts to Redefine the American Dream and ‘Normalize’ Institutionalized Youth.” Punishment and Society 9, no. 3: 235–251.

Jackson v. Hobbs, 132 S.Ct. 2455 (2012).

J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 564 U.S. ___,131 S.Ct. 2394 (2011).

Jerry M. v. District of Columbia, C.A. No. 1519-85 (D.C. Super. Ct., filed Mar. 1, 1985).

Johnson, Sara B., Robert W. Blum, and Jay N. Giedd. 2009. “Adolescent Maturity and the Brain: The Promise and Pitfalls of Neuroscience Research in Adolescent Health Policy.” Journal of Adolescent Health 3, no. 45: 216–221.

Jordan, J.M. 1968. “The Responsibility of the Superintendent To Maintain the Function of Detention.” In A National Institute for Juvenile Detention Home Administrators: Final Report, edited by J.A. Holmes, 50–54. Edwardsville, IL: Delinquency Study and Youth Development Project, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.

Juvenile Justice Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics. National Center for Juvenile Justice, MacArthur Foundation, Models for Change. www.jjgps.org/.

Kent v. U.S., 383 U.S. 541 (1966).

Kretschmar, Jeff M., and Daniel J. Flannery. 2011. “Displacement and Suicide Risk for Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth with Mental Health Issues.” Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 6, no. 40: 797–806.

Lauritsen, Janet L. 2005. “Racial and Ethnic Differences in Juvenile Offending.” In Our Children, Their Children, edited by Darnell Hawkins and Kimberly Kempf-Leonard, 83–104. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. 1974. Children in Custody: A Report on the Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facility Census of 1971. NCJ 013403. Washington, DC: National Criminal Justice Information and Statistics Service. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/13403NCJRS.pdf.

Lawrence, Richard, and Craig Hemmens. 2008. “History and Development of the Juvenile Court and Justice Process.” In Juvenile Justice: A Text Reader. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage: 19–38.

Mauer, Marc, Ryan S. King, and Malcolm C. Young. 2004. The Meaning of ‘Life’: Long Prison Sentences in Context. Washington, DC: The Sentencing Project. sentencingproject.org.

Mauer, Marc. 2006. Race to Incarcerate, 2nd ed., New York: The New Press.

Mauer, Marc. 2010. “Disproportionate Minority Contact Fact Sheet,” Washington, DC: The Sentencing Project. https://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/disproportionate-minority-contact-in-the-juvenile-justice-system/.

Mays, G. Larry and L. Thomas Winfree, Jr. 2012. Juvenile Justice, 3rd ed. New York: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.

Mendel, Richard A. 2010. The Missouri Model: Reinventing the Practice of Rehabilitating Youth Offenders. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. https://www.aecf.org/resources/the-missouri-model.

Mendel, Richard A. 2011. No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. https://www.aecf.org/resources/no-place-for-kids-full-report.

Miller v. Alabama, U.S., 132 S.Ct. 245, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012).

Miller, Jerome G. 1998. Last One Over the Wall: The Massachusetts Experiment in Closing Reform Schools, 2nd ed. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.

Minton, Todd. 2010. Jail Inmates at Midyear 2009: Statistical Tables. NCJ 230122. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Morales v. Turman, 364 F.Supp. 166 (E.D. Texas, 1973).

National Advisory Commission. 1974. Executive Summary: Report of the N.A.C. on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals. NCJ 016573. https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=16573.

National Commission on Correctional Health Care. “About Us.” https://www.ncchc.org/about.

National Council on Crime and Delinquency. 1967. “Corrections in the United States.” President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice: Task Force Report: Corrections. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition. 2013. Promoting Safe Communities: Recommendations for the 113th Congress. Washington, DC: Center for Children’s Law and Policy. https://yvppolicyportal.safestates.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/NJJDPC_Recs_113_Congress.pdf.

National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. 2009. “National Prison Rape Elimination Commission Report.” https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/226680.pdf.

National Research Council. 2012, November. Report Brief: Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach. Washington, DC: The National Academies.

New York Times. 2011, July 9. Editorial. “Texas’s Progress on Juvenile Justice.”

Norman, Sherwood. 1957. “Juvenile Detention.” National Probation and Parole Association Journal 3: 392–403.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. "Statistical Briefing Book FAQ." https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/structure_process/faqs.asp.

Pavelka, Sandra. 2008. “Restorative Juvenile Justice Legislation and Policy: A National Assessment.” International Journal of Restorative Justice 2, no. 4: 100–118.

Platt, Anthony. 1969. The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Puzzanchera, Charles, Benjamin Adams, and Sarah Hockenberry. 2012. Juvenile Court Statistics 2009. Pittsburgh, PA: National Center for Juvenile Justice.

Raley, Gordon. 1995. “JJDPA: A Second Look.” Juvenile Justice 2, no. 2: 11–18.

Rapa, Anna. 2006. “Comment: One Brick Too Many: The Prison Litigation Reform Act as a Barrier to Legitimate Juvenile Lawsuits.” Thomas M. Cooley Law Review 23: 263–302.

Ravoira, Lawanda, and Vanessa Patino. 2011. “Girls Matter: Unfinished Work.” In Justice for Kids: Keeping Kids Out of the Juvenile Justice System, edited by Nancy E. Dowd. New York: New York University Press.

Roberts, Albert R., Katherine Montgomery, Wesley T. Church, and David W. Springer. 2014. “An Overview of Juvenile Justice and Juvenile Delinquency.” In Juvenile Justice Sourcebook, edited by Wesley Church, David Springer, and Albert Roberts, 157–179. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 3–35.

Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551, 125 S.Ct. 1183, 161 L.Ed.2d 1 (2005).

S.H. v. Stickrath, 2010 WL 6463874 (S.D. Ohio Oct. 6, 2010) report and recommendation adopted as modified, 2011 WL 1238283 (S.D. Ohio Mar. 28, 2011).

Satpathy, Atasi. 2011, Spring. “Urgent Reform in the Name of our Children: Revamping the Role of Disproportionate Minority Contact in Federal Juvenile Justice Legislation.” Michigan Journal of Race and Law 16: 411–468.

Schaefer, Paula. 2008. “Girls in the Juvenile Justice System.” American Bar Association. www.americanbar.org/newsletter/publications/gp_solo_magazine_home/gp_solo_magazine_index/juvenilejusticesystem.html.

Schiraldi, Vincent, Marc Schindler, and Sean J. Goliday. 2011. “The End of the Reform School?” In Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice, edited by Francine T. Sherman, and Francine H. Jacobs. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons: 409–432. https://probation.acgov.org.

Schlanger, Margo, and Giovanna Shay. 2007. “Preserving the Rule of Law in America’s Prisons: The Case for Amending the Prison Litigation Reform Act.” Washington, DC: American Constitution Society.

Schultz, Lawrence J. 1973. “The Cycle of Juvenile Court History.” Crime and Delinquency 19, no. 4: 457–476.

Schwartz, Ira. 1989. (In)Justice for Juveniles. Washington, DC: Lexington Books.

Scott, Elizabeth, and Laurence Steinberg. 2008. Rethinking Juvenile Justice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Segal, Adam. 2011. IDEA and the Juvenile Justice System: A Factsheet. Washington, DC: The National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Youth Who are Neglected, Delinquent or At-Risk. https://neglected-delinquent.ed.gov/sites/default/files/NDTAC_Special_Ed_FS_508.pdf.

Shaw, Ruby, and Everette B. Penn. 2011. “Purpose and Scope of the Texas Juvenile Justice System.” https://studysites.sagepub.com/juvenilejustice7e/study/state/texas/TexasJuvenileJusticeSuppch05.pdf.

Shubik, Claire, and Jessica Kendall. 2007. “Rethinking Juvenile Status Offense Laws: Considerations for Congressional Review of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.Family Court Review 45, no. 3: 384–398.

Shufelt, Jennie L., and Joseph J. Cocozza. 2006. Youth with Mental Health Disorders in the Juvenile Justice System: Results from a Multi-State Prevalence Study. National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. https://sites.unicef.org/tdad/usmentalhealthprevalence06(3).pdf.

Sickmund, Melissa. 2003. Juveniles in Court. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs.

Sieh, Edward W. 1993. “From Augustus to the Progressives: A Study of Probation’s Formative Years.” Federal Probation 57 (September): 67–72.

Singer, Will. 2012. “Judicial Intervention and Juvenile Corrections Reform: A Case Study of Jerry M. v. District of Columbia,” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 102, no. 3: 901–964.

Snyder, Howard, and Melissa Sickmund. 2006. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. https://ojjdp.ojp.gov/library/publications/juvenile-offenders-and-victims-2006-national-report?pubi=234394.

Stevenson, Bryan A. 2007. Cruel and Unusual: Sentencing 13- and 14 -year-old Children to Die in Prison. Montgomery: Equal Justice Initiative.

Sussman, F., and F. Baum. 1969. Law of Juvenile Delinquency 3d ed., New York: Oceana Publications.

Sweet, Robert W., Jr. 1991. “Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders: In Perspective.” Pepperdine Law Review 18: 389–398.

Tappan, Paul W. 1949. Juvenile Delinquency. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Texas Constitution and Statutes. “Texas Human Resources Code § 221.004.” https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/HR/htm/HR.221.htm.

West, Heather C. 2010. Prison Inmates at Midyear 2009: Statistical Tables. NCJ 230113. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Zeidenberg, Jason. 2011. You’re an Adult Now: Youth in Adult Criminal Justice Systems. Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections. https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.nicic.gov/Library/025555.pdf.

 

 

Endnotes


[1] National Research Council, Report Brief: Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach, (Washington, DC: The National Academies, 2012).

[2] See Juvenile Justice Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics for more information.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Adapted from Melissa Sickmund, Juveniles in Court, (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs, 2003).; Juvenile Justice Geography, Policy, Practice & Statistics.; Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, "Statistical Briefing Book FAQ."

[5] Phillipe Ariès, Centuries of Childhood, trans. Robert Baldick, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962).

[6] Richard Lawrence and Craig Hemmens, “History and Development of the Juvenile Court and Justice Process,” In Juvenile Justice: A Text Reader, (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2008): 19–38.

[7] Sanford Fox, “Juvenile Justice Reform: An Historical Perspective,” Stanford Law Review 22 (1970): 1187–1239.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid., 1191.

[10] G. Larry Mays, and L. Thomas Winfree, Jr., Juvenile Justice, 3rd ed. (New York: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2012).

[11] Ex Parte Crouse (1839).

[12] Lawrence and Hemmens, “History and Development of the Juvenile Court and Justice Process.”

[13] Mays and Winfree, Juvenile Justice, 3rd ed.

[14] Lawrence and Hemmens, “History and Development of the Juvenile Court and Justice Process.”

[15] Anthony Platt, The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969).

[16] Edward W. Sieh, “From Augustus to the Progressives: A Study of Probation’s Formative Years,” Federal Probation 57 (September), 1993: 67–68.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Arnold Binder, Gilbert Geis, and Dickson D. Bruce, Juvenile Delinquency: Historical, Cultural, and Legal Perspectives, 2nd ed. (Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing, 1997).

[19] Lawrence and Hemmens, “History and Development of the Juvenile Court and Justice Process.”

[20] Fox, “Juvenile Justice Reform: An Historical Perspective.”

[21] Fox, “Juvenile Justice Reform: An Historical Perspective,” 1224.

[22] Fox, “Juvenile Justice Reform: An Historical Perspective,” 1229.

[23] Fox, “Juvenile Justice Reform: An Historical Perspective,” 1229–1230.

[24] Lawrence J. Schultz, “The Cycle of Juvenile Court History,” Crime and Delinquency 19, no. 4 (1973): 457–476.; Lawrence and Hemmens. "History and Development of the Juvenile Court and Justice Process," 24–25.

[25] Lawrence and Hemmens, “History and Development of the Juvenile Court and Justice Process,” 25.

[26] F. Sussman, and F. Baum, Law of Juvenile Delinquency 3d ed., (New York: Oceana Publications, 1969).

[27] Lawrence and Hemmens, “History and Development of the Juvenile Court and Justice Process,” 24.

[28] Platt, The Child Savers.

[29] John L. Hutzler, “Canon to the Left, Canon to the Right: Can the Juvenile Court Survive?” Today’s Delinquent 1 (1982): 25–38.

[30] Jeffrey A Butts and Ojmarrh Mitchell, “Brick by Brick: Dismantling the Border Between Juvenile and Adult Justice,” In Criminal Justice, 2000, Vol. 2. (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 2000).; Barry C. Feld, Bad Kids: Race and the Transformation of the Juvenile Court, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999).

[31] Preston Elrod and Scott Ryder, Juvenile Justice: A Social, Historical and Legal Perspective, (Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2014): 118.

[32] Michael Corriero, Judging Children as Children: A Proposal for a Juvenile Justice System, (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2006): 36–37

[33] Michele Deitch, Amanda Barstow, Leslie Lukens, and Ryan Reyna. From Time Out to Hard Time: Young Children in the Adult Criminal Justice System, (Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs, 2009): 22.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Carmen Daugherty, State Trends: Legislative Victories from 2011–2013 Removing Youth from the Adult Criminal Justice System, (Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice, 2013).

[36] Charles Puzzanchera, Benjamin Adams, and Sarah Hockenberry, Juvenile Court Statistics 2009, (Pittsburgh, PA: National Center for Juvenile Justice, 2012): 58.

[37] Melissa Sickmund, Juveniles in Court, (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs, 2003).

[38] Paul W. Tappan, Juvenile Delinquency, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1949).

[39] J.M. Jordan, “The Responsibility of the Superintendent To Maintain the Function of Detention,” In J.A. Holmes, ed., A National Institute for Juvenile Detention Home Administrators: Final Report, (Edwardsville, IL: Delinquency Study and Youth Development Project, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, 1968).

[40] Tappan, Juvenile Delinquency.

[41] Sherwood Norman, “Juvenile Detention,” National Probation and Parole Association Journal 3 (1957): 392–403.; Tappan, Juvenile Delinquency.

[42] Michelle Inderbitzin, “Lessons From a Juvenile Training School: Survival and Growth,” Journal of Adolescent Research 21, no. 1 (2006): 7–26.

[43] Mays and Winfree, Juvenile Justice, 3rd ed.

[44] Barry C. Feld, Bad Kids, 72.

[45] Inderbitzin, “Lessons From a Juvenile Training School,” 8.

[46] Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, Children in Custody: A Report on the Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facility Census of 1971, NCJ 013403, (Washington, DC: National Criminal Justice Information and Statistics Service, 1974): 4–6.

[47] Bureau of Justice Statistics, Children in Custody, 1975–85: Census of Public and Private Juvenile Detention, Correctional, and Shelter Facilities, (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1989): 28.

[48] Gordon Raley, “JJDPA: A Second Look,” Juvenile Justice 2, no. 2: 11–18.

[49] James C. Howell, “NCCD’s Survey of Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facilities,” Crime and Delinquency 44 (1988): 103.

[50] National Council on Crime and Delinquency, “Corrections in the United States,” President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice: Task Force Report: Corrections, (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1967): 129.

[51] Howell, “NCCD’s Survey of Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facilities,” 103–104.

[52] Ibid., 104.

[53] NCCD, “Corrections in the United States,”: 211.; Howell, “NCCD’s Survey of Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facilities,” 104–105.

[54] National Advisory Commission, Executive Summary: Report of the N.A.C. on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, (1974): 49.

[55] Ira Schwartz, (In)Justice for Juveniles, (Washington, DC: Lexington Books, 1989).

[56] Schwartz, (In)Justice for Juveniles.

[57] Robert W. Sweet, Jr., “Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders: In Perspective,” Pepperdine Law Review 18, (1991): 389–398.

[58] Claire Shubik and Jessica Kendall, “Rethinking Juvenile Status Offense Laws: Considerations for Congressional Review of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act,Family Court Review 45, no. 3 (2007): 384–398.

[59] Puzzanchera, Adams, and Hockenberry, Juvenile Court Statistics 2009, 83.

[60] National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition, Promoting Safe Communities: Recommendations for the 113th Congress, (Washington, DC: Center for Children’s Law and Policy, 2013): 6.

[61] Shubik and Kendall, “Rethinking Juvenile Status Offense Laws.”

[62] Douglas E. Abrams, “Lessons from Juvenile Justice History in the United States,” Journal of the Institute of Justice and International Studies 4 (2004): 16.

[63] Michael Dale, “Lawsuits And Public Policy: The Role of Litigation in Correcting Conditions in Juvenile Detention Centers,” University of San Francisco Law Review 32 (1998): 675–738.

[64] Ruby Shaw and Everette B. Penn, “Purpose and Scope of the Texas Juvenile Justice System.” ; William S. Bush, Who Gets a Childhood?: Race and Juvenile Justice in Twentieth-Century Texas, (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2010).

[65] Bush, Who Gets a Childhood?

[66] Shaw and Penn, “Purpose and Scope of the Texas Juvenile Justice System.”

[67] Shaw and Penn, “Purpose and Scope of the Texas Juvenile Justice System,” 11.

[68] Jerry M. v. District of Columbia, C.A. No. 1519-85 (D.C. Super. Ct., filed Mar. 1, 1985).

[69] Will Singer, “Judicial Intervention and Juvenile Corrections Reform: A Case Study of Jerry M. v. District of Columbia,” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 102, no. 3 (2012): 901–964.

[70] Singer, “Judicial Intervention and Juvenile Corrections Reform.”

[71] Michele Deitch, “The Need for Independent Prison Oversight in a Post-PLRA World,” Federal Sentencing Reporter 24, no. 4 (2012): 236–244.

[72] Margo Schlanger and Giovanna Shay, “Preserving the Rule of Law in America’s Prisons: The Case for Amending the Prison Litigation Reform Act,” (Washington, DC: American Constitution Society, 2007).; Anna Rapa, “Comment: One Brick Too Many: The Prison Litigation Reform Act as a Barrier to Legitimate Juvenile Lawsuits,” Thomas M. Cooley Law Review 23 (2006): 263–302.

[73] Alfonse Gerhardstein, “Leveraging Maximum Reform While Enforcing Minimum Standards,” Fordham Urban Law Journal 36 (2009): 9–26.

[74] Susan Guarino-Ghezzi, “Initiating Change in Massachusetts’ Juvenile Correctional System: A Retrospective Analysis,” Criminal Justice Review 13 (1998): 3.

[75] Guarino-Ghezzi, “Initiating Change in Massachusetts’ Juvenile Correctional System,” 4.

[76] Sweet, Jr., “Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders," 403.

[77] Jerome G. Miller, Last One Over the Wall: The Massachusetts Experiment in Closing Reform Schools, 2nd ed., (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1998).

[78] Abrams, “Lessons from Juvenile Justice History in the United States.”

[79] Richard A. Mendel, The Missouri Model: Reinventing the Practice of Rehabilitating Youth Offenders, (Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2010): 6.

[80] Mendel, The Missouri Model.

[81] Earl L. Dunlap and David W. Roush, “Juvenile Detention as Process and Place,” Juvenile and Family Court Journal 46, no. 2 (1995): 3–16.

[82] John DiIulio, How to Stop the Coming Crime Wave, (New York: Manhattan Institute, 1996).

[83] Peter J. Benekos, Alida V. Merlo, and Charles M. Puzzanchera. “In Defence of Children and Youth: Reforming Juvenile Justice Policies,” International Journal of Police Science and Management 15 (2013): 125.

[84] Barry C. Feld, “Race and the Jurisprudence: A Tale in Two Parts,” in Our Children, Their Children, eds. Darnell Hawkins and Kimberly Kempf-Leonard (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005): 141–142.

[85] Marc Mauer, Race to Incarcerate, 2nd ed., (New York: The New Press, 2006).

[86] Marc Mauer, “Disproportionate Minority Contact Fact Sheet,” Washington, DC: The Sentencing Project, 2010.

[87] Janet L. Lauritsen, “Racial and Ethnic Differences in Juvenile Offending,” In Our Children, Their Children, eds. Darnell Hawkins and Kimberly Kempf-Leonard (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005): 83–104.

[88] Richard J. Bonnie, Robert L. Johnson, Betty M. Chemers, and Julie A. Schuck, eds., Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2013.

[89] Atasi Satpathy, “Urgent Reform in the Name of our Children: Revamping the Role of Disproportionate Minority Contact in Federal Juvenile Justice Legislation,” Michigan Journal of Race and Law 16 (2011): 411–468.

[90] Elizabeth Scott and Laurence Steinberg, Rethinking Juvenile Justice, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008): 185.

[91] Deitch, Barstow, Lukens, and Reyna. From Time Out to Hard Time.

[92] Sickmund, Juveniles in Court.

[93] Ibid.

[94] Patrick Griffin, Sean Addie, Benjamin Adams, and Kathy Firestine, Trying Juveniles as Adults: An Analysis of State Transfer Laws and Reporting, (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2011): 6.

[95] Sickmund, Juveniles in Court.

[96] Scott and Steinberg, Rethinking Juvenile Justice: 185.

[97] Benekos, Merlo, and Puzzanchera, “In Defence of Children and Youth,” 125.; Deitch, Barstow, Lukens, and Reyna, From Time Out to Hard Time.

[98] Patrick Griffin and Melanie King, National Overviews: State Juvenile Justice Profiles, (Pittsburgh: National Center for Juvenile Justice, 2006).; Howard Snyder and Melissa Sickmund, Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report, (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2006).; Jason Zeidenberg, You’re An Adult Now: Youth in Adult Criminal Justice Systems, (Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections, 2011).

[99] Deitch, Barstow, Lukens, and Reyna, From Time Out to Hard Time.

[100] Bryan A. Stevenson, Cruel and Unusual: Sentencing 13- and 14 -year-old Children to Die in Prison, (Montgomery, AL: Equal Justice Initiative, 2007).

[101] Stevenson, Cruel and Unusual.; Human Rights Watch, The Rest of Their Lives: Life Without Parole for Child Offenders in the United States, (New York: Amnesty International, 2005).

[102] Deitch, Barstow, Lukens, and Reyna, From Time Out to Hard Time, 36.

[103] Deitch, Barstow, Lukens, and Reyna, From Time Out to Hard Time.; Michele Deitch, Juveniles in the Adult Criminal Justice System in Texas, (Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs, 2011).

[104] Michele Deitch and Neelum Arya, “Waivers and Transfers of Juveniles to Adult Court: Treating Juveniles Like Adult Criminals,” in Juvenile Justice Sourcebook, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).; Snyder and Sickmund, Juvenile Offenders and Victims.

[105] Heather C. West, Prison Inmates at Midyear 2009: Statistical Tables, NCJ 230113, (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010): 24.; Todd Minton, Jail Inmates at Midyear 2009: Statistical Tables, NCJ 230122, (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010): 9.

[106] Neelum Arya, Jailing Juveniles: The Dangers of Incarcerating Youth in Adult Jails in America, (Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice, 2007).; National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, “National Prison Rape Elimination Commission Report,” (2009).; Deitch and Arya, “Waivers and Transfers of Juveniles to Adult Court.”

[107] Arya, Jailing Juveniles.; Deitch, Galbraith, and Pollock, Conditions for Certified Juveniles in Texas County Jails.

[108] Marc Mauer, Ryan S. King, and Malcolm C. Young, The Meaning of "Life": Long Prison Sentences in Context, (Washington, DC: The Sentencing Project, 2004).; Arya, Jailing Juveniles.; Michele Deitch, Anna Lipton Galbraith, and Jordan Pollock, Conditions for Certified Juveniles in Texas County Jails, (Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs, 2012).

[109] Benekos, Merlo, and Puzzanchera, “In Defence of Children and Youth.”

[110] National Research Council, Report Brief.

[111] Deborah Fowler, A True Texas Miracle: Achieving Juvenile Justice Reform in a Tough Economic Climate, (Washington, DC: First Focus, 2012).

[112] Vincent Schiraldi, Marc Schindler, and Sean J. Goliday, “The End of the Reform School?” In Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice, eds. Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011): 409–432.

[113] Richard A. Mendel, No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration, (Baltimore: Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2011): 5.

[114] Mendel, No Place for Kids, 6.; Schiraldi, Schindler, and Goliday, “The End of the Reform School?”

[115] Benekos, Merlo, and Puzzanchera, “In Defence of Children and Youth.”

[116] Mendel, No Place for Kids, 9.

[117] Robert Hahn, et al., Centers for Disease Control Task Force on Community Preventive Services, “Effects on Violence of Laws and Policies Facilitating the Transfer of Youth from the Juvenile to the Adult Justice System: A Report on Recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services,” MMWR 56, RR-9, (2007): 7.

[118] Jeffrey A. Butts and Ojmarrh Mitchell, “Brick by Brick: Dismantling the Border Between Juvenile and Adult Justice,” in Criminal Justice 2000, Vol. 2., (Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, 2000).

[119] Schiraldi, Schindler, and Goliday, “The End of the Reform School?”

[120] Mendel, No Place for Kids.; Benekos, Merlo, and Puzzanchera, “In Defence of Children and Youth.”

[121] Mendel, No Place for Kids, 13.

[122] Fowler, A True Texas Miracle.; New York Times, Editorial, “Texas’s Progress on Juvenile Justice,” (July 9, 2011).

[123] Bonnie, Johnson, Chemers, and Schuck, eds., Reforming Juvenile Justice.

[124] Ibid.

[125] Ibid.

[126] Mendel, No Place for Kids, 38.

[127] Albert R. Roberts, Katherine Montgomery, Wesley T. Church, and David W. Springer, “An Overview of Juvenile Justice and Juvenile Delinquency,” in Juvenile Justice Sourcebook, eds. Wesley Church, David Springer, and Albert Roberts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014): 17.

[128] American Correctional Association, “Standards and Accreditation,” (2013).

[129] National Commission on Correctional Health Care, “About Us,” (2013).

[130] American Bar Association, ABA Standards for Criminal Justice: Treatment of Prisoners, (Chicago: American Bar Association, 2011).

[131] Texas Constitution and Statutes, “Texas Human Resources Code § 221.004,” (2014).

[132] Allen J. Beck, David Cantor, John Hartge, and Tim Smith, Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth 2012, (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2013).

[133] Ibid.

[134] Adam Segal, IDEA and the Juvenile Justice System: A Factsheet, (Washington, DC: The National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Youth Who are Neglected, Delinquent or At-Risk, 2011).

[135] Kathleen B. Boundy and Joanne Karger, “The Right to a Quality Education for Children and Youth in the Juvenile Justice System,” in Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice, eds. Francine T. Sherman and Francine H. Jacobs (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011): 288.

[136] Segal, IDEA and the Juvenile Justice System.

[137] Ibid.

[138] Boundy and Karger, “The Right to a Quality Education for Children and Youth.”

[139] Sarah Hammond, Mental Health Needs of Juvenile Offenders, (Washington, DC: National Conference of State Legislators, 2007): 4.

[140] Jennie L. Shufelt and Joseph J. Cocozza, Youth with Mental Health Disorders in the Juvenile Justice System: Results from a Multi-State Prevalence Study, (National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, 2006).

[141] Hammond, Mental Health Needs of Juvenile Offenders, 4.

[142] Jeff M. Kretschmar and Daniel J. Flannery, “Displacement and Suicide Risk for Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth with Mental Health Issues,” Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 6, no. 40 (2011): 797–806.

[143] Michele Deitch, Amy Madore, Kate Vickery, and Alycia Welch, Understanding and Addressing Youth Violence in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, (Austin, TX: University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs, 2013).

[144] Bonnie, Johnson, Chemers, and Schuck, eds., Reforming Juvenile Justice.

[145] Disability Rights Texas, National Center for Youth Law, and Texas Appleseed, Thinking Outside the Cell: Alternatives to Incarceration for Youth with Mental Illness, (Author, 2011).

[146] Paula Schaefer, “Girls in the Juvenile Justice System,” (American Bar Association, 2008).

[147] Lawanda Ravoira, and Vanessa Patino, “Girls Matter: Unfinished Work,” in Justice for Kids: Keeping Kids Out of the Juvenile Justice System, ed. Nancy E. Dowd (New York: New York University Press, 2011): 157–179.

[148] Schaefer, “Girls in the Juvenile Justice System.”

[149] Patricia Leigh Brown, “A Court’s All-Hands Approach Aids Girls Most at Risk.” New York Times, (2014, January 28).

[150] Bonnie, Johnson, Chemers, and Schuck, (eds.), Reforming Juvenile Justice.

[151] Sandra Pavelka, “Restorative Juvenile Justice Legislation and Policy: A National Assessment,” International Journal of Restorative Justice 2, no. 4 (2008): 100–118.

[152] Bonnie, Johnson, Chemers, and Schuck, eds., Reforming Juvenile Justice.

[153] Derek Cohen, Policy Perspective: Reviving Restorative Justice: A Blueprint for Texas, (Austin, TX: Center for Effective Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation, 2013).

[154] Deitch and Arya, “Waivers and Transfers of Juveniles to Adult Court.”

[155] Sara B. Johnson, Robert W. Blum, and Jay N. Giedd, “Adolescent Maturity and the Brain: The Promise and Pitfalls of Neuroscience Research in Adolescent Health Policy,” Journal of Adolescent Health 3, no. 45 (2009): 216–221.

[156] Scott and Steinberg, Rethinking Juvenile Justice.

[157] National Research Council, Report Brief: Reforming Juvenile Justice.

[158] Roper v. Simmons 2005.

[159] Graham v. Florida 2010.

[160] Mary Berkheiser, “Death Is Not So Different After All: Graham v. Florida and the Court’s ‘Kids Are Different’ Eighth Amendment Jurisprudence,” Vermont Law Review 36 (2011): 1–61.

[161] JDB v. North Carolina 2011.

[162] Miller v. Alabama 2012.

[163] Jackson v. Hobbs 2012.

[164] Arya, “Using Graham v. Florida to Challenge Juvenile Transfer Laws.”

[165] Daugherty, State Trends: Legislative Victories from 2011–2013.

[166] Michele Deitch, Rebecca Breeden, and Ross Weingarten, “Seventeen, Going on Eighteen: An Operational and Fiscal Analysis of a Proposal to Raise the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction in Texas,” American Journal of Criminal Law 40 (2012): 1–67.

[167] Daugherty, State Trends: Legislative Victories from 2011–2013.

[168] Daugherty, State Trends: Legislative Victories from 2011–2013.

[169] National Research Council, Report Brief: Reforming Juvenile Justice.

Ch.2 Types of Facilities

Ch.2 Types of Facilities web_admin Wed, 12/22/2021 - 15:47

Author: Pam Clark, MSW, LSW, CYC-P

"The most severe sanction that a juvenile court can impose entails the restriction of a juvenile's freedom through placement in a residential facility."(OJJDP)[1]

 

Nationwide, juvenile detention and correctional facilities, and in far too many cases jails and prisons, are charged with responsibility for the care and custody of young offenders. These facilities and the staff working in them are expected to provide for the safety of both youth and the public, to maintain humane and constitutional conditions of confinement, and to fulfill a variety of other functions depending on the specific type of facility.

According to information taken from the 2010 Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP) survey, 79,165 youth were being held in juvenile confinement facilities on February 24, 2010, the date on which the survey data were collected.[2] This number does not include youth that were held in adult jails and prisons. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 9,851 youth were confined in adult jails and state prisons in 2010, and in 2009 (the most recent data available), approximately 4,145 youth ages 18 and under were arrested and taken into custody by federal officials.[3]

Juvenile justice practitioners and experts agree that confining youth—in most circumstances—is not in the best interest of either youth or public safety. Too often, delinquent youth charged with nonviolent offenses that do not pose a risk to public safety are held in confinement facilities, when supervision in the community would be a more cost-effective and appropriate option. Community supervision is also less disruptive to family life, to participation in educational and other community-based programming, and to sustaining employment for those youth who have been able to find a job.

Other youth are confined not so much because the delinquent act they committed is serious or because they pose a threat to public safety, but because the programs and services they really do need are not readily available. As a result, when these “special needs” youth are thought to pose a potential threat to public safety or to be a flight risk, they are too often placed in confinement facilities that are ill equipped to meet their special needs.

Confinement Facilities that Serve Youth

Many people struggle to understand the differences in the various types of confinement facilities in which young people may be held and the purpose of each facility type. Significant variations in how jurisdictions structure their juvenile justice systems contribute to this lack of understanding. Further confusion stems from more states handling criminally involved youth in the adult criminal justice system over the past two decades. Many of those youth are now being confined in adult jails and prisons.[4]

Confinement is part of a continuum of care for responding to youth engaged in delinquent behavior. The continuum begins with sanctions such as Teen/Youth Court, parent education and training, and other diversionary programs. Investments should always be made in preventive and diversionary programs and services in an effort to avoid the use of more restrictive interventions.

When necessary, the continuum moves to intermediate sanctions such as family preservation programs, intensive supervision probation; drug, alcohol, and mental health treatment programs; and home confinement and electronic monitoring. Most all of these interventions are non-residential and based in the community.

This Desktop Guide Series (DGS) addresses services at the deep end of this continuum, which involves the secure confinement of youth.

Juvenile Detention

Juvenile detention is a critically important part of the juvenile justice system. It has long been ignored, criticized, and deprived of the support and assistance that is regularly made available for other juvenile justice functions.

Juvenile detention is defined as

…the temporary and safe custody of juveniles who are accused of conduct subject to the jurisdiction of the court who require a restricted environment for their own or the community’s protection while pending legal action.

Further, juvenile detention provides a wide range of helpful services that support the juvenile’s physical, emotional, and social development.

Helpful services minimally include education, visitation, communication, counseling, continuous supervision, medical and healthcare services, nutrition, recreation, and reading.

Juvenile detention includes or provides for a system of clinical observation and assessment that complements the helpful services and reports findings.[5]

This definition was developed from the seven essential characteristics of juvenile detention identified by the American Correctional Association (ACA) Juvenile Detention Committee. These features, which remain relevant today, are:

  • Temporary custody. Of all the methods of incarceration within the criminal justice system, only juvenile detention stresses its temporary nature. Detention should be as short as possible.
  • Safe custody. This concept implies freedom from fear and freedom from harm for both the youth and the community. This definitional theme refers to a safe and humane environment with programming and staffing to ensure the physical and psychological safety of detained youth.
  • Restricted environment. The nature or degree of restrictiveness of the environment is generally associated with the traditional classifications of maximum, medium, or minimum security or custody.
  • Community protection. In addition to the factors listed above, the court has a legitimate right to detain youth for the purpose of preventing further serious or violent delinquent behavior.
  • Pending legal action. This theme includes the time spent awaiting a hearing, disposition, a placement, or a return to a previous placement.
  • Helpful services. Programs are available to detained youth to help resolve a host of problems commonly facing detained youth. Because detention has the potential of creating a tremendously negative impact on some youth, it is important that programming have the depth of services required to meet the needs of a wide range of youth problems.
  • Clinical observation and assessment. Most juvenile codes specifically refer to this theme as a purpose for detention. The controlled environment of juvenile detention often provides the opportunity for intense observation and assessment to enhance staff decision-making capabilities. Competent clinical services are to be provided by properly credentialed individuals who coordinate and conduct the observation and assessment process. (This service may be provided by staff or through contract.)[6]

These characteristics and the definition of detention make clear that the purpose of juvenile detention is to confine only those youth who are serious, violent, or chronic offenders that may fail to appear for court proceedings or may commit additional delinquent acts pending legal action. Based on these criteria, juvenile detention is not considered appropriate for status offenders and youth that commit technical violations of probation.

Juvenile detention is best understood as being both a process and a place. Detention as place is the “what,” the object or outcome of juvenile court action. Place includes the objective characteristics of detention such as the physical structure of the building and its characteristics—its rated bed capacity, security hardware, square footage, furnishings, and sanitation. Place represents the preventive aspect of detention. It prevents youth, families, and the community from coming to any additional harm; prevents the youth from committing any new offenses while being processed through the legal system; and provides assurance that youth will appear for court hearings.

Process is about action and refers to the intensity of services, the quality of care, the quality of staff and their relationships with youth, and the philosophy of detention. A significant aspect of the process of detention is staff, which includes judicial and other decision makers responsible for matching the levels of restrictiveness with the detention needs of the youth, the detention staff interacting with youth in confinement, and the values instilled in these staff by leadership at the detention facility. Process is about a continuum of care, both internal and external to the detention facility, and graduated sanctions that include detention and that are appropriate to the needs of individual youth.

Juvenile justice administrators and practitioners may not always have control over what makes up the place of detention. However, regardless of the physical plant or financial resources available to them, they are always in a position to affect the process, and process is “…much more influential in effecting safety and security than are policies and procedures.”[7]

In 2007, to more directly address the idea of juvenile detention as process, the National Juvenile Detention Association revised the definition of juvenile detention to state the following:

Juvenile detention, as part of the juvenile justice continuum, is a process that includes the temporary and safe custody of juveniles whose alleged conduct is subject to court jurisdiction and who require a restricted environment for their own and the community’s protection while pending legal action. Juvenile detention may range from the least restrictive community based supervision to the most restrictive form of secure care.

The critical components of juvenile detention include:

  • Screening to ensure appropriate use of detention.
  • Assessment to determine the proper level of custody, supervision and placement.
  • Policies that promote the safety, security and well being of juveniles and staff.
  • Services that address immediate and/or acute needs in the educational, mental, physical, emotional and social development of juveniles.[8]

Juvenile detention facilities may be publicly or privately funded and operated. When youth are placed in private juvenile detention facilities, the organization operating the private facility will charge daily room and board and sometimes other fees to the court or division of government that referred the youth to the facility.

Juvenile detention facilities may be either staff secure or facility secure. A staff-secure facility does not have the same construction fixtures, such as locked doors throughout the building, as do those that are facility secure. Likewise, the staffing configuration of a facility that is staff secure is different from the staffing configuration of one that is facility secure.

Each year, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) asks residential facilities that serve youth in the juvenile justice system to complete the CJRP, which asks representatives of juvenile residential facilities to describe each youth assigned a bed in the facility. This survey includes information about the “lock” or “no lock” (facility-secure or staff-secure) status of the facility, which is determined by the facility. The descriptive criteria to which facility administrators are to respond related to this status are provided below:

Locks indicated. Juveniles are restricted within the facility or its grounds by locked doors, gates, or fences some or all of the time.[9]

No locks indicated. Juveniles are not restricted within the facility or its grounds by locked doors, gates, or fences; facilities that do not rely on locks for security are also known as staff secure.

Based on this information, from 1997 to 2010, less than 14% of youth in detention were served in unlocked, staff-secure facilities.[10] This is true despite the fact that, in 2010, 24% of all youth place in detention were being held for either a status offense (2%) or a technical violation (22%) of the conditions of the youth’s probation or parole.[11]

The full range of juvenile placements from which the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP) survey collects data includes:

  • Detention Centers
  • Shelters
  • Reception/Diagnostic Centers
  • Group Homes
  • Boot Camps
  • Ranch/Wilderness Camps
  • Long-term Secure Facilities

As discussed above, juvenile detention is intended to be temporary and transitional. However, a number of states have passed legislation that allows for the “sentencing” of youth to local juvenile detention facilities, rather than committing them to a state correctional facility. More than half of states allow the juvenile court to order adjudicated youth to serve time in a local juvenile detention facility. Many juvenile detention facility staff and administrators, particularly those working in facilities in small or rural communities, find it challenging to effectively meet the programmatic and service needs of youth adjudicated to spend lengthy periods of time in their care. This is particularly true when it comes to serving youth with special mental and medical health and educational needs.

National leaders in juvenile justice disagree with this legislative change and instead support the prohibition of juvenile detention as a dispositional option. The development of effective, appropriate and less costly alternatives should be supported to eliminate the use of juvenile detention as a disposition. Given the average length of stay in secure detention is 15 days it seems reasonable that many of these youth could be served in a community-based program.

In most cases, youth are ordered by the court to serve less time in detention facilities than in state correctional facilities. There are fewer than ten states in which secure detention is used solely to hold youth before adjudication or placement.

Juvenile Corrections

Long-term juvenile correctional facilities serve a different purpose than juvenile detention facilities. Secure detention facilities are meant to provide short-term confinement for pre-adjudicated youth, and secure correctional facilities are meant to serve youth that have been adjudicated delinquent for an offense that would be considered a crime if the youth were an adult—typically one or more felonies or multiple misdemeanor offenses. Youth are confined in secure correctional facilities for periods generally ranging from a few months to a year or more. Some youth may spend multiple years in a juvenile correctional facility. Due to the long-term nature of juvenile correctional facilities, a much broader array of programs and services is typically available than those in juvenile detention facilities.

Juvenile correctional facilities are a part of larger statewide systems of juvenile justice—systems that are multifaceted, with processes and components that vary greatly from one state to another. State juvenile justice systems have changed dramatically over the last century, as have the programs and facilities designed to serve the youth referred to those systems. Facilities and programs within a single state or jurisdiction may range from staff-secure, family-style group homes to facility-secure, long-term training schools and treatment programs.

Many juvenile correctional systems have intake and diagnostic facilities. These facilities may be architecturally free standing but are often located on the same campus or compound of a long-term juvenile correctional facility, where the youth may or may not be placed following the intake process. The length of stay in an intake and diagnostic facility is usually 30–90 days, during which time a youth’s educational, medical, mental health, and other needs are evaluated. The information obtained as a result of this short-term placement is used to determine the individual needs of youth, and, based on those needs, what the youth’s long-term dispositional placement will be. Some intake and diagnostic facilities also conduct court-ordered, pre-dispositional diagnostic evaluations. In these cases, youth will typically return to the local community following the period of evaluation while they await disposition of their case in juvenile court.

Juvenile correctional facilities, like juvenile detention facilities, may be either staff secure (unlocked) or facility secure (locked). The same definitions of locked versus unlocked are used for both juvenile detention and juvenile correctional facilities.

From 1997 to 2010, more than 76% of youth committed to a juvenile correctional facility were served in a locked, facility-secure setting.

The length of time a youth spends in a juvenile correctional placement may be determined either by the facility to which the youth has been committed (indeterminate) or by the court adjudicating the youth (determinate). In the case of determinate commitments, the judge orders a defined length of time the youth is to spend in the juvenile correctional placement. The length of indeterminate commitments may be decided in response to established treatment goals by a semi-independent or external paroling authority, by a team of staff that work with the youth, and (sometimes) the youth’s family, or by some other process specific to the jurisdiction.

A little over half of committed youth in confinement are held in publicly-funded, government-administered facilities. Both privately-run detention and confinement facilities charge daily and other fees to the court or division of government that referred the youth.

In recent years, significant attention has focused on providing reentry and aftercare services for committed youth. Jurisdictions have invested in these services to allow for some level of post-release supervision of youth, with the goal of increasing the likelihood of safe and successful transitions of youth back into their homes and communities. Aftercare services may be provided as part of the youth’s commitment to a state department of corrections, which may or may not involve supervision by a parole officer or a juvenile probation officer and the court that ordered the youth’s commitment to the juvenile correctional facility.

As mentioned earlier, youth are typically confined in juvenile correctional facilities for longer periods of time than they spend in juvenile detention facilities. In 2010, approximately one-third of committed offenders remained in placement six months after admission. A little over 10% of these youth remained in placement one year after admission.[12]

The number of youth committed to a juvenile correctional facility decreased 35% between 1997 and 2010.[13] There are many factors that may have contributed to this dramatic reduction in youth commitments, including national reductions in juvenile crime rates.

Youth in Adult Jails and Prisons

"In the United States, children are treated as different from adults, except when it comes to criminal law." (Michele Deitch et al.)[14]

The physical separation of youth and adults in confinement facilities has a long history in the U.S. dating back to the early 19th century with the creation of special facilities to house juvenile delinquents. The first of these was the New York House of Refuge, which opened in 1825. Over the next 40 years, another 25 juvenile confinement facilities opened across the country. The U.S. now has more than 2,200 public and private juvenile residential placement facilities holding adjudicated youth. (See Ch. 1: Historical Perspective)

The purposes of separate facilities for youth were 1) to protect juveniles from possible influence and victimization by adult offenders, 2) to allow for a focus on the rehabilitation of these youth to divert them from a lifetime of criminal behavior, and 3) in recognition of the fact that children are not the same as adults. However, the level of commitment to the goal of rehabilitation and recognition that youth are not miniature adults has fluctuated with the political climate.

U.S. Supreme Court decisions from the 1960s such as Kent v. United States (1966) and In re Gault (1967) led to dramatic and profound changes in U.S. juvenile courts, such as affording youth many of the due process rights granted to adults. However, in response to a rise in juvenile crime in the late 1970s and early 1980s, lawmakers—primarily at the state level—began to pass legislation allowing for the prosecution of juveniles through adult criminal courts. As a result, 46 states have lowered the age or expanded the circumstances, or both, under which juveniles can be prosecuted as adults.

The setting in which youth who are prosecuted and convicted as adults will serve their sentence may vary from one jurisdiction to another, particularly for youth that have been sentenced to a term in prison. In some states, youth may serve some portion of their sentence in a juvenile facility before being transferred to an adult confinement facility. Although some facilities do little more than physically separate juveniles from adults, other state systems have created specialized facilities for youthful offenders in an effort to more effectively meet their needs. In these facilities, physical separation is supplemented with specialized, age-appropriate programming and staff training.

Adult jails and prisons serve the same function for adult offenders that juvenile detention and correctional facilities serve for youth in the juvenile justice system. Gary Bowker describes jails in the National Institute of Corrections document, Jail Resources Issues: What Every Funding Authority Needs to Know, as follows:[15]

The primary purposes of the jail in the community are to hold accused law violators who cannot post bond to ensure their appearance at trial and to hold those convicted of lesser offenses until they complete their court-ordered sanction. In addition to these purposes, rehabilitation and reintegration are sometimes considered secondary goals. Opportunities for self-help and change are desirable and may prevent some inmates from committing offenses after their release. However, provision of these activities may be limited by the lack of any clear statutory responsibility to provide such programs at the local jail level, by financial constraints, and by other resources restrictions.

This last statement clearly informs and supports many of the concerns that have been raised by representatives of the juvenile justice community and by child and youth advocates across the country related to the wisdom of transferring youth to the adult criminal justice system.

Jails are primarily publicly funded and locally operated (city or county). Prisons may be operated by either a state criminal justice system or by the federal government.

Concerns around the sentencing of youth to secure confinement in an adult facility are many. The JJDPA requires sight and sound separation of youth being prosecuted in the juvenile system but held in adult jails and prisons. However, these protections do not apply when youth are being prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system. In addition, there are limited standards (offered by the American Correctional Association) for managing youth and what services should be provided for them in adult correctional facilities. Furthermore, there is no monitoring system for ensuring safe and healthy conditions of confinement for youth being held in adult facilities.

According to a report written by Malcolm Young and Jenni Gainesborough for The Sentencing Project, entitled, Prosecuting Juveniles in Adult Court, youth in adult jails and prisons are five times more likely to be physically and/or sexually assaulted, almost eight times more likely to commit suicide, and are more likely to be attacked with a weapon.[16] They are also more likely to be placed in isolation, often as a means of meeting the federal requirements for sight and sound separation, and have less access to education, family support, and other developmentally appropriate programs and services than youth in the juvenile system. In adult facilities, youth usually receive the same meals, health, education, and recreational services as adults, despite the known differences in their developmental needs.

Numerous national organizations have made clear their view that the most appropriate placement of youth is in a juvenile confinement facility where they may receive age-appropriate programs and services focused on rehabilitation and treatment, delivered by staff trained to work with youth, in an environment where they are safe from potential victimization by adult offenders.[17]

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

"Children of immigrants are one-fourth of America's children and the fastest-growing group of children." (Phillips et al.)[18]

There are an estimated 1.5 million unauthorized immigrants under the age of 18 in the U.S., as well as approximately 4.5 million more children born in the U.S. whose parent(s) are undocumented. Although the majority of these immigrant youth cross the Mexico–United States border, others come to this country from many places around the world for asylum and protection, employment, reunification with their families, or because they are being smuggled into the country for cheap labor and/or sexual exploitation.[19]

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is charged with ensuring public safety by enforcing laws governing border control, customs, and immigration. However, ICE agents may and do detain both adults and youth simply due to their lack of legal status. Although there are many circumstances in which youth may come to the attention of ICE, it is most often through contact with law enforcement or the juvenile justice system or when they are apprehended trying to cross the U.S. border.

Youth taken into custody by ICE officials may be either unaccompanied or undocumented. Unaccompanied youth are those under age 18, who have no legal status and for whom there is no parent or legal guardian in the U.S. Undocumented youth are those under age 18 who have no U.S. citizenship and live in the U.S. with one or more parents or legal guardians. The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, becomes responsible for the care, custody, and placement of all illegal immigrant youth deemed to be unaccompanied. Most children served by the ORR are placed in licensed foster care, in a shelter care facility or in another appropriate youth care setting.[20] Undocumented youth may be sent to ICE detention centers, or to contract facilities in areas where no ICE facility is available. These contracted facilities are typically local jails, state prison facilities, or local juvenile detention centers—facilities for confining individuals charged with or convicted of committing a crime. Most undocumented youth have committed no crime; they are only in this country without a legal citizenship status.[21]

Based on a settlement agreement stemming from the 1985 lawsuit, Flores v. Reno,[22] if the release of a child in the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS—the precursor to ICE) is not possible, that child should be placed in the least restrictive setting possible. The Flores ruling also requires the INS to place youth in an appropriate juvenile detention facility or a nonsecure shelter facility within five days of entering into INS custody.

In 2010, the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain information about immigrant youth being held in adult detention facilities. Despite the Flores decision, the information obtained determined that, between 2008 and 2012, DHS detained almost 1,400 youth in adult facilities. This number is considered low, as the reported data came from only 30 of the approximately 250 adult facilities with which DHS had contracts at the time.

Tribal Youth Facilities

"Incarcerated Indian youth are much more likely to be subjected to the harshest treatment in the most restrictive environments and less likely to have received the help they need from other systems." (Terry L. Cross)[23]

According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), there are currently 566 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, with Native American people living in every state in the country. The states with higher concentrations of Native Americans typically have either several Indian reservations or have large cities with Indian relocation centers that were established in the 1950s.[24]

For centuries, Native American tribes governed themselves, including exercising control over youth. However, due to the erosion of many tribal jurisdictions and significant losses of financial and other resources, cases involving Native American youth may now be processed in any one of three systems—federal, state, or tribal.

There have been many shifts in policy related to jurisdiction over criminal matters involving Native Americans in the history of the United States. For many years, the federal government claimed jurisdiction over “(1) all offenses committed by an Indian against a non-Indian; (2) all offenses committed by a non-Indian against an Indian; and (3) certain serious crimes committed by an Indian against another Indian.”[25] However, in 1953, the U.S. Congress, as part of the Major Crimes Act, legislated Public Law 83-280—more commonly known as PL 280. Under PL 280, jurisdiction over most all criminal and civil matters involving Native Americans was mandatorily transferred from the federal government to state governments in California, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, and Wisconsin. The law also applied in Alaska, once it became a state. In addition to these six mandatory states, ten more states have voluntarily opted to transfer jurisdiction to the state under PL 280. These states are: Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, Florida, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Arizona, Iowa, and Utah.[26]

There is also tribal jurisdiction, which in most cases is concurrent with state or federal jurisdiction or both. Tribal jurisdiction applies when the crime is committed on Indian lands by an Indian. If the crime is serious enough to warrant a lengthy period of confinement, prosecution in the tribal court may not be the best option, as these courts have a sentencing limit of between one and three years. The Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act (FJDA) establishes federal jurisdiction by allowing the federal government to prosecute juveniles based on three possible circumstances: 1) the state does not have or refuses to assume jurisdiction; 2) the state does not have the resources to meet the needs of the youth; and 3) the youth is alleged to have committed a federal felony violent crime or enumerated drug offense, and the federal government has a substantial interest in the case.[27]

Tribal, Federal, and State Jurisdiction

Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction

General Scope of Criminal Jurisdiction in Indian Country*

 

Type of Crime

 

 

 

“Major” Crime (as defined by Major Crime Acts)

All Other Crimes

Indian perpetrator/Indian victim

Federal Jurisdiction (under Major Crimes Act) & Tribal Jurisdiction

Tribal Jurisdiction

Indian perpetrator/Non-Indian victim

Federal Jurisdiction (under Major Crimes Act) & Tribal Jurisdiction

Federal Jurisdiction (under General Crimes Act) & Tribal Jurisdiction

Non-Indian perpetrator/Indian victim

Federal Jurisdiction (under General Crimes Act)

Federal Jurisdiction (under General Crimes Act)

Non-Indian perpetrator/Non-Indian victim

State Jurisdiction

State Jurisdiction

*Please note that this general jurisdiction chart does not apply to jurisdictions where Public Law 280, 18 U.S.C. 1162 or other relevant federal statutes have conferred jurisdiction upon the state.

Graph adapted from The Tribal Court Clearinghouse, “General Guide to Juvenile Court Jurisdiction in Indian Country,” http://www.tribal-institute.org/lists/jurisdiction.htm.

 

Funds for detention, when available, are provided by the BIA or through agreements with the BIA, called Self-Determination Contracts or Self-Government Compacts. These agreements allow tribes to receive BIA funding to develop their own detention programs.[28] Tribes may also enter into contracts with non-tribal or non-BIA facilities to house youth under tribal jurisdiction. A fact sheet from the Campaign for Youth Justice entitled, Key Facts: Native American Youth in Federal, State, and Tribal Justice Systems says that, “According to the 2002 BJS study, only 7% of responding tribes had their own juvenile residential facility available and over two-thirds (68%) of responding tribes placed juveniles in neighboring non-Indian detention facilities.”[29]

OJJDP funds a number of programs for tribal youth to encourage innovation, collaboration, and sustainability to help tribal communities improve tribal juvenile justice systems, including programming for youth residing in or reentering their communities upon release from tribal juvenile detention centers. An example of this effort is the 2014 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) through which funds will be awarded to federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia to support public safety, victim services, and crime prevention in American Indiana and Alaska Native Communities.

In addition, OJJDP administers the Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Green Demonstration Program, which seeks to:

  • Reverse the overrepresentation of Native American youth in the juvenile justice system.
  • Reduce the rate of recidivism for tribal youth.
  • Provide guidance, nurturing, and resources that would allow tribal youth to participate in best practice and green energy programs compatible with Native American traditions and culture.

OJJDP provides training and technical assistance for program planning, implementation, and enhancement, and for program evaluation to support tribes operating or planning to operate a tribal juvenile detention center. All federally recognized tribes are eligible to request training and technical assistance related to reentry services.

As a result of the multiple jurisdictions governing tribal youth, the confinement facilities in which these youth may be held are much more diverse in terms of both facility type and geographic location than they are for any other population of youth in the U.S.

Standards, Licensing, and Audits

In some jurisdictions, a specific department or division of government licenses adult and juvenile correctional confinement facilities; in others, these facilities are audited on a regular basis against a specific set of minimum standards for compliance. A department or division of local or state government or some other external authority typically conducts these audits. Following are some of the national standards available for certifying or auditing conditions of confinement.

American Correctional Association (ACA)

The ACA provides standards for programs, services, and facilities that include adult and juvenile correctional agencies;

  • Programs and institutions.
  • Adult jails and adult and juvenile detention facilities.
  • Adult and juvenile probation.
  • Adult parole and juvenile aftercare services.
  • Adult and juvenile community residential services.
  • Adult and juvenile treatment programs.
  • Adult and juvenile boot camps.
  • Adult probation and parole field services.
  • Correctional industries.
  • Correctional training academies.
  • Electronic monitoring programs.
  • Food services programs.
  • Healthcare for adult correctional institutions.
  • Therapeutic community.

The standards established by the ACA are often used as the foundation for the development and approval of standards used in state, jurisdictional, and other auditing processes.

Council for Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA)

The Council for Juvenile Correctional Administrators has developed Performance-based Standards (PbS) for juvenile detention and correctional facilities and Community-based Standards (CbS) for use in monitoring and improving conditions of confinement and treatment services provided through or in partnership with state juvenile correctional systems.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

The 2011 Operations Manual ICE Performance-Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS) are related to the conditions of immigration detention. These standards address juveniles only minimally. The most significant addresses the need to hold juveniles separately from adults, according to the requirements of Flores v. Reno.[30]

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)

The JDAI Detention Facility Self-Assessment was developed for use by trained teams of volunteers so that they might conduct a “self-inspection” in detention facilities for the purpose of internally monitoring conditions of confinement and to identify problems.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)

In partnership with each state, OJJDP audits compliance with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).

Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

Standards related to PREA became effective on August 20, 2012. These standards were enacted to address the problem of sexual abuse and rape of all persons—adult and juvenile—in the custody of U.S. correctional confinement facilities, both public and private.

Conclusion

Juvenile services should be thought of as a continuum, whereby the confinement of youth is at the furthest extreme of that continuum. On the other extreme, local services should serve the best interests of youth and their families, meeting the wide range of needs of individual youth and families, while also protecting the community. This requires that communities recognize the need for youth and family intervention services; cooperation from law enforcement and juvenile justice officials; and access to resources, individuals, and organizations interested in supporting an effective and appropriate continuum of services.

If the secure confinement of youth becomes necessary, that confinement should be for the shortest term possible; in the least restrictive and safest setting possible; and in facilities specifically designed, programmed, and staffed to serve youth.

 

 

References

Adams, William, and Julie Samuels. 2011. Tribal Youth in the Federal Justice System: Final Report, rev. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, Justice Policy Center. https://www.urban.org/research/publication/tribal-youth-federal-justice-system.

American Correctional Association. 2009. “Public Correctional Policy on Youthful Offenders Transferred to Adult Jurisdiction.”

American Jail Association. 2008. “Juveniles in Jails.” .

Arya, Neelum, and Addie C. Rolnick. 2008. A Tangled Web of Justice: American Indian and Alaska Native Youth in Federal, State, and Tribal Justice Systems. Policy Brief, Vol. 5. Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice. https://www.modelsforchange.net/publications/212.

Bowker, Gary M. 2002. Jail Resource Issues: What Every Funding Authority Needs to Know. Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections. https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.nicic.gov/Library/017372.pdf.

Bureau of Justice Statistics. “Correctional Statistical Analysis Tool.” https://bjs.ojp.gov/redirect-legacy/index.cfm?ty=daa.

Campaign for Youth Justice. “Key Facts: Youth in Adult Jails and Prisons.” .

Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators. “Position Statement: Waiver and Transfer of Youths to Adult Systems.” .

Cross, T. 2008. Poverty and Race Research Action Council. “Native Americans and Juvenile Justice: A Hidden Tragedy.” https://www.prrac.org/newsletters/novdec2008.pdf

Deitch, Michele, Amanda Barstow, Leslie Lukens, and Ryan Reyna. 2009. From Time Out to Hard Time: Young Children in the Adult Criminal Justice System. Austin, TX: University of Texas, Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Dunlap, Earl L., and David W. Roush. 1995. “Juvenile Detention as Process and Place.” Juvenile and Family Court Journal 46, no. 2: 3–16.

Flores V. Reno, 507 U.S. 292 (1993).

Frankel, Elizabeth M. 2011. “Detention and Deportation with Inadequate Due Process: The Devastating Consequences of Juvenile Involvement with Law Enforcement for Immigrant Youth.” Duke Forum for Law & Social Change 3, no. 63: 63-107. https://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/Detention%20and%20Deportation%20with%20Inadequate%20Due%20Process.pdf

Hockenberry, Sarah, and Melissa Sickmund. 2013. Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2010. Washington, DC: Office of Justice Programs. http://www.ncjj.org/pdf/CJRP/CJRP%202010.pdf.

In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967).

Kent v. U.S., 383 U.S. 541 (1966).

Morales, K.E. “Immigrant Youth Detention.” http://pages.vassar.edu/children-of-immigration/2012/05/12/immigrant-youth-detention/.

National Association of Counties. “The American County Platform and Resolutions 2012-2013, Justice and Public Safety.” https://www.naco.org/sites/default/files/documents/JPS12-13.pdf.

National Immigrant Justice Center. “Fact Sheet: Children Detained by the Department of Homeland Security in Adult Detention Facilities.” .

National Partnership for Juvenile Services. “Holding Juveniles Being Charged as Adults in Juvenile Detention.” 

National Partnership for Juvenile Services. “Juvenile Detention as a Disposition.”

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. “Statistical Briefing Book.” https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/corrections/overview.html.

Phillips, S.D., Wendy Cervantes, Yali Lincroft, Alan J. Dettlaff, and Lara Bruce, eds. 2013. Children in Harm’s Way: Criminal Justice, Immigration Enforcement, and Child Welfare. Washington, DC: Jointly published by The Sentencing Project and First Focus.

Sickmund, Melissa, T.J. Sladky, W. Kang, and C. Puzzanchera. 2011. Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezacjrp/.

Smith, J. S., D. Roush, and R. Kelley. 1990. “Public Correctional Policy on Juvenile Services: Juvenile Detention.” Unpublished manuscript. Laurel, MD: American Correctional Association, Juvenile Detention Committee.

Tribal Law and Order Act. 2011. Tribal Law and Order Act: Long-Term Plan to Build and Enhance Tribal Justice Systems. U.S. Department of the Interior. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/tribal/legacy/2014/02/06/tloa-tsp-aug2011.pdf.

Young, Malcolm C., and Jenni Gainsborough. 2000. Prosecuting Juveniles in Adult Court: An Assessment of Trends and Consequences. Washington, DC: The Sentencing Project. https://www.prisonpolicy.org/scans/sp/juvenile.pdf.

 

Bibliography

Addie, Benjamin Adams, and Kathy Firestine. 2011. Trying Juveniles as Adults: An Analysis of State Transfer Laws and Reporting. Washington, DC: National Criminal Justice Reference Center. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/232434.pdf.

American Bar Association. “The History of Juvenile Justice.”
https://authorzilla.com/zjnOy/the-history-of-juvenile-justice-american-bar-association.html.

American Psychological Association. “Undocumented Americans.” https://www.apa.org/topics/immigration-refugees/undocumented-video.

Ansera, Laura, and Patrick Dunckhorst. “Healing Our Youth: Futures for Tribal Youth in Detention.” https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/tribal/legacy/2014/02/06/jj_gdp.pdf.

Brown, Sarah Alice. 2012. Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation: 2001-2011. Denver, CO: National Conference of State Legislatures. https://facjj.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh291/files/media/document/trends_in_juvenile_justice_state_legisltion_10_12.pdf

Bureau of Justice Statistics. “Terms & Definitions: State And Federal Prisoners And Prison Facilities.” https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tdtp&tid=13.

Byrne, O. 2008. Unaccompanied Children in the United States: A Literature Review. New York: Vera Institute of Justice.

Carson, E. Ann, and Joseph Mulako-Wangota. (Count of Inmates Age 17 or Younger in Custody). “Corrections Statistical Analysis Tool (CSAT) – Prisoners,” Bureau of Justice Statistics. https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=nps.

Carson, E. Ann, and William J. Sabol. 2012. Prisoners in 2011. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics. https://bjs.ojp.gov/redirect-legacy/content/pub/pdf/p11.pdf.

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. 2013. “Juvenile Justice History.” http://www.cjcj.org/Education1/Juvenile-Justice-History.html.

Johnson, Kelly Dedel, and William Sturgeon. 2000. “Juveniles in Adult Prisons and Jails.” In A Judge's Guide to Juveniles Before the Adult Criminal Court, edited by S. Weller and R. Wosje, 99–112. Reno, NV: The National Judicial College.

Knafla, L.A., ed. 1996. Criminal Justice History: An International Annual. Volume 15. Greenwood, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.

MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice. “The Changing Borders of Juvenile Justice: Transfer of Adolescents to the Adult Criminal Court.” https://adjj.org/.

MacKenzie, Doris Layton, Angela R. Gover, Gaylve Styve Armstrong, and Ojmarrh Mitchell. 2001. A National Study Comparing the Environments of Boot Camps with Traditional Facilities for Juvenile Offenders. Washington, DC: Office of Justice Programs. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/187680.pdf.

Minton, T.D. 2013. Jail Inmates at Midyear 2012 – Statistical Tables. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics. https://bjs.ojp.gov/redirect-legacy/content/pub/pdf/jim12st.pdf.

Motivans, M. 2012. “Federal Justice Statistics 2009 – Statistical Tables.” https://bjs.ojp.gov/redirect-legacy/content/pub/pdf/fjs09st.pdf.

National Collaboration for Youth and National Juvenile Justice Network. 2006. Undocumented Immigrant Youth: Guide for Advocates and Service Providers. Policy Brief No. 2, November 2006. http://www.njjn.org/uploads/digital-library/resource_451.pdf.

National Partnership for Juvenile Services. “Detention.” >

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. “Jurisdictional Technical Assistance Package for Juvenile Corrections.” https://www.ncjrs.gov/html/ojjdp/juris_tap_report/contents.html.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. “Map to Access State-by-State Transfer Laws.” https://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/tryingjuvasadult/appendix.html.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. “Performance Measures Glossary.” https://www.ojjdp.gov/grantees/pm/glossary.html.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. “Statistical Briefing Book: Juvenile Justice System Structure and Process.” https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/structure_process/index.html.

Pew Research Center, Hispanic Trends Project. “A Nation of Immigrants.https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/2013/01/29/a-nation-of-immigrants/.

Shelden, R.G. 2011. Delinquency and Juvenile Justice in American Society: Second Edition. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.

United States Code. “18 U.S.C. 5039 Commitment.” http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCODE-2011-title18/USCODE-2011-title18-partIV-chap403-sec5039/content-detail.html.

United States Department of Homeland Security. “2011 Operations Manual ICE Performance-Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS).” https://www.ice.gov/detain/detention-oversight/2011.

United States Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General. “Unaccompanied Juveniles in INS Custody,” Report Number I-2001-009, September 28, 2001. https://oig.justice.gov/reports/INS/e0109/index.htm.

United States Department of the Interior. “Frequently Asked Questions.” https://www.bia.gov/frequently-asked-questions.

United States Government Printing Office. “Title 8 of Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 236 Detention and Release of Juveniles.” https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-8.

United States Sentencing Commission. “2012 Guidelines Manual.” https://www.ussc.gov/guidelines/guidelines-archive/2012-federal-sentencing-guidelines-manual.

Wilson, David B., Doris MacKenzie, and Fawn Ngo Mitchell. 2005. Effects of Correctional Boot Camps on Offending: A Systematic Review. Bryn Mawr, PA: The Campbell Library. https://www.campbellcollaboration.org/better-evidence/effects-of-correctional-boot-camps-on-offending.html.

 

Endnotes


[1] OJJDP, “Statistical Briefing Book.”

[2] Unless otherwise indicated, data related to youth in confinement that appear here and elsewhere in this chapter were extracted from the 2010 Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement Survey and are accessible at https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezacjrp/.

[3] Information related to prisoners in adult facilities is from the Corrections Statistical Analysis Tool (CSAT) - Prisoners and is available at https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=nps.

[4] An OJJDP map to access state-by-state transfer laws is available at https://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/tryingjuvasadult/appendix.html.

[5] The board of directors of the National Juvenile Detention Association (NJDA) approved this definition of detention on October 31, 1989. Because it has been superseded by a more recent definition, the text is no longer available online.

[6] J. S., Smith, D. Roush, and R. Kelley, “Public Correctional Policy on Juvenile Services: Juvenile Detention,”(Unpublished manuscript, Juvenile Detention Committee, American Correctional Association, 1990).

[7] E. L. Dunlap and D.W. Roush, “Juvenile Detention as Process and Place,” Juvenile and Family Court Journal 46 (1995): 3–16.

[8] NPJS, “Definition of Detention.”

[9] OJJDP, “Definitions of Locks.” http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezacjrp/asp/glossary.asp#Locks

[10] Melissa Sickmund, T.J. Sladky, W. Kang, and C. Puzzanchera, Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement. (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2011).

[11] Sarah Hockenberry and Melissa Sickmund, Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2010. (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, 2013).; OJJDP, “Glossary.”

[12] Analysis of numerous national and state-level data on the characteristics of youth held in residential placement facilities may be found on the OJJDP website at https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezacjrp/asp/display.asp.

[13] Hockenberry and Sickmund, Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2010, (Washington, DC: Office of Justice Programs, 2013).

[14] Michele Deitch et al., From Time Out to Hard Time: Young Children in the Adult Criminal Justice System, (Austin, TX: University of Texas, Austin, 2009).

[15] Gary M. Bowker, Jail Resource Issues: What Every Funding Authority Needs to Know. (Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections, 2002): 5.

[16] Malcolm C. Young and Jenni Gainsborough, Prosecuting Juveniles in Adult Court: An Assessment of Trends and Consequences, (Washington, DC: The Sentencing Project, 2000).

[17] National Partnership for Juvenile Services, “Holding Juveniles Being Charged as Adults in Juvenile Detention.”; Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, “Position Statement: Waiver and Transfer of Youths to Adult Systems.”; American Correctional Association, “Public Correctional Policy on Youthful Offenders Transferred to Adult Jurisdiction.”; American Jail Association, “Juveniles in Jails.”; National Association of Counties, “The American County Platform and Resolutions 2012-2013, Justice and Public Safety.”

[18] S.D. Phillips, Wendy Cervantes, Yali Lincroft, Alan J. Dettlaff, and Lara Bruce, (eds.), Children in Harm’s Way: Criminal Justice, Immigration Enforcement, and Child Welfare, (Washington, DC: The Sentencing Project and First Focus, 2013).

[19] K.E. Morales, “Immigrant Youth Detention.”

[20] National Immigrant Justice Center, “Fact Sheet: Children Detained by the Department of Homeland Security in Adult Detention Facilities.” Fact Sheet

[21] Elizabeth M. Frankel, “Detention and Deportation with Inadequate Due Process: The Devastating Consequences of Juvenile Involvement with Law Enforcement for Immigrant Youth,” Duke Forum for Law & Social Change 3, no. 63 (2011): 63–107.

[22] Flores V. Reno, 507 U.S. 292 (1993).

[23] Terry Cross, “Native Americans and Juvenile Justice: A Hidden Tragedy.”

[24] Neelum Arya and Addie C. Rolnick. A Tangled Web of Justice: American Indian and Alaska Native Youth in Federal, State, and Tribal Justice Systems, Campaign for Youth Justice Policy Brief, Vol. 5, (2008).

[25] William Adams and Julie Samuels, Tribal Youth in the Federal Justice System: Final Report (revised), (Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, Justice Policy Center, 2011): vii. Final Report

[26] For more information about Public Law 83-280 and its impacts go to http://www.tribal-institute.org/lists/pl280.htm.

[27] Adams and Samuels, “Tribal Youth in the Federal Justice System.”

[28] Tribal Law and Order Act, Tribal Law and Order Act: Long-Term Plan to Build and Enhance Tribal Justice Systems, (U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of the Interior, 2011).

[29] Campaign for Youth Justice, “Key Facts: Youth in Adult Jails and Prisons.”

[30]Complete ICE National Detention Standards may be found at https://www.ice.gov/detain/detention-oversight/2011.

Ch.3 Physical Plant Design and Operations

Ch.3 Physical Plant Design and Operations web_admin Wed, 12/22/2021 - 16:10

Author: Jim Moeser

As with most public institutions, the story of youth confinement facilities is ever evolving. Affected by society’s view of adolescence, crime trends, social science, politics, and economics, juvenile confinement facilities have changed from houses of refuge of the 1800s to more sophisticated facilities of the 21st century. Youth confinement facilities are marked by a seemingly unexplainable variation in design, structure, program, size, staffing, and philosophy. A growing consensus and body of best practice literature is taking root among juvenile justice professionals that can help guide the construction and operations of youth confinement facilities. It is the purpose of this chapter to highlight some of the principles and concepts that help professionals in the field implement those ideas.

Given that we live in a society that has decided to process some children and youth in the adult criminal justice system, this chapter also discusses many design and operations principles as they relate to the confinement of youth in facilities intended to serve adults.

Conditions of Confinement

The term “conditions of confinement” refers to all aspects of facility design and programming that impact the quality of care and supervision that offenders—both youth and adult—receive while confined. This includes the design of the physical plant, the structure and variety of programming provided, the nature and quality of staff supervision and interaction, and a host of facility policies and daily practices. One of the most comprehensive reviews of conditions of confinement in juvenile confinement facilities is a study conducted in 1991 by Abt Associates, Inc., pursuant to a contract with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).[1]

Although other categories of facility operations could be constructed, this study identified twelve subject areas for investigation:

  • Living space
  • Medical services
  • Food, clothing, and hygiene
  • Living accommodations
  • Security
  • Suicide prevention
  • Inspections and emergency preparedness
  • Education
  • Recreation
  • Mental health services
  • Access to the community
  • Limits on staff discretion

Assessment criteria were developed for each of these areas; researchers surveyed 984 facilities and conducted on-site visits in nearly 100 facilities. The results of this work clearly suggested that there was a long way to go in terms of facilities consistently meeting established standards for best practice. This study also highlighted the specific challenges and dangers of youth being held in overcrowded facilities, a trend that continued well into the 1990s.[2]

A more recent survey of youth in placement, summarized in an OJJDP 2010 Bulletin, assesses some of these same facility and program elements from a youth’s point of view.[3] Among other things, youth were asked about their perceptions of program activities; relationships with staff; sense of safety; clarity and consistency of rules; discipline; use of confinement, isolation, and restraints; and whether their basic needs were met. Among a number of significant findings, perhaps the most significant was related to the often-low quality of youth–staff relationships and youth perceptions of not being treated fairly.[4]

The factors noted above are the elements that confinement professionals have control over, as we know they rarely get to decide whom their facilities serve. The result is that facilities hold youth of widely divergent ages, needs, culture, and skills.[5] Youth are held for varying lengths of time, varying purposes, and with varying expectations and understandings of what can be accomplished while they are confined. Therefore, a critical challenge is to develop confinement facilities and programs that have the flexibility and efficacy needed to maximize positive outcomes for youth and minimize the harmful effects of confinement.

Another commonly used framework for assessing conditions of confinement was developed by the Youth Law Center using the term C.H.A.P.T.E.R.S., wherein each letter stands for a number of physical plant, program, staff, and operational areas.[6] A succinct overview of the C.H.A.P.T.E.R.S. issue areas is included as part of the Annie E. Casey Pathways to Juvenile Detention Reform series and serves as a useful way for practitioners to think about all the factors that have an impact on youth in custody.[7]

Understanding that “we cannot do nothing,”—that whatever we do has an impact on youth in the facility—we are necessarily required to ask ourselves a fundamental question: “What are the outcomes we want to achieve in how we operate the program?”[8]

Conditions of confinement are of particular concern regarding youth held in adult jails and prisons—facilities that were not intended and are not generally equipped to meet the developmental and other unique needs of young people. Despite the fact that a significant number of national professional associations have developed position statements opposing the confinement of youth in adult facilities, this practice continues across the country. (See Ch. 19: Complex Issues and Vulnerable Populations: Placement of Youth in Adult Facilities)

After We Lock Them Up, Then What?

Most juvenile justice practitioners would agree that the primary purpose of short-term confinement programs and facilities is to safely confine youth who are alleged to have committed a delinquent act and are a danger to others, or to ensure that they are available for court purposes. This purpose, adopted by the Board of Directors of the National Juvenile Detention Association (NJDA) in 1989, remains the ideal for most practitioners but does not always reflect the reality. Especially as juvenile arrest rates and pre-adjudication populations have declined over the last decade, other decision makers have increasingly used secure detention for a wide variety of purposes, including post-dispositional confinement and as a consequence for technical violations of a court’s order. Adult jails, where some young people find themselves rather than in a juvenile detention center, serve a similar purpose: holding individuals who are awaiting court processing or who are serving short sentences after having been prosecuted as an adult.

Regardless of the challenge posed by the multiple missions of short-term confinement, the time youth are in confinement presents an opportunity for change, to teach new skills, to assess or evaluate a youth’s needs and responses to intervention, and to be part of a larger system’s efforts to redirect youth into becoming a contributing member of the community.

For longer-term juvenile and adult correctional confinement programs, where the mission is significant behavior change, the responsibility and opportunity to effect such change is evident. But, justice system partners outside of confinement commonly underestimate the potential impact a facility or program can have on confined youth. Unfortunately, even facility leadership and staff commonly let the challenges posed by the nature of short-term confinement facilities and the varying populations in these facilities inhibit their goals.

Although progressive short-term confinement staff are not approaching the work as “treatment” in a traditional sense, many realize that much can be accomplished beyond the fundamental function of safe confinement. A wide variety of educational, behavioral, restorative, and skill-development programs are being conducted in facilities every day, proving that some of the preconceived notions about limitations of short-term confinement can be overcome with thoughtful planning. The concept of “helpful programming” outlined by David Roush helps define a value-added role for short-term confinement facilities within the overall juvenile justice system.[9] In particular, Roush dispels some of the myths about what can be accomplished in short-term programs, illustrated in the following table:

Myth

Reality

Helpful programs are not compatible with short-term, pre-adjudicatory, secure juvenile detention.

Many facilities include pro-social and other competency-based programming that can be of use to youth when they are released from the facility.

Programs that require some continuity are hard to implement in detention, given the volatile nature of the population in terms of admissions, length of stay, diverse ages, etc.

It can be a challenge to implement some programs with fidelity to the continuity desired, but many programs can be implemented that are consistent with the best research about what works with youthful offenders, and they can contribute to the beginning of a change process.

Behavior change is not possible during such a brief stay.

Research suggests that substantive learning and behavior change can occur, sometimes even with relatively brief interventions. An example of emerging research that illustrates this is a study at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center that shows a reduced level of subsequent offending for youth who were involved in cognitive-behavioral programming while in custody.[10]

In some ways, Roush suggests, the very nature of juvenile detention provides a unique opportunity to provide “helpful programming” because 1) it is a safe and controlled environment; 2) most detention facilities are relatively small, which helps promote higher levels of staff–youth interaction; 3) detention can be a good place to stabilize youth (physically and emotionally) and get them started on a positive track; 4) most detention facilities are under local control, providing a more direct connection with families and community resources; and 5) thinking of detention as a process within a larger framework of an organized intervention strategy can help guide the nature of programming delivered to youth.[11]

Although youth being processed in the adult system and housed in an adult jail facility may, like confined adults, have some contact with family and community resources, jail facility staff must be much more intentional about ensuring 1) a safe and controlled environment, 2) adequate and appropriate staff–youth interaction, 3) a physically and emotionally stable environment, and 4) staff that is supportive and prepared to use an intervention strategy as they engage with youth. Staff that work with youth confined in adult facilities must receive special training specific to the knowledge and skills needed to be prepared and effective in working with youth. Administrative staff in adult confinement facilities should carefully select staff they believe appropriate for or who have indicated a specific interest in working with youth in a confinement setting.

Equally important, confinement facilities should not operate in isolation from other components of the juvenile justice system. The goals and programming of confinement facilities need to be aligned with the goals and programming of other components of the justice system, particularly probation and supervision programs and services, as most of these youth will likely to return to family and the community upon their release from confinement.

Time spent in a confinement facility should not be viewed as a “time out” from expecting the youth to work on critical thinking and social skills that may be part of the larger system’s plan. Rather, it can be seen as a time to accelerate acquisition of these skills. This goal can be realized by aggressively focusing on a number of strategies, for example:

  • Promoting communication strategies among key confinement staff and other staff in the justice system, ensuring that there is an appropriate sharing of information that helps confinement staff better serve the youth and helps provide ongoing system professionals with needed observations and information about the youth that can aid in community programming.
  • Using consistent program materials and ensuring that staff are trained to reinforce the programming that youth receive in the community. A simple example would be, if a probation department utilizes a specific cognitive-behavioral curriculum, that same curriculum should be available in confinement so youth are working on the same issues and skills in confinement as they will be when they get out.
  • Ensuring that the educational program is assessing and building skills that the youth will be able to apply when he or she reenters the community, including developing strong relationships with community-based schools and sharing information appropriately to ensure continuity of education programming.
  • Building a behavior management and discipline program around principles, strategies, and language that is consistent with other programming the youth will experience in the community. Reinforcement and consistency of programming as youth enter and leave confinement is important in promoting long-term behavior change.

In sum, despite the challenges, there is much that can and should be done in confinement facilities to promote positive, pro-social behavior change in youth. It simply makes sense to have youth leave facilities with more skills and a greater chance of being successful in the community than when they came in.

Overcrowding: The Root of All Evil?

Overcrowding, particularly chronic or sustained overcrowding, poses a significant obstacle to successfully operating any confinement facility.[12] Overcrowding has a detrimental impact on all aspects of a facility, including 1) the safety and health of all those confined, particularly youth; 2) the ability of a facility to provide quality programming; 3) the stability and effectiveness of staff; 4) the quality of relationships that staff can create with both youth and adults; and 5) ultimately, the positive impact that facilities can have on supporting reentry into the community.

In Crowding and Its Effects, which addresses the issue of overcrowding in juvenile detention, David Roush, with the National Partnership for Juvenile Services (NPJS), highlights the downward spiral that takes place when chronic overcrowding occurs. This downward spiral begins with the increased social density that adds stress for youth and staff alike, to challenges in completing even the basic daily routines, to increases in misbehavior that lead to higher levels of youth and staff conflict, and to a too common systemic response that then becomes even more repressive and reinforces an “us vs. them” mentality among youth.[13] These issues are well known to practitioners and were confirmed in the Conditions of Confinement study but are often less understood by policy makers who have little connection with the day-to-day operations of facilities.[14] Fortunately, there are nationally recognized professional groups that have taken strong positions about the dangers of overcrowding, including the National Juvenile Detention Association (NJDA, in 1995) and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), the Youth Law Center, the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN, in 2009), and the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA).

In recent years, as the result of declines in juvenile arrests and efforts to reduce confinement—such as the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI)—the percentage of juvenile detention facilities that are consistently over capacity has declined, but overcrowding still exists. As states and jurisdictions close facilities and push youth to other programs, there is a risk of returning to those higher rates of overcrowding. Aggressive efforts to reduce the population by limiting the number of youth entering confinement facilities to only those that truly need to be confined and shortening the lengths of stay can go a long way to reducing overcrowding, and this should be step one.

When facilities are overcrowded, research demonstrates that there are a variety of observable and changeable aggravating factors that impact conditions of confinement.[15] Operating within the facility, practitioners can take steps to lessen these and other dangers that overcrowding presents by doing some or all of the following:

  1. Develop a proactive behavior management strategy that reinforces youth learning and socially responsible decision making within the facility itself, recognizing that safety and security is ultimately enhanced as a result.
  2. Pursue a daily schedule of strong and varied education, enrichment, and physical activities that minimizes the amount of free, unstructured time youth have to engage in undesirable activities.
  3. Ensure that staff are well trained in basic observational skills that proactively identify the emotional and relational changes in youth that may be precursors to problem behaviors. Ensure that staff are well trained and supported to respond to and de-escalate crisis situations, both verbally and physically.
  4. Ensure appropriate screening and classification of youth to help protect the safety of youth in custody;
  5. Maintain direct supervision of and interaction with youth in custody, relying on technology only as an aid to supervision, not as a substitute for direct supervision.
  6. Maintain a facility that is clearly secure, and that within the facility there are a variety of options to separate and supervise youth as needed to reduce risk.

Although the research upon which these recommendations are based was conducted in juvenile detention facilities, these steps would be effective in lessening the negative impacts of overcrowding in any confinement facility, juvenile or adult.

Any professional who has experienced sustained overcrowding conditions can attest to the emotional toll it takes on staff, on the attitudes and behavior of those in confinement, and on the quality of care and supervision provided by staff.

Facility Environment

Begin with the Mission in Mind

There is a commonly accepted axiom associated with architecture that states, “form follows function.” Or, is it “function follows form?” Though the first phrase is the one commonly accepted, perhaps the truth lies in the fact that form and function are inextricably linked together and reflect one of the core messages of this chapter—that facility design can serve either to maximize positive outcomes or to limit them. The conditions in which we confine youth and under which staff work in are in many ways a visible expression of how detention professionals view their role and mission in the juvenile justice system.

Carefully developed program values and mission should form the foundation of facility design and environment; this takes time. Leaders must also consider the role of the facility in the larger justice system (local, regional, state, or federal). (See Ch. 8: Management and Facility Administration)

Design OptionsA pyramid with Design and Environment at the top peak, then mission, then values at the bottom

It is not the intent of this chapter to fully explore various design details, as ultimately that is the role of facility administration working hand-in-hand with an architect/consultant/planner that has specific experience designing confinement facilities. There will be literally dozens, if not hundreds, of major and minor decisions made as part of a design process. This chapter focuses instead on some of the major principles and choices that ultimately impact conditions of confinement.

An excellent summary for policymakers that are thinking about building or expanding a facility is Construction, Operations, and Staff Training for Juvenile Confinement Facilities, authored by David Roush and Michael McMillen.[16] The strengths of this summary are a simple outline for the design process, some solid design principles, and how facility design, programming, and staff work together to provide a safe and effective program for youth. Similar resources exist related to adult facilities, but rarely do they address design principles related to serving youth, despite the fact that thousands of youth under age 18 are held in adult facilities around the U.S.

Keeping the mission and goals of the facility in mind, there are several key considerations that will impact a facility’s design, including:

  1. Location, location, location. It may be possible to build a facility on a plot of land with minimal limitations, but it is more common that the location is determined by space already owned by the jurisdiction and is perhaps adjacent to other court or juvenile or law enforcement service.
  2. Whether the facility is new construction or a remodel of either an old confinement facility or a building that was never intended to include a confinement facility. For example, constructing a facility within a building that has been serving as an office building, a warehouse, or some other purpose, is something that should be approached with considerable caution. Similarly, remodeling an adult jail to be used as a juvenile facility presents a host of problems that are seldom understood by policymakers who are unfamiliar with the functional and programmatic differences between juvenile and adult programs.
  3. Meeting both industry and jurisdiction standards. Facilities should be designed to comply with current industry standards, such as those promulgated by the American Correctional Association (ACA) for Juvenile Detention Facilities.[17] It should be noted that ACA also provides standards for Juvenile Training Schools or Correctional Facilities and updates these standards through supplements provided periodically (most recently in 2012). States also promulgate standards for juvenile confinement facilities, typically setting standards for housing units, safety, sanitation, healthcare, programming, discipline, supervision, staffing levels, managing youth with disabilities, and other facility functions. Whereas state standards sometimes represent the minimum standards that must be met, the ACA standards may be considered as best practice standards. When possible, planners should opt for meeting the (often more stringent) ACA standards.

Adult confinement facilities that serve youth should also be aware of ACA and other standards specific to serving youth in confinement and should program according to these standards.

  1. Careful assessment of current and future need. Although it is difficult to predict the future, planners should nonetheless spend time on the following:
    1. Assess current practices to ensure that any or all alternatives to confinement are maximized in a manner consistent with meeting the needs of youthful offenders and promoting community safety. No one should proceed with new construction or expansion of an existing facility unless current conditions of confinement are substandard and substantive work has been done related to alternatives. For example, by using the core strategies of JDAI and implementing practice changes, countless sites around the nation have realized they did not need to build a new facility or expand an existing one.
    2. Carefully assess trends in juvenile arrests, demographic data, and court and law enforcement practices to determine current and to project future need.[18] That projection may impact site selection, the initial size of the facility, and the elements of the design that permit (or inhibit) future expansion. There are ways to initially construct a facility in such a way to avoid the “if you build it, they will come” approach and still allow cost-effective expansion at some point in the future.

Much of this work can be done prior to engaging a consultant or architect, but more often than not, an up-front investment in a quality needs assessment is advisable. Expert advice and feedback pay big dividends in the long run.

Once a decision has been made to build or remodel a facility, there are a number of basic structural design options that could be considered. For example:

  1. A living unit design in which many of the program functions of the facility are in a central area surrounded by living units (pods, cottages, units) of optimum size. The design would include secure rooms for sleeping, showers, restrooms, and some form of a dayroom for programs or free-time activities. The capacity of the living units may vary depending on the overall size of the facility (a larger facility may have living units that are larger than a smaller facility). Smaller living units (10–15) are easier to supervise and provide programming but may be less cost-effective overall than larger living units (25–30). In this model, youth can be supervised in the living unit for parts of the day and then are typically moved within the facility for education, recreation, and other programming as well as support services (healthcare, food service). This design permits the following:
    1. Shared or centralized supervision of youth, so that staff can come together to share supervision duties in common areas as well as provide ready support to each other when needed in the living units.
    2. The flexibility to classify and separate youth in a way that ultimately provides greater safety and reduces the potential for problematic behavior that may occur when too many youth with varying needs, ages, and issues are grouped together.
    3. Relatively easy expansion, depending on the site (assuming common areas support it) by adding a living unit as needed. If the site permits, the initial design will include a plan for additional living units or dayrooms and common areas without necessarily having to expand the existing common areas (overcrowding of common areas can be lessened by carefully scheduling the movement of youth).
    4. A more linear design in which living units and program areas may be more spread out along longer corridors or hallways or perhaps even on different floors of a facility. Although this model may also have living units of various sizes, spreading supervision out across a larger footprint can create problems when staff need to support each other in one of the areas. Nonetheless, sometimes the footprint of the space dictates greater distance from one part of the facility to another, and additional staff may be needed to sufficiently cover that space.
    5. Although more common for adult facilities, larger congregate facilities for youth have been built over the years. This model may include features such as dormitories, multi-youth rooms for sleeping, and living units that congregate large numbers of youth together. However, problems associated with this model have become more evident in terms of inability to properly classify and separate youth, manage the emotional environment, and ensure the safety of youth from other youth. Too often policymakers believe this model is more staff-efficient, allowing high youth-to-staff ratios because youth are in one area. But, this is a penny-wise, pound-foolish method of housing youthful offenders who are prone to impulsive behavior in a high-energy environment. Confinement professionals should resist efforts by policymakers to economize by constructing these types of facilities.

Other Environmental and Physical Plant Considerations

In any facility, whether a new one or an expansion or remodel, there are countless decisions to be made about the facility and program. This document does not explore these in detail, but a few basic concepts are worth noting, including:

  1. Let the sun shine in. Natural light makes a difference for everyone living and working in a confinement facility. There is simply something disorienting and somewhat depressing about never seeing natural light, so when it is possible to bring light into the facility through windows or skylights, it is worth the investment. This is particularly true in situations in which an individual is confined for long periods of time, such as 30 days or more.
  2. Colors can make a difference. Certain colors (versus others) on the walls and furnishings can create a more relaxed atmosphere, ideally reducing the institutional feel of the facility.
  3. Safety and security does not have to mean bars and steel furniture. Durable, residential-grade furniture that is movable and comfortable 1) provides ways to configure a room for varied purposes, and 2) reduces the feeling of “jail” created by fixed steel tables and chairs. Walls can be made from safety glass that permits good visibility and supervision of various program areas and reduces the sense of confinement that youth may develop over time.[19]
  4. Complying with state and local building codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Similar to state or local regulations that may provide minimum program and operational requirements for facilities, there are building codes and federal regulations that outline basic requirements of the design process. Facility planners and architects are normally well aware of these requirements, but it is up to the program leaders to make sure that the standards are applied in a manner that is consistent with other goals of program operations. Sometimes these requirements can be applied in a manner that is not conducive to good behavior management, efficient staffing and adequate supervision, and meeting the developmental needs of adolescents, so it is important for facility leadership not to assume the architect or planners understand the best way to implement the regulations.

It is important that the facility is secure, and it is even more important that youth perceive the facility to be secure, thus reducing the temptation to think they can escape by overcoming staff or finding some other avenue. Creating this secure “envelope” can be accomplished in such a way that permits that internal living and program areas can be less institutional in nature.

Direct versus Indirect Supervision

It has become increasingly apparent in juvenile and adult confinement facilities that it is important to ensure direct supervision of youth in living units, classrooms, during program activities, and during routine daily functions. To those policymakers who may be familiar with larger, congregate type facilities or are not aware of the long-term benefits (including to safety and security) of direct supervision, it may seem that it would be cost effective to hire fewer staff and use various indirect means to monitor youth. This could mean supervising youth through electronic means or having staff “roam” the facility (including cells and dayrooms) observing them through glass but rarely interacting directly with youth for substantial periods of time.

Direct supervision of youth in all areas of the facility permit staff to 1) have a better sense of the emotional atmosphere in a living unit or be aware of potential conflicts between youth; 2) more effectively shape behavior of youth through more immediate positive or negative reinforcement; 3) develop a respectful relationship with youth in custody, because it is positive, respectful relationships that contribute most to safety and security; and 4) prevent some of the harmful effects of grouping delinquent youth together—what is sometimes referred to as peer contagion.[20]

The Importance of Staff Involvement in Planning

The process of designing a new facility or expanding an existing one must include key detention leadership and direct-care staff from the beginning. Creating a planning team from all levels of the organization has significant benefits, including:

  • Design programs. Staff input will impact adjacencies of various functions—how youth will be moved from one part of the facility to another, how and by who programs will be provided, how youth will be supervised on a 24/7 basis, how basic needs and routine living functions are best accomplished, how best to ensure the safety of youth and staff, and more.
  • Integrate design with the behavior management program. Involvement of staff from the start helps ensure that the design supports the kind of flexibility and options staff need to provide preventive supervision and intervention.
  • Promote team “buy in” to the design and operations of the facility. Staff input throughout the process helps inform dozens of key decisions and helps inform some of the tradeoff decisions that can arise in the planning process, especially when the facility site imposes limitations on what might otherwise be a better design.
  • Solve problems as they arise. Ideally, the process of design and construction goes through an orderly process without problems or changes being required. And, certainly the perspective of the key planners (architects, policymakers) makes a difference in how well everything works, but there inevitably will be change orders and roadblocks that require timely and well-thought-out adjustments. It is critical to have a functioning staff planning team that has worked through the original plan, developed a good working relationship with one another, and can respond promptly to problems as they arise. A time of crisis or major roadblock is not the time to create a working group and expect optimum results.
  • Share the workload. Staff members involved in the process can take on specific tasks or responsibilities during and after the design and construction phases and can serve as ambassadors to other staff, both to get input and to help explain decisions that are made along the way. There is typically more than enough work to go around, and giving staff the opportunity to step up and learn new skills has long-lasting benefits for the organization.

As one would expect, there are facilities that have been built or expanded with little input from direct-care and supervisory staff. When decisions are made without taking the time to involve all levels of staff, buy in to the overall program is lessened and an adversarial culture often develops.

Overcoming the “I Know What I Know” Challenge

We all know what we know and too often don’t know what we don’t know (as Donald Rumsfeld would say, there are “known unknowns and unknown unknowns”). Before becoming too confused, suffice it to say that the application of this idea related to design and conditions of confinement is that all staff (including leadership) can be limited by what they know and how they have done things in the past rather than keeping up with diverse practices and new approaches that can accomplish the same or even better outcomes.

Staff experience is often limited to one facility or program. When meeting staff from other facilities, the questions are endless about how others do what they do, how other programs function in areas of supervision, discipline, basic routines, needs, activities, and education, as well as how the facility’s design compares with their own. Therefore, in forming a staff team to provide input to new facility design or expansion, it is important to do the following:

  1. Hit the road. Take a team to see other facilities and purposely select facilities that have varying design and program components as much as possible. Staff can see the best and the worst of other programs, what works and what doesn’t, what things to avoid and what things to support, and how their peers perceive the program or facility.
  2. Provide staff with information about best practices and industry standards. This is clearly important for leaders who often have a greater chance of keeping up with best practices; exposing line staff to best practice and industry standards can help them break out of the “this is the way we’ve always done it” perspective and elevate their sense of professionalism.
  3. Seek advice from others. This certainly pertains to the architect or consultant that has been chosen to help lead the effort but also suggests it is useful to invite in others who have gone through the process and may operate other facilities or programs of a similar nature.

Who Makes the Final Decisions about Facility Design?

Rarely are confinement professionals in the position to make the ultimate decisions about the nature of facility construction, expansion, or remodeling. Policymakers at the local level (for detention and jail facilities) or state or federal level (for juvenile and adult correctional facilities) typically have to “sign off” on the plan. The process can vary but may include special committees responsible for public works or other administration officials who have oversight of a project. This does not mean, however, that those responsible for operating the facility are powerless in the process. Rather it means that facility leadership must attend to the following:

  • Understand the parameters (including cost) that policymakers have established and the issues and needs that they have to deal with.
  • Articulate the highest values underlying the program and best possible outcomes for facility design and operations.
  • Do the homework on various designs or operational models and be able to explain the rationale for various choices that will need to be made along the way.
  • Respond promptly to inquiries for information and work proactively to provide information to policymakers at the right times during the process.
  • Work with policymakers to find solutions or compromises that meet their needs without significantly hampering ultimate conditions of confinement.

When these things are done well, the gap between what is best and what is decided can be substantially reduced, if not eliminated. So, it is critically important that program leadership be thoughtful and strategic about the relationship with the “deciders” and avoid any hint of an adversarial relationship, at the same time holding true to the values and vision needed to create and run a good program.

Building a New Facility versus Remodeling An Existing One

It was previously noted that there are many variables that go into facility design and operations, not the least of which is that it is more common to expand or remodel an existing facility than it is to build a new one. Given the cost of building a new facility, it is often attractive to policymakers to expand or remodel an existing facility or building (including a building that was never intended for use as a confinement facility). And, given the longevity of many public buildings, including adult and juvenile confinement facilities, it is not uncommon to face the challenge of updating and remodeling a facility that was designed and built in the 1960s or 1970s using a much different set of values than exist today. Local jurisdictions often will “hand down” former adult jails to be remodeled and reconfigured for juvenile use. In some ways, this is the worst choice for a good juvenile confinement program.

When working with a hand-me-down adult facility, it is possible to maximize its usefulness by doing a few things. For instance:

  1. Paint can go a long way to changing the atmosphere of a facility. As referenced previously, brighter, less institutional colors can influence a youth’s emotional reaction to being locked up.
  2. Replace steel, institutional furniture with residential grade, movable furniture (also referenced previously).
  3. If possible, replace bars that may separate areas or even non-supporting walls that separate areas with safety glass or large windows that allow good supervision and create a greater sense of openness.
  4. Replace cell or room doors that may be essentially jail bars with steel or other durable finish doors (with needed observation ports), again to reduce the sense that the facility is or was a jail.
  5. Develop and maintain an active and constructive program of behavior management, activities, education, recreation, crisis counseling, and visitation. Even in a less desirable facility, if youth are kept active, busy, and engaged, the negative aspects of a facility can be minimized.

For those not familiar with adolescent development and best practices with youth in confinement, it seems counterintuitive to make the facility nicer in some way. It is therefore important for confinement professionals to focus on the positive outcomes of making these kinds of changes, including:

  • Reduced behavior incidents, including assaultive behavior (youth-on-youth or youth-on-staff).
  • Reduced need for hands on interventions, significantly reducing the risks of either youth or staff injury (extended staff absence due to injury is both emotionally problematic and costly in terms of overtime and workers compensation claims and benefits).
  • Increased opportunities for youth to learn the kinds of skills and build competencies that are valued in the community and important for reentry. Given that safe confinement of youth is expensive (as is any residential program that operates on a 24/7 basis), it simply makes sense to maximize that investment. (See Ch. 18: Transition Planning and Reentry)

It is possible to articulate and maintain high expectations for youth while they are confined so that time is not viewed as some sort of luxury or vacation. In fact, one could argue that it is an appropriate time to raise expectations by focusing and accelerating their educational programming, attending to and teaching new pro-social behaviors, and providing a safe space for youth to think about the impact of their behaviors on others and themselves.

Operational Costs and Cost Efficiency

Over the lifetime of even the most expensive facility, staffing and operations are much costlier than in the original construction. Roush and McMillen estimate that as much as one-third of a facility’s construction costs need to be allocated for one year of operating, the majority of which is personnel costs.[21] Whether one-third or one-quarter, or somewhere in that range, it is easy to see that within three to four years, a program’s operating costs will match the cost to build it. Projecting 30 or 40 years into the future, a facility can easily cost ten times as much to operate as to build.

Facility management must consider this long-term operation cost during the design phase and as an ongoing responsibility. In a previous reference to various design options, a desirable design involves living units and dayrooms that hold an optimum number of youth and permit direct supervision in those units and in common areas. Making living units too small and requiring staff to be in a direct supervision role will require more staff than larger living units, but making living units so large that they require multiple staff to supervise will also cost more. Similarly, staff efficiencies can be garnered by using safety glass or large windows instead of walls to separate areas or program space where practicable. Therefore, a “….design based on staffing efficiency—even if it will involve higher construction expenditures—is of utmost importance.”[22]

Too often the true cost of operating a confinement facility is less evident to the community and to policy makers. For example, although the cost of constructing a 36-bed facility will be higher than a 24-bed facility, the cost of operating the larger facility is far more significant. Jurisdictions that have taken advantage of JDAI principles and process (whether or not formally involved with the Casey Foundation or with the OJJDP-funded Jurisdictional Planning Assistance that was previously provided by the Center for Research and Professional Development at Michigan State University) have discovered that many alternatives can be developed at a fraction of the cost while still maintaining public safety.[23]

Facility leadership also has a fiduciary responsibility to operate in as cost-efficient manner as possible while still providing the kind of programs that will produce positive outcomes for youth and the community. One good way to accomplish this, as well as fulfill another positive outcome, is to reach out to the community for resources. This could include connecting with community-based programs that can come into the facility and provide constructive activities and useful programs, donations of supplies (art supplies, books, recreational supplies, etc.), and items that can be used as reinforcers in a behavioral management program. Good fiscal management over time goes a long way to building program credibility with key policymakers—credibility that will be needed when crises arise or additional needs are identified.

As with juvenile confinement facilities, the design of adult facilities in which youth will be held needs to take into account these same factors, making the design of the facility consistent with the developmental and programming needs of young people. Also, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) places requirements on adult facilities that should be incorporated in the design process so that the adult facility can cost-effectively meet those standards and provide a safe environment for youthful offenders. (See Ch. 19: Complex Issues and Vulnerable Populations: Placement of Youth in Adult Facilities)

Facility Dynamics

Confinement facilities are subject to the same kinds of social dynamics and political shifts that impact other facets of community life. From the 1950s into the early 1970s, confinement facilities often held status offenders as a matter of course. The popular notion that “nothing works,” based on a survey of studies on adult offender rehabilitation done by Robert Martinson, began to infiltrate the dialogue among corrections professionals and policymakers, giving fodder to those that were already inclined to believe that the only sure solution to crime control was locking up offenders.[24] As serious juvenile crime rose in the 1980s and early 1990s, and the erroneous predictions of a generation of youthful superpredators taking over our streets took root in political “get-tough” sound bites, the demand to lock up youthful offenders grew dramatically, and states changed their laws to make it easier to do so.[25]

Interestingly, since the latter 1990s and into the 21st century, jurisdictions that had become addicted to confinement as the solution to youth crime and other forms of misbehavior found themselves with space in their facilities that could be used for other purposes, most predominantly for responding to technical violations of supervision or probation. Another way of saying “if you build it, they will come” might be something like, “if we have extra space, I’m sure we can find a good use for it.” As a result, populations of youth in detention centers declined at lower rates than might be expected, based on youth crime rates.

Fortunately, in recent years, as jurisdictions have developed more cost-effective alternatives and research has provided evidence that community-based alternatives can be successful in redirecting youth behaviors, we have seen the population in youth confinement facilities decline fairly dramatically. Other changes have occurred in the juvenile justice system that have finally led to these reductions.[26] The result is that dozens of short- and long-term facilities around the country have closed, and others have downsized or consolidated in some way. Some of these closures are highlighted in Advances in Juvenile Justice Reform, 2009–11, published by NJJN.[27]

Downsizing or closing facilities, while desirable in the long run, is not without a down side. For example, in 2012, DuPage County in Illinois closed its juvenile detention facility—one of the most highly respected programs in the nation—to house the few remaining youth in neighboring Kane County. This is a fiscal benefit for both counties, but it also means that youth from DuPage County are now more distant from their homes and parents or caregivers. In Wisconsin, both the boys’ and girls’ correctional facilities located in the southeastern part of the state (where the majority of youth are from) were closed, and youth were moved to a facility in the northern part of the state. Between 2007 and 2011, 37 facilities in New York State were closed, in some cases as the result of concerns about maltreatment and in some cases simply for fiscal reasons.[28] All of these closures have not been without controversy, as jobs are lost or reallocated, funds saved from closures are not always reinvested into prevention programs, and families face greater challenges in connecting with their children in custody.

It may be a while before we are able to fully assess the impact of these closures and downsizing on the conditions of confinement for youth. Practitioners need to understand and be ready in the event that juvenile crime and arrests begin to climb again. Facilities that have been downsized or consolidated may once again be subject to overcrowding and all its associated problems, including potential liability for harm that comes to youth in care. It is important to institutionalize some of the positive gains that have been made, including the following:

  • Tighten criteria for placing into custody youth who commit new offenses.
  • Develop community-based alternatives to help ensure adequate supervision of youth in a manner consistent with public safety.
  • Implement expedited court procedures to reduce the length of time youth are confined.
  • Develop outcome measures and data systems that can support the notion that confining youth unnecessarily is not cost-effective.

As a practitioner, it is easy to be trapped into believing that our focus should be on the number of youth in custody more so than whether or not the right youth—those that really need to be confined—are in facilities. Without careful attention to these issues, we risk a relapse to confining youth as a first resort, rather than a last resort.

This shifting landscape of juvenile confinement facilities is occurring at a time when there is more and more attention being paid to whether anyone under age 18 should be confined in an adult facility at all. For example, from 2011 to the writing of this chapter, 11 states passed laws limiting states’ authority to house youth in adult jails and prisons.[29] In some cases these limitations apply only to pre-trial or pre-conviction, but in others a youth convicted in adult court might be held in a more appropriate juvenile facility. It remains to be seen what the longer-term impact of these changes may be on the downsizing trend, but most juvenile justice professionals would agree that juvenile facilities are more readily able to meet the needs of youth than adult facilities are.

Safe Physical Management or Confinement

There are many facets of a confinement program that contribute to the safety of youth and staff and the security of the facility in terms of protecting the community. Previous sections of this chapter focused on various facility design concepts. However, once inside the secure confines of the facility, a critical element of safety is the implementation of a sound, research-informed behavior-management program.

One of the precepts of The Balanced Approach to Juvenile Probation, a seminal work in the field of juvenile justice, is that our communities are safest when individuals (including youth) have the capacity and will to make law-abiding decisions in their daily interactions in society.[30] This simple idea can be applied inside a confinement facility as well, namely, safety is maximized when youth in care make pro-social, responsible choices about how they interact with other youth, how they respond to facility staff and expectations, and how they respond in the times of crisis or confrontation that inevitably occur. How staff interact with youth, how staff reinforce (one way or the other) the behavior choices of youth, and how all components of the confinement program are integrated to reinforce positive choices is critical to creating a safe environment.

Behavior Management, Control, and Safety

It is not uncommon for confinement staff to conflate these three distinct but interrelated concepts into some sort of unified way of supervising and intervening with youth. However, it is important to distinguish these concepts and be clear, when developing the behavior management system, where one begins and the other ends.

Safety

It is clear that staff are ultimately responsible for ensuring safety within the facility. This has been referenced in terms of facility design, but it also comes into focus around issues of discipline, use of restraints and seclusion, supervision, and other program operations. In dangerous situations, staff have to intervene quickly and dramatically to ensure the safety of everyone in the facility.

Control

Staff may often mistake control for good behavior management by assuming that the highest priority is to ensure that youth obey, often through coercive means, a myriad of rules that have been created to make overall supervision and management of the facility easier and allegedly consistent.

Behavior Management

This refers to an overall strategy and set of techniques that promote the development and expression of desired behaviors or eliminate undesirable behaviors. For some, the concept of behavior management may be an overarching concept that includes safety and control, and some may think about behavior management as a discipline. Unfortunately, despite its root meaning—to teach—discipline is more commonly defined as punishment or negative consequences as a means of changing behavior. For that reason, it is preferable to think about the collection of strategies that promote behavior change.

More importantly, lost in an overly zealous focus on managing or controlling behavior is the important contribution that programs can make by placing a greater emphasis on concepts of positive youth development. Identifying and building on youth strengths is in some ways a challenge to the conventional thinking of the juvenile justice system as a whole, let alone confinement professionals working in limiting environments. Yet, what could be more important than taking every opportunity we have to help youth acquire the emotional, interpersonal, and cognitive skills necessary for a successful transition from adolescence to adulthood? Integrating these concepts into the larger juvenile justice system can be carried further into operations and programming for juvenile detention in which core assets are identified and staff are focused on building assets rather than simply controlling behavior.[31]

A Behavior-Management Continuum

It is important to think about behavior management as a continuum of both positive and consequential strategies that can be used to shape the behavior of youth in care, taking note that many youth will respond differently to these reinforcers. Although these strategies are specific to programming for youth, they may also be effective in shaping behavioral change in many young adults.

A fundamental challenge in any group setting is to design a set of expectations and reinforcers that can be applied with some measure of consistency and yet allow for some variation when necessary to deal with particularly needy youth. This chapter previously referenced the nature of youth placed in juvenile confinement facilities and its variations across a number of domains, including domains such as emotional maturity and self-control. In addition to the “normal” issues of adolescent development—including brain development—many youth enter confinement facilities with undiagnosed or untreated mental health and trauma issues that contribute to the behaviors that led to their confinement. These same issues play a role in how youth respond to the conditions of their confinement. (See Ch. 6: Adolescent Development)

Any behavior-management system operates within the context of personal interactions (observation, respectful communications, personal style) between staff and youth, as well as the program components (rules, reinforcers, tools, etc.), the basics of which are well summarized by Nelson Griffis in Behavior Management in Juvenile Detention and Corrections: A Personal Strategy and Behavior Management in Juvenile Detention and Corrections: A Programmatic Strategy.[32] Readers are encouraged to review those works and take note of a few basic underlying strategies:[33]

  1. State rules in simple and positive (expected behavior) terms when possible.
  2. Present rules in writing, and ensure that staff can explain the reason for each rule or expectation.
  3. Focus on developing a relatively small list of rules or expectations rather than a laundry list of “do not” rules. Griffis suggests that eight to twelve expectations should be sufficient to convey normally expected behaviors.
  4. Enlist staff commitment to the rules so they can be reinforced as consistently as possible.

Griffis also notes that there are several types of reinforcers that can be developed and used to increase desired behaviors and extinguish undesirable behaviors.[34] They are:

  1. Material reinforcers, tangible items that youth can earn in response to positive behaviors.
  2. Activity reinforcers, opportunities to do something the youth likes.
  3. Social reinforcers, often in the form of verbal praise or recognition.
  4. Token reinforcers, coupons, tickets, or other items that youth can earn for new or improved behavior and that can then be exchanged for material or activity reinforcers.

More details and examples of reinforcers for each of these categories can be found in the referenced source documents.

Additionally, a couple of basic principles need to be kept in mind when developing reinforcers and implementing them—namely, 1) when developing the reinforcers for a behavior-management system, it is imperative that the reinforcer be important to the youth if it is to have an impact; and 2) timeliness of reinforcement is important; the reinforcer should be provided as soon after the behavior as possible.

Keeping this in mind, a behavior reinforcement system can start with relatively simple, low-level reinforcers up through more restrictive and dramatic interventions. These types and levels of reinforcers are not mutually exclusive.

Level 1

Verbal reinforcers such as praise and recognition should be provided at a ratio of four- or five-to-one, positive-to-negative. Social science research confirms that repeatedly recognizing and reinforcing the desired behavior is more effective at promoting behavior change than relying solely on criticism. From a youth’s point of view, having staff criticize them without making an effort to verbally praise or recognize positive behaviors is simply unjust.

Level 2

Token reinforcers, perhaps in the form of coupons or other tangible tokens, can be used by the youth to “purchase” additional activities or material items.

Level 3

Using point or level systems to delineate expected behaviors and document performance can be then turned into various forms of social or token reinforcement. More sophisticated systems are integrated with other program components, for example cognitive-behavioral programs, so that the youth are acknowledged for applying the skills and knowledge they may learn while in group. At the same time, youth who are not meeting behavior expectations should not earn the points or move up on levels.

Level 4

Punishment such as a short “time-out” removes the youth from the surroundings. Initial time-outs may be for brief periods of time, for example, as short as five minutes, during which a youth has the chance to stop and think about the behavior that led to the consequence and to explain what he or she should do differently. Contrary to what some think, longer time-outs are generally not needed to accomplish the desired goal of the behavior change, with research suggesting that time-outs in the range of 15 to 45 minutes are generally successful.[35] Successfully implementing time-outs to change behavior is a combination of art and science. (Refer to 10 Tips for Time-Outs following this section.)

Level 5

Longer-term reduction in privileges. Systems can be developed in which youth earn certain privileges (extended bedtime, commissary privileges, access to other personal items). It can be appropriate to link these additional privileges to a continuation of expectations of positive behavior. In doing so, however, programs should avoid setting up the system in such a way that youth perceive staff taking away the privilege as a response to inappropriate behavior; rather, it is an opportunity to reinforce the behaviors that are expected for the youth to earn the behavior.

Longer-term room confinement or seclusion is too often viewed as part of a behavior-management process, but more recent research raises the specter of seclusion as a tactic that retraumatizes youth and does more harm than good.[36] Some sort of separation from other youth and the reinforcing nature of the attention they may get from their peers may be appropriate, but it should not be confused with room confinement that may be necessary for safety reasons. For example, if a youth has been involved in assaulting another youth, the offending youth may need to be confined until other safety plans can be fully implemented. Similarly, a reduction in privileges should not be confused with taking away various rights that youth may have, whether through formal regulation or legal rulings. For example, a right that cannot be taken away is the ability to contact or be contacted by an attorney, and basic care needs must still be met.

Many youth will respond to well-defined and well-explained expectations as well as lower levels of reinforcement. Others may require higher-level interventions. This is helpful information for case planners as they work to assess a youth’s need for and response to consistent and responsible adult supervision. Overall, the basic principles that apply to reinforce behavior for youth on the outside can be used to teach new behaviors in a confinement facility.

Comparing Short- and Long-Term Programs

Although the basic principles related to shaping behavior are similar in both short- and long-term facilities, the expectations may be higher and the focus of what behavior to change may differ. Some basic expectations are consistent, but it is fair to 1) place higher expectations on youth in longer-term facilities, as there is more time for youth to learn and exhibit a greater range of behaviors and greater self-control than may be available in a short-term program; 2) identify a wider range of behaviors that should be learned given the longer time in care; and (3) place a greater emphasis on identifying specific and perhaps more individualized behaviors that will be useful for a youth released from a longer-term correctional program. Opportunities to learn and practice new behaviors are greater in long-term programs, and there is often a greater opportunity for youth to fully integrate these behaviors with other cognitive-behavioral programming to which they are exposed.

10 Tips on Time-Outs

  1. The time-out should occur immediately when the behavior is observed (assuming it is a behavior that the rules indicate requires a short time-out).
  2. Keep the time-out as short as possible to achieve the purpose of behavior change.
  3. The length of the time-out should not start until the youth is quiet or cooperative.
  4. The time-out should be away from a place of ongoing activity.
  5. Instructions for the time-out should be given in a matter-of-fact manner, not when the staff member is angry.
  6. Be consistent about using time-outs; that is, use the time-out for the same behavior each time it occurs, and do not extend the time-out based on a relapse in behavior.
  7. Verbally acknowledge the youth for taking the time-out successfully.
  8. As soon as possible after the completion of the time-out, try to recognize a desired positive behavior.
  9. Do not threaten to use time-outs unless you are prepared to follow through.
  10. Make sure to identify and explain the desired behavior when you are attempting to extinguish an undesirable behavior.

Legal Issues Related to Behavior Management

Without having a well-constructed behavior-management program, good supervision, and well-trained staff, individual staff members are too often left to their own devices to manage behavior. Staff who do not understand the basic principles of social learning theory and behavior change will resort to tools they believe will be effective, often substituting ineffective and risky personal strategies of control. It is exactly these responses that can lead to the creation of abusive, inconsistent, and constitutionally invalid conditions of confinement. Excessive room confinement, inappropriate use of chemical agents or restraints, use of excessive force that results in injury to youth, use of corporal punishment, and other forms of abuse could result in investigations that lead to considerable liability and expense for the agency.

Civil Rights of Incarcerated Persons Act (CRIPA)

Youth rights are protected by the federal Civil Rights of Incarcerated Persons (CRIPA) regulations, which were enacted in 1980 to help eliminate unlawful and abusive conditions of confinement. CRIPA grants the Department of Justice (DOJ) the authority to investigate complaints it may get about conditions of confinement, to appoint special investigators or monitors to provide oversight for facilities and recommend corrective action, and to file court action if needed to secure enforcement of the civil rights of confined youth.

Under CRIPA, as may also be the case under other suits filed in court related to conditions of confinement, parties may enter into a consent decree in which the facility or program agrees to comply with a number of changes and come into compliance. Failure to live up to the consent decree can result in the DOJ filing a contempt motion with the court or imposing additional oversight and reporting requirements for the facility, or both. CRIPA can be viewed as a tool that the DOJ can use to improve egregious conditions of confinement in youth programs. The Youth Law Center has played a leading role in tracking significant CRIPA investigations and litigation related to juvenile correction facilities over the past several decades.[37] The reasons for litigation or CRIPA investigations fall within the following areas:

  • Abuse or excessive use of force.
  • Excessive use of restraints or isolation.
  • Failure to protect youth from harm.
  • Failure to provide a therapeutic environment and rehabilitative treatment.
  • Failure to provide required services (education, mental health, healthcare).
  • Inadequate staffing or staff training.
  • Environmental safety issues (crowding, fire safety).
  • Failure to provide access (mail, attorney, telephone).

The Youth Law Center also notes that, for the nearly 60 facilities or programs cited more often than not the investigation or litigation is based on three or more of these areas of concern. This suggests that the lack of compliance with basic requirements related to conditions of confinement is endemic to all aspects of operation within a program rather than isolated to a specific violation.

Beyond the involvement of the DOJ through CRIPA actions, there are many examples of lawsuits and case law related to conditions of confinement. The following are a few recent examples:

  • In Illinois, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was involved in litigating the conditions of confinement in the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center (Jimmy Doe, et. al. vs. Cook County), which led to an agreement in 2002 to improve conditions and services related to physical and mental healthcare, overcrowding, nutrition, sanitation, and discipline. The work to really improve these conditions goes on, as the ACLU and others monitor whether the department has implemented the kinds of change required. The order was updated in 2007, creating the Office of Transitional Administrator, and since that time, significant change has occurred (despite continued legal wrangling over a variety of issues), some of which is captured in a report issued in 2012 by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD).[38]
  • Also in Illinois, the ACLU filed a class action suit (R.J., et. al. v. Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice) against the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice related to conditions of confinement for approximately 1,000 youth confined in the state-run juvenile correctional justice facilities.[39] In September, 2002, the parties entered into a consent decree in which the department agreed to improve conditions in 1) mental health services, 2) educational services, 3) the excessive use of room confinement, 4) the safety of youth inside the facility, and 5) holding youth beyond the original commitment date solely because no community-based placement was available.
  • The ACLU filed suit and reached a settlement in 2011 with the Montana State Prison involving the solitary confinement of youth, as well as the treatment of mentally ill prisoners (Raistlen Katka v. State of Montana, 2009).[40] The important aspect of this case is the practice of isolating youth under age 18 within adult facilities, in large part as the result of being unable to manage the behavior of those youth. In many cases the behavior is the result of mental health issues that have not been properly diagnosed or treated.
  • In 2008, the Texas ACLU filed a class action complaint against the Texas Youth Commission as the result of subjecting girls to unnecessary solitary confinement, routine strip searches, and excessive physical force.[41]

A more complete search of case law would reaffirm that programs that fail to adhere to meeting the basic needs of youth in confinement are at risk of facing litigation that will prove to be far more complex and expensive than actually taking steps to provide adequate services in the first place. Though it is not uncommon for suits to result in settlements or some form of consent decree before completing the civil suit process, the costs of defending and responding to these suits can rise rapidly and take significant time away from actually running the facility or program.

CRIPA investigations and actions related to youth are not unique to juvenile facilities. In some ways, adult facilities that hold youth may be under greater scrutiny and may be at greater risk of facing actions, given that the needs of youth may vary from the predominant population. Staff in adult facilities are often not well trained to deal with adolescent behaviors, and policies in response to inappropriate behavior are not adapted to fit the needs of youth. There is too often a presumption that youth are mini-adults and that any changes in program or protocols that would actually be more effective with youth are seen as special treatment. For example, a youth’s acting out may be perceived to be an overt, intentional challenge to adult authority, and the response that is implemented (solitary confinement) can do much more harm than good and even result in disaster. Therefore, leaders in adult confinement facilities that hold youth need to work hard to establish adequate training programs for staff, ensure that proper mental health and educational resources are available, and that behavior management protocols are developmentally appropriate.

Fortunately, most confinement professionals never face these kinds of complaints, but in some cases, policymakers and jurisdictions need this kind of outside pressure, financial risk, and public condemnation before sufficient funding is provided to improve the program.

Legal Requirements

Statutes and administrative rules vary from state to state but in general set some parameters about what is required in both juvenile and adult confinement programs, whether they are small, short-term programs or larger, longer-term correctional programs. More often than not, these statutes and rules set minimum standards that may or may not meet ACA or other best practice standards. This chapter previously highlighted some of the physical plant standards, but other conditions of confinement may be informed by statutes or rules. Some of the common requirements that practitioners need to be aware of include:

Requirements for a Treatment or Behavior Plan

It is less common for a treatment plan (sometimes referred to a case plan) to be required for short-term programs than longer-term correctional programs. However, even in short-term programs, practitioners should consider developing behavior plans and coordinating information-sharing with those responsible for reentry or community placement, so the time in detention can be put to maximum use. In long-term programs, it is much more important and practical to develop and implement a case plan. Some common elements of treatment plans are 1) a substantive review of prior treatment interventions, assessments, and educational records; 2) comprehensive risk and needs screenings and assessments to identify treatment needs that will be the primary focus of programming; 3) identification of significant supports (family and other community members) who can be engaged with the youth and treatment and play a powerful role in supporting successful reentry; 4) setting measurable treatment goals and objectives that give the youth a direction to work towards and a way of identifying progress toward release and reentry; 5) identification of any specialized services that will be needed during placement; 6) decisions related to classification and housing assignments; and 7) an outline of the process required to review the case plan. Typically, some period of time (30 days, for example), may be established as the maximum length of time allowed to complete the plan, the related processes for approvals, and dissemination of the plan. (See Ch. 18: Transition Planning and Reentry)

Medical Treatment and Services

Youth placed in confinement facilities almost universally bring a history of poorly addressed physical and mental health needs, and higher rates of traumatic injuries, alcohol and other drug use, mental illness, and abuse. In addition to normal adolescent development issues, left unaddressed, these factors contribute to a high risk of lifelong health problems.[42] Although there may be variation in the requirements for the provision of medical services, the need for professional standards in critical areas of healthcare is self-evident, and good standards have been promulgated by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). Standards for juvenile confinement facilities cover a wide range of components, from delivery of care, to training, to personnel and management. For short-term programs, a minimum requirement (though not universally in place) related to healthcare will include an initial screening completed by a healthcare professional (this is not the same as the minimal health screen that may be done by non-medical staff at the time of admission that is designed to identify any emergent health concerns, gather information about medications, screen for self-harm, etc.). Ideally for short-term programs, and required for longer-term programs, a more thorough physical health exam is often required and includes a review of immunizations and emergent dental concerns as well as addressing physical and mental health issues.

All programs, regardless of length, should provide the opportunity for youth to confidentially request medical services from a healthcare professional on a routine basis. How routine that is may vary and be determined by state rules, but it is important that health concerns are not left unaddressed. Larger, longer-term programs should be able to provide this on a daily basis. Smaller, short-term programs ideally should provide access to healthcare at least four to five times per week.

Additionally, all facilities will face the challenge of dealing with healthcare crises that arise from injuries that occur while the youth is in the facility, drug-related withdrawal or abuse, treatment for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, and simply normal health issues. It is often difficult for non-medical staff to properly assess the urgency of these situations. Therefore, procedures have to be in place, staff need to be trained, and resources must be available so that staff can respond appropriately to ensure the health and safety of all youth. Evident in some of the CRIPA and other lawsuits noted previously are situations in which a program failed to respond appropriately to these emergent medical issues. Negligence and failure to act, either in an individual case basis or in terms of not having sufficient resources and procedures in place to deal with these situations more generally, will ultimately result in liability.

Plans for Suicide Screening and Prevention

All facilities, whether short term or long term, will typically be required to have procedures in place to screen for self-harm risk at the time of admission and in the event of crises or other events that may trigger self-harm concerns, protocols for placing youth on or removing youth from some form of watch, which will require higher levels of supervision and intervention, documentation, and communication protocols among both confinement staff and mental health professionals, and procedures in place to intervene in the event of a suicide or self-harm situation.

Fortunately, youth suicide in juvenile detention is relatively rare, but even one time is too many Negligence and complacency place youth in harm’s way and create liability for programs. It is not uncommon to hear some staff say “…he is just trying to get attention...” or “...she is just mad, it will pass...” as if all youth have the rational capacity to understand the potential for self-harm. Self-harm attempts are not always preceded by depressive behavior, and—more often than not—youth may give out clues about what they are thinking in ways that can be easily overlooked by poorly trained staff. Practitioners should be familiar with the good research about suicide in youth facilities and measures that need to be put in place to prevent it; these are outlined by Lindsay Hayes in Suicide in Juvenile Confinement Facilities: A National Survey.[43]

Mental Health Services

All facilities need to provide or have readily available services to address the mental health needs of youth. The focus of these services may vary based on the type of facility, for example:

  • In a short-term detention program, a minimum standard should be a mental health screening that can identify some of the most emergent mental health concerns such as risk of self-harm; whether the youth is currently receiving mental health services and, if so, develop options to support continuation; whether the youth is taking psychotropic medications and, if so, ensure those are administered and delivered appropriately; and providing crisis stabilization and support for youth experiencing overt symptoms of trauma, depression, or severe anxiety. (See Ch. 11: Mental Health: Mental Health Screening and Assessment)
  • Short-term confinement programs may also assist in overall case planning and development by administering a basic mental health screening tool that can help identify previously unidentified mental health concerns (MAYSI-II, GAIN, POSIT).
  • Facilities have an obligation to appropriately share this kind of information with ongoing case planners or providers so as to help ensure successful reentry to the community.
  • Longer-term programs have the responsibility for providing more in-depth assessment of needs and then providing or ensuring the necessary mental health services by appropriate mental health clinicians. This becomes part of the overall treatment plan that is implemented while the youth is in custody and then integrated as soon as possible into a reentry plan.

A recent example of how the lack of adequate mental health services may result in a lawsuit is in the 2012 case referenced previously—R.J. v. Bishop.

Implementing PREA

Other chapters of the Desktop Guide will address in more detail the operational and staffing requirements for confinement facilities that are outlined in PREA—passed by Congress in 2003—and its recently promulgated standards. The requirements of PREA represent good confinement practices that help to ensure the emotional and physical safety of youth in custody, whether in short-term or long-term, juvenile or adult confinement facilities. Practitioners can access information through a variety of sources, but a good place to start is the National PREA Resource Center or the National Institute of Corrections (PREA Toolkit) site.[44] (See Ch. 4: Developing and Maintaining a Professional Workforce: References and Background Checks)

Family Engagement Issues

It is well known that most youth placed in confinement facilities, whether short- or long-term, go home to their families upon release. Some youth may be released to other placements before returning home, and a small percentage may end up living independently. But it is not uncommon for practitioners to be heard saying something like, “they all go home.” This suggests that there is everything to be gained and little to lose by finding ways to respect and proactively engage key family members while a youth is in custody so as to support successful reentry back into the community. (See Ch. 18: Transition Planning and Reentry)

For safety and security reasons, there may be exceptions to the rule, but in general, confinement facilities should be proactive and do the following:

  1. Encourage and support appropriate family contact, generally through policies related to visitation and phone calls, but also through other kinds of supports. For example, in Wisconsin, the Division of Juvenile Corrections provides weekly bus trips for family members wanting to visit their youth in the distant juvenile correctional facility. State regulations may impose certain minimum requirements on who can visit, how often, or for how long or for phone calls at the time of admission or while in placement. Minimum standards often will not meet best practice standards.
  2. Create opportunities for parents or caregivers to learn more about what their child is experiencing while in custody. This may take the form of written information provided to parents or caregivers about the facility, the program, and the ways in which the family can stay involved with their child while he or she is in custody.
  3. Keep parents informed of their child's progress in terms of learning new social skills, education, and other changes in behavior that they can then reinforce with their child after release.
  4. Take advantage of technology to support contact, for example a facility that is distant from a youth’s home may work with a local jurisdiction to promote videoconferencing between a youth and family.
  5. Clearly identify for parents or caregivers whom they can contact for general information or in the event of any concerns or emergency.
  6. Train all staff to respond to parent concerns promptly and respectfully. Most parents understand that their child may be giving them one side of the story when problems or conflicts arise, but they want to make sure that any concerns are heard and professionally addressed.

This approach is in contrast to policies that may 1) be inflexible and create unnecessary barriers to family contact (visiting hours that do not accommodate a parent’s work schedule); 2) impose fiscal barriers on family contact (though more true in adult facilities, it is not uncommon to find youth confinement facilities in which the only phone calls that can be made to a parent are done on a collect basis—too often through some vendor that is charging exorbitant rates, only to kick back some portion as revenue to the jurisdiction); and 3) in the name of security, impose unnecessary restrictions on physical contact, who can visit, or simply create uncomfortable space for visitation to occur—concerns that can often be overcome with little or no added expense.

Creative and progressive programs may promote or support a parent peer support network in which parents of youth who have been in custody can be trained and may even receive a stipend for being a resource to parents of youth new to the facility. Remember that a parent or caregiver will be one of the most influential persons in determining whether a reentry plan is successful. A parent’s perception of the overall juvenile system will be impacted—one way or another—by how confinement staff and programs treat them.

Parents who feel isolated from their child’s life or feel disparaged or blamed by the system are not going to be good allies in a reentry plan. Conversely, parents who feel respected, are well informed, and are given opportunities to be engaged may become strong partners or advocates in supporting their child’s success, both while their child is in custody and when he or she is released. A logical corollary to the question “How would you want your child to be treated while in custody?” is one that says, “If you were the parent of a child in custody, how would you like to be treated?”

Youth in Adult Facilities—Time for a Change

Finally, the whole notion of family engagement is something that is typically not seen as relevant for adult confinement facilities or for facilities that have been designed and are perhaps staffed by correctional officers not properly trained to work with youth. The focus is often solely on the individual youth or “inmate,” and little attention is paid to the important role of parents. For youth in adult facilities, if the youth is under the jurisdiction of the adult system (direct file, original adult charges, waived or transferred to adult court, sentenced to jail or a correctional facility), parents may be essentially ignored as having any legal standing in relation to the youth in custody. They may not be kept informed of behavioral problems, may not be afforded what could logically be considered parental rights, may have very limited opportunities for contact, and are rarely engaged in any kind of reentry planning.

The notion that a youth under age 18 is considered an adult by the justice system is certainly contrary to how parents may view their child and how important being part of a family is to a youth in confinement. The fact that family still plays a significant role in the youth’s life—whether or not the justice system recognizes it—has implications for how the youth responds to and survives the adult confinement experience and perhaps how successful his or her ultimate reentry to the community may be.

Treating youth as adults opposes headlong the overwhelming evidence about adolescence and brain development and places practitioners in adult facilities in the almost impossible position of providing supervision and programming in a facility that is far from developmentally appropriate. Youth in adult facilities are at higher risk of abuse, have significantly higher rates of suicide, and are clearly susceptible to adopting negative behaviors to survive their confinement experience.[45] Practitioners that work with youth in adult facilities have the odds of success stacked against them. They are trained to work with adults, they work in facilities designed for adults, they have staff-to-youth ratios that are much lower, and they are minimally trained in the basics of adolescent development. There is no time to waste for policymakers and confinement leaders to take a much more proactive approach and use the growing knowledge about what works to change how we deal with youthful offenders who cross over into the adult confinement world.

The Present and the Future—A Tipping Point

Violent juvenile crime is at a 32-year low.[46] Dozens of juvenile confinement facilities around the country have been closed as the result of declining custody populations. Through the work of organizations like the National Center for Youth in Custody (NCYC), NPJS, CJCA, ACA, and others, confinement practitioners are gaining more progressive and practical training, guidance, and technical assistance. Active advocacy groups such as the ACLU, the NJJN, the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), the Haywood Burns Institute, the Campaign for Youth Justice, and many others have turned their attention not only to reducing unnecessary confinement of youth but also to conditions of confinement. More communities around the country are developing successful alternatives to confinement and reducing costs—hopefully often reinvesting some of the savings in prevention and early intervention programs.

On the other hand, there remains a legacy of poorly designed facilities constructed during the confinement boom of the late 1980s and 1990s (facilities often designed and constructed by planners and architects whose experience was solely with adult facilities and programs), a penchant for states to bow to political pressures that result in minimum rather than best practice standards, a largely uneducated public about the important role that confinement facilities play in an effective justice system, an overreliance from other systems on confinement as a response to problem behaviors (the school-to-prison pipeline), and—perhaps worst of all—racial disparities that continue to diminish the future of another generation of minority youth.

So, this is where we are. Where might we go? There are clearly some things that should help us shape the future, including the following:

  1. The growing understanding of adolescent brain development. Although consistent in most ways with good adolescent development literature, the window into the brain of adolescents has been opened by research that affirms that adolescents are subject to making bad decisions as well as being capable of change.
  2. Increasing understanding of the impact of trauma on brain development and behavior. We continue to learn more about how traumatic or adverse childhood experiences play out in the behavior of youth and how better to design both environmental and programmatic responses that can reduce the harmful effects of re-traumatizing youth and enhance the likelihood of successful behavioral interventions.
  3. Improved assessment and screening tools that can help identify a youth’s risk, needs, and strengths in a multitude of domains (mental health, trauma, AODA, education). These are tools that can and should be used to ensure appropriate screening and treatment planning for youth in confinement and should make their way into routine practice.
  4. Better research about what works in teaching new thinking and behavioral skills to youth. This knowledge can be integrated into behavior-management programming with youth and contribute to a growing library of cognitive-behavioral strategies and tools that can be used with youth to help them understand how to interrupt antisocial thinking patterns and learn new decision-making and behavioral skills that can be used when they reenter the community (rather than focusing solely on skills they need to survive in an institutional setting).
  5. A growing sense of professionalism among confinement leaders and staff. Confinement professionals must understand that dealing with youth in confinement is an important and meaningful opportunity to promote positive behavior change. This is a profession in which there is a unique and profound body of knowledge about best practice standards and “tools” and skills that set it apart from other professions.

In many ways, “it is the best of times and the worst of times.” We know now more than ever about the harmful effects of unnecessary confinement and about the basic characteristics of effective interventions with youthful offenders. We cannot predict the future or control all the factors that impact the lives of youth in our communities, but we can make informed choices about the design of our facilities, the character and skills of those that work with youth on a day-to-day basis, and about the programs we provide to youth.

The responsibility to create the future lies with the readers of this guide. In your hands rests the future of confinement facilities and the thousands of youth who will be affected by what you do.

 

References

American Civil Liberties Union. 2013. Alone and Afraid: Children Held in Solitary Confinement and Isolation in Juvenile Detention and Corrections Facilities. New York: Author.

American Correctional Association. 1991. Standards for Juvenile Detention Facilities, 3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Author.

Arya, Neelum. 2007. Jailing Juveniles: The Dangers of Incarcerating Youth in Adult Jails in America. Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice.
https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/jailing-juveniles-dangers-incarcerating-youth-adult-jails-america.

Braverman, Paula, and R. Morris. 2011. “The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System.” In Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice, edited by F. T. Sherman and F. H. Jacobs. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Burrell, Sue. 1999. Improving Conditions of Confinement in Secure Juvenile Detention Centers. Pathways to Juvenile Detention Reform series. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Butts, Jeffrey A., Gordon Bazemore, and Aundra Saa Meroe. 2010. Positive Youth Justice: Framing Justice Interventions Using the Concepts of Positive Youth Development. Washington, DC: Coalition for Juvenile Justice.

Butts, Jeffrey. 2013, October. “Violent Youth Crime in the U.S. Falls to New 32 Year Low. Research and Evaluation Center.” .

Carbone, V.J. 1983. “Effectiveness of Short Duration Time Outs in a Juvenile Detention Facility.” Juvenile and Family Court Journal 34, no. 1: 75–81.

Christy, J. 1994. “Toward a Model Secure Detention Program: Lessons from Shuman Center.” In Reforming Juvenile Detention: No More Hidden Closets, edited by I.M. Schwartz and W. Barton. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.

Daugherty, Carmen E. 2013. State Trends: Legislative Victories from 2011–2013 Removing Youth from the Adult Criminal Justice System. Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice.

Dilulio, John J. Jr. 1995. “The Coming of the Super-Predators.” The Weekly Standard 1, no. 11: 23.

Dishion, Thomas, and Kenneth A. Dodge. 2005. “Peer Contagion in Interventions for Children and Adolescents: Moving Towards an Understanding of the Ecology and Dynamics of Change.” Journal of Abnormal Psychology 33, no. 3: 395–400.

Griffis, Nelson G. 1994. “Behavior Management in Juvenile Detention and Corrections: A Personal Strategy.” Journal of Juvenile Justice and Detention Services 9: 40–54.

Griffis, Nelson G. 1995. “Behavior Management in Juvenile Detention and Corrections: A Programmatic Strategy.” Journal of Juvenile Justice and Detention Services 10: 1–15.

Hayes, Lindsay M. 2009. Juvenile Suicide in Confinement: A National Survey. NCJ 213691. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/213691.pdf.

K.C. et al. v. Texas Youth Commission. https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/images/asset_upload_file658_35632.pdf.

MacArthur Foundation. 2011, December. How Can We Know if Juvenile Justice Reforms are Worth the Cost? Models for Change Knowledge Brief. Chicago: Author.

Maloney, Dennis, Dennis Romig, and Troy Armstrong. 1988. “The Balanced Approach to Juvenile Probation.” Juvenile and Family Court Journal 39, no. 3: 1–62.

Martinson, Robert. 1974. “What Works? – Questions and Answers about Prison Reform.” The Public Interest 35, Spring: 22–54.

National Council on Crime and Delinquency. 2012. “Juvenile Detention in Cook County: Future Directions.” http://www.evidentchange.org/sites/default/files/publication_pdf/cook-county-report.pdf.

National Institute of Corrections. “Implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act: A Toolkit for Juvenile Agencies and Facilities.” https://nicic.gov/implementing-prison-rape-elimination-act-toolkit-juven....

National Juvenile Justice Network. 2012. “Advances in Juvenile Justice Reform: 2009–2011.” http://www.njjn.org/uploads/digital-library/NJJN_adv_fin_press_sept_update.pdf.

National PREA Resource Center. 2013. “Implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act: A Toolkit for Juvenile Agencies and Facilities.” https://www.prearesourcecenter.org/library/resources/toolkits-and-handbooks

Parent, Dale G. et al. 1994. “Conditions of Confinement: Juvenile Detention and Corrections Facilities.” Abt Associates and OJJDP. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED367928.

Parent, Dale G. Spring/Summer 1993. “Conditions of Confinement.” Juvenile Justice 1, no. 1: 2–7.

R.J., B.W., D.F., D.G., and M.D. v. the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.

Raistlen Katka v. State of Montana. https://www.aclumontana.org/en/cases/raistlen-katka-v-state-montana.

Roush, David W. 1999. “Crowding and Its Effects.” In Crowding in Juvenile Detention Centers: Practitioner Perspectives on What To Do about It, edited by D.W. Roush. Richmond, KY: National Juvenile Detention Association and Youth Law Center.

Roush, David W. 1999. “Helpful Juvenile Detention.” https://cyc-net.org/cyc-online/cycol-0408-roush.html.

Roush, David W., and Larry D. Miesner. “Good News About Strategic Planning in Juvenile Justice: The Jurisdictional Planning Assistance.” Journal of Juvenile Justice Services 20, no. 1: 25–32.

Roush, David W., and Michael McMillen. 2000. Construction, Operations, and Staff Training for Juvenile Confinement Facilities. NCJ 178928. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Sedlak, Andrea J., and Carol Bruce. 2010. Youth’s Characteristics and Backgrounds–Findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement. NCJ 227730. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Sedlak, Andrea J., and Karla S. McPherson. 2010, May. Conditions of Confinement: Findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/227729.pdf.

Soler, M.I., A. Shotton, J. Bell, E. Jameson, C. Shauffer, and L. Warboys. 1990. Representing the Child Client. New York; Matthew Bender.

Sullivan, Patrick A. 2010. Creating Treatment Environments for Troubled Youth: Evidence-Based Design in Architecture. Alexandria, VA: American Correctional Association.

Weiss, Guidi. 2013. The Fourth Wave: Juvenile Justice Reforms for the 21st Century. The National Campaign to Reform State Juvenile Justice Systems. Juvenile Justice Funders Collaborative. https://www.modelsforchange.net/publications/530.

Youth Law Center. 2011. “Litigation and Federal CRIPA Investigations over Conditions of Confinement in State-Funded Juvenile Correction Facilities. 2011.” Table.CRIPAhttps://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-noplaceforkids-Litigation.pdf.

 

Bibliography

Bonnie, Richard J., Robert L. Johnson, Betty M. Chemers, and Julie A. Schuck, eds. 2013. Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://www.nap.edu/catalog/14685/reforming-juvenile-justice-a-developme....

Hubner, John. 2008. Last Chance in Texas: The Redemption of Criminal Youth. New York: Random House.

Humes, Edward. 1997. No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. 2008. “Juvenile Justice,” Fall, 2008. The Future of Children 18, no. 2. https://futureofchildren.princeton.edu/sites/futureofchildren/files/medi....

 

Endnotes


[1] Dale G. Parent et al., Conditions of Confinement: Juvenile Detention and Corrections Facilities, (Abt Associates, OJJDP, 1994).

[2] Sue Burrell, Improving Conditions of Confinement in Secure Juvenile Detention Centers, Pathways to Juvenile Detention Reform series, (Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation, 1999): 11.

[3] Andrea J. Sedlak and Karla S. McPherson, Conditions of Confinement: Findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement, (Washington, DC: OJJDP, May 2010).

[4] Sedlak and McPherson. Conditions of Confinement, 11.

[5] Andrea J. Sedlak and Carol Bruce, Youth’s Characteristics and Backgrounds–Findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement, (Washington, DC: OJJDP, 2010).

[6] M.I., Soler, A. Shotton, J. Bell, E. Jameson, C. Shauffer, and L. Warboys, Representing the Child Client, (New York: Matthew Bender, 1990).

[7] Burrell, Improving Conditions of Confinement.

[8] J. Christy, “Toward a Model Secure Detention Program: Lessons from Shuman Center,” in Reforming Juvenile Detention: No More Hidden Closets, eds .M. Schwartz and W. Barton (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1994).

[9] David W. Roush, 1999, “Helpful Juvenile Detention.”

[10] MacArthur Foundation, How Can We Know if Juvenile Justice Reforms are Worth the Cost?, Models for Change Knowledge Brief, (Chicago: MacArthur Foundation, 2011, December).

[11] Ibid.

[12] David W. Roush, “Crowding and Its Effects,” In Crowding in Juvenile Detention Centers: Practitioner Perspectives on What To Do about It, ed. David Roush (Richmond, KY: National Juvenile Detention Association, and Youth Law Center, 1999): 86–95

[13] Roush, “Crowding and Its Effects,” 90–92.

[14] Dale G. Parent, “Conditions of Confinement,” Juvenile Justice 1, no. 1. (Spring/Summer 1993).

[15] Roush, “Crowding and Its Effects,” 86–95.

[16] David Roush and Michael McMillen, Construction, Operations, and Staff Training for Juvenile Confinement Facilities, NCJ 178928, (Washington, DC: OJJDP, 2000).

[17] American Correctional Association, Standards for Juvenile Detention Facilities, 3rd ed., (Lanham, MD: Author, 1991).

[18] Roush and McMillen, Construction, Operations, and Staff Training.

[19] Patrick A. Sullivan, Creating Treatment Environments for Troubled Youth: Evidence Based Design in Architecture, (Alexandria, VA: American Correctional Association, 2010).

[20] Thomas Dishion and Kenneth A. Dodge, “Peer Contagion in Interventions for Children and Adolescents: Moving Towards an Understanding of the Ecology and Dynamics of Change,” Journal of Abnormal Psychology 33, no. 3, (2005): 395–400.

[21] Roush and McMillen, Construction, Operations, and Staff Training, 15.

[22] Ibid.

[23] David Roush and Larry D. Miesner, “Good News About Strategic Planning in Juvenile Justice: The Jurisdictional Planning Assistance,” Journal of Juvenile Justice Services 20, no. 1 (2005).

[24] Robert Martinson, “What Works? – Questions and Answers about Prison Reform,” The Public Interest 35 (1974): 22–54.

[25] John J. Dilulio, Jr., “The Coming of the Super-Predators,” The Weekly Standard 1, no. 11 (1995): 23.

[26] Guidi Weiss, The Fourth Wave: Juvenile Justice Reforms for the 21st Century, (Juvenile Justice Funders Collaborative, 2013).

[27] National Juvenile Justice Network, “Advances in Juvenile Justice Reform: 2009–2011.”

[28] Ibid.

[29] Carmen E. Daugherty, State Trends: Legislative Victories from 2011–2013 Removing Youth from the Adult Criminal Justice System, (Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice, 2013).

[30] Dennis Maloney, Dennis Romig, and Troy Armstrong, “The Balanced Approach to Juvenile Probation,” Juvenile and Family Court Journal 39, no. 1 (1988).

[31] Jeffrey Butts, Gordon Bazemore, and Aundra Saa Meroe, Positive Youth Justice: Framing Justice Interventions Using the Concepts of Positive Youth Development, (Washington, DC: Coalition for Juvenile Justice, 2010).

[32] Nelson G. Griffis, “Behavior Management in Juvenile Detention and Corrections: a Personal Strategy,” Journal of Juvenile Justice and Detention Services 9 (1994): 40–54.; Nelson G. Griffis, “Behavior Management in Juvenile Detention and Corrections: A Programmatic Strategy,” Journal of Juvenile Justice and Detention Services 10 (1995): 1–15.

[33] Griffis, “A Programmatic Strategy,” 3–4.

[34] Ibid., 6–7.

[35] V.J Carbone, “Effectiveness of Short Duration Time Outs in a Juvenile Detention Facility,” Juvenile and Family Court Journal 34, no. 1 (1983): 75–81.

[36] American Civil Liberties Union, Alone and Afraid: Children Held in Solitary Confinement and Isolation in Juvenile Detention and Corrections Facilities, (New York: Author, 2013).

[37] Youth Law Center, “Litigation and Federal CRIPA* Investigations over Conditions of Confinement in State-Funded Juvenile Correction Facilities.”

[38] National Council on Crime and Delinquency, “Juvenile Detention in Cook County: Future Directions.”

[39] R.J.., B.W., D.F., D.G., and M.D. v. Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.

[40] Raistlen Katka v. State of Montana.

[41] K.C., et al. v. Texas Youth Commission.

[42] Paula Braverman and R. Morris, “The Health of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System,” in Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice, eds. F. T. Sherman and F. H. Jacobs (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011).

[43] Lindsay Hayes, “Suicide in Juvenile Confinement Facilities: A National Survey,” NCJ 213691, (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2009).

[44] National PREA Resource Center, “Implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act: A Toolkit for Juvenile Agencies and Facilities.”

[45] Neelum Arya, Jailing Juveniles: The Dangers of Incarcerating Youth in Adult Jails in America, (Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice, 2007).

[46] Jeffrey Butts, “Violent Youth Crime in the U.S. Falls to New 32 Year Low. Research and Evaluation Center.”

Ch.4 Developing and Maintaining a Professional Workforce

Ch.4 Developing and Maintaining a Professional Workforce web_admin Wed, 12/22/2021 - 16:59

Author: Pam Clark, MSW, LSW, CYC-P

Custody work in a correctional confinement setting is not typically considered a high-status or prestigious career. However, as long as there are youth and adults in confinement, it will be an important and necessary field of work. Given the significant physical, emotional, social, and psychological development that occurs during childhood and adolescence, the quality, expertise, and professionalism of staff that work with youth in confinement are critically important. This chapter focuses on the qualifications, qualities, and characteristics of the special people needed to work with youth in a confinement setting.

Professionalism

The words “professional” and “professionalism” are used frequently when describing a variety of jobs, especially those that deal with difficult situations or clients. In some cases, these words are used to convey a sense of appreciation for exceptional job performance—for example, “The staff displayed a high level of professionalism throughout the emergency.” Individuals often use the term professional to reflect pride in their job—for example, “Despite the low status and unpopular working hours, institutional staffs are true professionals.”

The term professional is also frequently applied to problem situations when individuals follow policies, procedures, or orders, even though it is reasonable to believe that other action may have produced better results (discretion). Many times, this approach is an attempt to move responsibility or liability higher into the system—for example, “Despite the outcome, the officers acted professionally by strictly adhering to policies and procedures.” In these situations, professional means that the worker removed the discretion from the job and followed policies and procedures without exception.

One of the most important qualities or characteristics of a professional staff person that works with youth in confinement is the ability to effectively balance discretion with adherence to facility policy and procedure.

A Definition of Professionalism

According to Webster’s Dictionary, professionalism is “the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person.” Webster further defines a profession as “a type of job that requires special education, training or skill” and a professional as “someone who has a lot of experience or skill in a particular job or activity: someone who does a job that requires special training, education, or skill.”[1]

The following questions emerge from these definitions.

  • What are the aims of staff that work with youth in a confinement facility? How should staff conduct themselves? What are the qualities that characterize these staff?
  •  What is the correctional confinement occupation? Is it a profession? Does it require specialized education? If so, does a high school diploma qualify as specialized education? If there are no specific, college-level academic programs, what is an appropriate course of study to attain this specialized education? Is this specialized education measured by 1) a degree conferred by a college or university, 2) certification as measured by performance on standardized tests, or 3) a board or council review of education, training, and experience?
  • What are the standards for the education, training, and intellectual skills of someone that works in a correctional confinement setting? Are existing standards for doing this work minimal, or do they reflect the highest levels of attainment? Is an individual, by this definition, a professional if he or she strives to attain only minimum standards?
  • What is specialized training? How and by whom are the needs for this specialized training determined? Who is qualified to provide the training?

These questions are at the heart of an understanding of correctional confinement as a profession. Efforts by the National Partnership for Juvenile Services (NPJS), the Council for Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA), the National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), the American Correctional Association (ACA), and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) supply critical information in these areas. Even though progress toward the definition of a profession is linked to these national professional associations, the full development of a profession is also a function of individual line workers. Without a commitment to professionalism from these individuals, the pressure on administrators, policy makers, judges, and the public to address these questions will never become strong enough.

Who is a Professional?

How would someone recognize a professional staff person in a confinement facility that serves youth if they saw one, and how would they know if that staff person were appropriate to work with youth in confinement? These staff members, as with all criminal and juvenile justice staff, have dual roles: public safety and accountability. Both of these roles involve appropriately managing the behavior of youth. If we are to effectively move young people out of the justice system, a third role applies: fostering rehabilitation and youth development.

A 2012 Report Brief from the National Research Council of the National Academies, entitled Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach, supports this commitment to dual roles when it says,

The overarching goal of the juvenile justice system is to support the positive social development of youths who become involved in the system, and thereby assure the safety of communities. The specific aims of juvenile courts and affiliated agencies are to hold youths accountable for wrongdoing, prevent further offending, and treat youths fairly. All three of these aims are compatible with a developmental approach to juvenile justice.

This task of supporting the above-referenced “positive social development of youths” constitutes youth work as defined by the Association of Child and Youth Care Practice, Inc.: The Association of Child and Youth Care Practice and Child and Youth Care Certification Board say,

Professional [child and youth care] practitioners promote the optimal development of children, youth and their families in a variety of settings, such as early care and education, community-based child and youth development programs, parent education and family support, school-based programs, community mental health, group homes, residential centers, day and residential treatment, early intervention, home-based care and treatment, psychiatric centers, rehabilitation programs, pediatric health care, and juvenile justice programs.[2]

Corrections Today article, “The 21st Century Juvenile Justice Workforce,” also discusses this dual role of correctional custodian and youth development practitioner, and the fact that it is often frustrating, particularly for entry-level juvenile and adult confinement facility staff that serve youth.

For entry-level employees, role duality can be especially frustrating because they see inconsistency within the organization or because they do not see their colleagues as supportive. For example, corrections-minded individuals may not perceive their treatment-minded colleagues as supportive in maintaining safety and holding youths accountable for the behavior, while treatment-minded workers may feel that corrections-minded workers treat [youth] too much like adult offenders…the attempt to blend these two mindsets is a source of frustration for juvenile justice workers.[3]

In a 1983 Michigan Juvenile Detention Association Annual Conference, Dr. Ernest Shelley[4] identified the following list of important qualities and characteristics for staff :

  • Optimism—the ability to see the positive, no matter how small, in a situation or person.
  • A deep belief in the potential of a person to change.
  • The ability to recognize change when it comes, no matter how small.
  • A deep respect for the sacredness of personhood—the belief that every person has value.
  • The ability to care deeply about others.
  • A good team player.

These are qualities of attitude that every staff member that works with youth must bring to the job.

Is This a Profession?

Work in the field of corrections in the U.S. has been increasingly recognized as a profession.[5] For example, there is a criminal justice pathway in higher education that includes specific course work and certificate programs—also available through field-specific professional associations—for those interested in working in a correctional setting.[6] Criminal justice degree programs range from two-year associate degrees to doctoral degrees. However, the course requirements for most of these programs rarely include courses or content specifically related to juvenile justice. Corroborating this, the same Corrections Today article says,

Many juvenile justice positions now require a bachelor’s degree. However, degrees in the social sciences or social work do not prepare candidates for the public safety aspect of the job, and programs in criminal justice do not address the youth development role of the juvenile justice worker. In both cases, it is possible to complete a degree without ever taking a course specifically related to juvenile justice; such courses may not even be offered for interested students. As a result, students may leave college without considering juvenile justice as an option, without an understanding of what the work entails or with the idea that juvenile justice is simply a stepping-stone to a career in adult corrections.[7]

Further evidence of the lack of recognition of juvenile detention and juvenile corrections as a profession is the absence of any listing for either of these in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. In this resource, there are listings for Correctional Officers, and Probation Officers or Correctional Treatment Specialists, both of which refer broadly to working with “offenders.” This, despite the fact that the needs of youth and the staff who work with them are vastly different from those of adult offenders and staff who work with that population.[8]

Leaders in the field of juvenile justice must work to ensure that preparation of the correctional workforce that serves youth in both juvenile and adult confinement facilities includes at least foundational knowledge related to the principles and practices of positive and healthy youth development. This has implications for higher education, training, and professional development programs.

Hiring Professional Staff

The recruitment, selection, training, and development of staff are all influenced by the philosophy held by facility administration, the court, and policymakers and funders within a given jurisdiction. This philosophy is often directly expressed by the words used in both the job title and the job description.

Job Title

So, what’s in a job title? For employers, job titles are typically used to categorize positions and define the hierarchy within the organization; for job applicants, they are used in a very different manner that employers should also understand. Many job applicants, at least initially, identify jobs for which they wish to apply based on the job title. Applicants may conduct an internet search or look through the newspaper for jobs according to the job title. There are many different job titles used for staff who work with youth in confinement, and this difference can affect who may be attracted to and apply for the job. For facilities that seek to hire staff to work with youth in juvenile confinement facilities, job titles such Detention Officer or Correctional Officer are inadequate to help candidates understand the job.

Many years ago, the ACA took the lead in referring to direct care line staff in juvenile detention and corrections facilities as “Juvenile Careworkers.” With this job title, the ACA recommended a positive approach to the job.

Mixdorf and Rosetti reported that juvenile care workers perform four overlapping roles: guardian, counselor, supervisor, and role model.[9] Understanding the importance of each of these roles, the term juvenile care worker is a more appropriate representation of the job than is juvenile detention officer or juvenile correctional officer. However, at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (CCJTDC) in Chicago, Illinois, direct care staff, previously referred to as Juvenile Detention Counselors are now referred to as Youth Development Specialists. This job title clearly emphasizes the youth development function of the staff who serve youth at the largest juvenile detention facility in the country.

On August 14, 2007, the former CEO of NPJS Earl Dunlap was appointed transitional administrator of CCJTDC. This appointment was in response to a federal lawsuit filed against Cook County by the American Civil Liberties Union. Mr. Dunlap’s task was to bring the CCJTDC into compliance with administrative standards established by the federal court in a Memorandum of Agreement. To do this, it was important to establish a new culture, including a change in job title, to help staff regard themselves and their work in a new way. When asked about the change in job title, Mr. Dunlap said the following:

The change from Juvenile Detention Counselor to Youth Development Specialist was driven by the reform effort. From the bottom up, everything needed to change, and more importantly all positions/classifications needed to reflect the value of the Vision/Mission Statement(s).

The "old" days of "childcare workers," "juvenile counselors," and “detention or corrections officers" had outlived their usefulness and did not adequately reflect what needed to be represented. The three (3) words Youth, Development and Specialist speak for themselves...Our population is youth, not children...Our focus is on a behavioral model related to impacting or developing a new direction for youth...The complex population (e.g., mental health, gang issues, etc.) demands staff with a higher level of experience, education and training focused on special skills.[10]

For staff who work with youth in adult confinement facilities, the issue of job title may be more complex and may be even more important. Staff who work in an adult confinement facility are typically referred to as “Correctional Officers,” stereotypically understood to fill a more custodial role. Although adult facilities may not find it practical to use a different job title for the staff who work with confined youth, separate and distinctly different mission and value statements for these workers could serve as reminders of the importance and value of the positive youth development function of their job. Designating staff that receive specialized training in their work with youth is also important in the context of an adult confinement facility.

Job Description

Job descriptions serve a number of purposes that include providing information for developing job interview questions and employee performance evaluations, helping employees understand what is expected of them, and providing a basis for both disciplinary action and employee recognition.

In the Job Description Handbook, Margie Mader-Clark says,

A job description is simply a clear, concise depiction of the duties and requirements needed to do the job. Job descriptions can take many forms, but they typically have at least four parts.

  • Job summary. This is an overview of the position, with a brief description of its most important functions. Because this will be the first thing applicants read, it is a great place to sell the job to the most attractive candidates (and to separate out those who will not be able to meet job expectations).
  • List of job functions. Next comes a more detailed description of duties. Listing what people have to do to perform a job might seem pretty straightforward, but it can be a legal minefield for managers who are not aware of federal and state antidiscrimination laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Requirements section. Here, the employer should list the education, certifications, licenses, and experience necessary to do the job.
  • Other information. This section should provide any other important facts about the position, such as location, working hours, travel, requirements, reporting relationship, and so on.[11]

Job descriptions should also address any physical requirements, including the operation of any equipment, used in the performance of the job. If operating in a union environment, the employer may need to seek union comment or approval of the job descriptions and any subsequent changes made to them. All job descriptions should close with a disclaimer that clearly states that the job description is only a summary of the typical functions of the job and that there may be other duties as assigned.

To write an effective and informative job description, facility management should first gather relevant information about the job. The facility administrator or managers and supervisors may write the first draft of the job description. However, it is important to gather and incorporate input on this draft from those already doing the job, particularly those who do the job well. This input will help to ensure the content is accurate and relevant and that nothing important is left out. A well-written job description says that facility management understands the job and what it takes to do it well, which requires that job descriptions include information about both job function, which is the “what,”[12] and characteristics of effectiveness, which is the “how,” of working with youth in confinement.[13]

Job functions include:

  • Behavioral management. Using behavioral and developmental theories to establish clear expectations for resident behavior and employing immediate positive or negative consequences as a result of direct involvement with residents.
  • Crisis intervention. Using skill and composure to prevent or minimize physical and emotional harm to residents and other staff when handling a wide variety of crisis situations (e.g., physical violence, escapes, riots, suicidal behaviors).
  • Security. Implementing the policies and procedures related to resident supervision and institutional security measures to ensure the physical presence of each resident in the facility.
  • Safety. Employing knowledge and skills in relation to emergency procedures (e.g., first aid, CPR, fire safety,  communicable disease) to ensure the well being of youth.
  • Custodial care. Assisting in the proper identification and treatment of problems relating to the physical and emotional health and well being of detained youth through the use of knowledge and skills in basic health-related areas (e.g., medical and hygiene, adolescent sexuality, substance abuse, physical or emotional abuse, symptoms of suicidal behavior and emotional distress).
  • Recordkeeping. Providing accurate and timely written documentation of both routine and special situations regarding residents, staff, and program activities through the use of observation and recording skills.
  • Program maintenance. Implementing, teaching, creating, and supplementing the facility’s daily program and activities (e.g., physical education, recreation, arts and crafts).
  • Problem solving. Creating an environment or institutional climate in which a youth’s personal, social, or emotional problems can be openly discussed, explored, and possibly resolved through effective use of interpersonal relationship skills, communication and consultation with clinical staff, and leadership in group discussions or activities.
  • Organizational awareness. Understanding, supporting, and using the philosophy, goals, values, policies, and procedures that represent the daily operations of the facility.
  • External awareness. Identifying and periodically reviewing key external issues and trends likely to affect the agency (e.g., legal, political, demographic, philosophical trends).

Characteristics of effectiveness include:

  • Balanced perspective. A broad view that balances present needs and long-term considerations.
  • Strategic view. Ability to collect and analyze information that forms an overall long-range view of priorities and forecasts likely needs, problems, and opportunities.
  • Environmental sensitivity. Awareness of broad environmental trends and the effects of these trends on the work unit. (See Ch. 3: Physical Plant Design and Operations)
  • Leadership. An ability and willingness to lead and manage others.
  • Flexibility. Openness to new information as well as tolerance for stress and ambiguity in the work situation.
  • Action orientation. Decisiveness, calculated risk taking, and a drive to get things done.
  • Results focus. Strong concern for goal achievement and a tenacity to follow a project through to completion.
  • Communication. Ability to express oneself clearly and authoritatively and to listen attentively to others.
  • Interpersonal sensitivity. Self-knowledge, awareness of the impact of self on others, sensitivity to the needs and weaknesses of others, and the ability to sympathize with the viewpoints of others.
  • Technical competence. Expert and up-to-date knowledge of the methods and procedures of the work unit.

Large facilities and jurisdictions may have human resource departments that deal with job descriptions and other employee-related matters. However, facility staff and administration should have an opportunity to provide input related to the accuracy of job descriptions. If the facility does not have a human resource department, it would be advisable to have job descriptions reviewed by an attorney, preferably one with some experience or expertise in labor law.

Job descriptions are legal documents and as such cannot include any discriminatory language. The language used in a job description is important. Statements in the job description should be concise, clear, and written in the present tense. Sentences should be structured in such a way that gender pronouns are not required. If this is not possible, gender neutral, inclusive language such as “he or she” should be used.

Job descriptions should be reviewed and updated regularly, at least every 2–3 years, or more often if job requirements change. Whenever changes are made, they should be shared with the staff to ensure their continued understanding of what is expected of them.

Recruitment

Recruitment is about more than just getting people to apply for the job. It is about ensuring that the people who do apply are the ones the organization or facility is looking for and needs. Good recruitment starts with two things: an accurate job description, and more importantly, employee retention—understanding what it will take to keep quality staff after they are hired. Employee turnover is costly in ways that go far beyond financial investments in training and orientation. The negative impact on organizational culture, programming for youth and the morale of both staff and youth is often much more significant than any financial losses.

Facilities are often required to first post all job openings through internal networks (e.g., county or state government systems) before looking outside the facility for candidates. The most common methods of external recruitment have historically been newspaper classified advertisements and job or career fairs, both of which can lead to a stack of resumes from individuals who are not a good fit for the job. The methods needed for recruiting in today’s multi-generational workforce vary dramatically. Knowing and understanding the differences in how and to what each generation responds is important to effective recruitment of staff.

Strategies that may be effective across generations include:

  • Advertising through professional associations—such as state detention or corrections associations—and national associations such as the NPJS, CJCA, and ACA. This form of advertising is often free or significantly less costly than newspaper classified advertisements and addresses a more specific target audience. However, publication of job listings through these sources may be delayed, so if the need to hire is immediate, this may not be the best avenue for recruitment.
  • Making everyone on staff at the facility a recruiter by asking for referrals from existing staff. These individuals know the job and what it requires. They can explain both the pros and cons to potential applicants. Quality, committed staff will likely refer only those individuals they believe are a good fit for the organization.
  • Using social and electronic media advertising. Sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook can be good sources for attracting what are referred to as “Millennials,” those born between 1980 and 2000. LinkedIn and Facebook both have programs for advertising staff positions. In addition, some newspapers offer web and print combinations to attract online job seekers.
  • Working with local media to get newspaper coverage of the positive work being done by staff and putting a face on the facility. Proactively making it easy for potential applicants to read, hear, or see the factors that make working at the facility an interesting and positive experience can dramatically increase the number and quality of applicants over time. Many facilities have representatives from the local media on the facility’s community advisory board.
  • Working with faculty and staff at community colleges and universities to secure student internships and volunteers to offer or support programming at the facility. In addition to direct care work, internships might also be made available for students who are pursuing nursing, counseling, and other more specialized fields of work. Student interns and volunteers often become desirable job applicants, as they know the exact requirements of the job for which they are applying.
  • Hosting an open house where members of the community and potential job seekers can tour the facility and participate in a presentation on its history and function in the community. Most members of the public have very distorted ideas about confinement facilities and what goes on in them.
  • Keeping job applications and resumes from former applicants. A past candidate that was not right for one position in the facility may be a good candidate for a different position that opens up later.

Many of these strategies are what Nicole Baker and Max Carrera call “relationship-based recruitment,” which suggests that facility administrators get out from behind their desks and seek out and talk with potential job seekers one-on-one or in groups.[14] Work in a correctional confinement facility is not a traditional job or career, therefore, the work is often not well understood by those seeking employment. Speaking directly with potential job seekers allows them the opportunity to address any questions and/or misunderstandings they may have about the job.

The process and time it may take to fill a staff vacancy will vary depending on factors such as whether a human resource department versus the facility administrator does the hiring, whether hiring freezes may be in effect, and whether the workforce is unionized.

Selection

There are many elements involved in the selection of staff. Facilities may use any one or all of these steps in the process.

Pre-employment screenings. Some organizations conduct pre-employment screenings prior to scheduling or following an initial interview. These screenings can range anywhere from a simple pre-interview telephone contact to the use of a brief pre-employment screening test—either before or after the interview—that measures a candidate’s basic work-related values, or video scenarios that measure a candidate’s overall suitability for working with juvenile offenders.[16]

Interviews. The interview process is typically considered a critical aspect in the selection of staff. However, there are differing opinions as to what the structure should be and the ultimate value of interviews. Interview questions should be connected to what is contained in the job description and typically focus on the knowledge, skills, and abilities someone has or can learn to be able to do the job, whatever that job may be. These knowledge, skills, and abilities, demonstrated through qualifying experience, education, and training, can also be assessed by asking candidates questions specific to each area in both the job application and the interview.

However, most experts today agree that employers should be looking beyond knowledge, skills, and abilities at whether candidates have the right attitude to make them a good fit for the organization. Mark Murphy, Chairman and CEO of Leadership IQ, in a study of 20,000 new hires over a three-year period, found that, within 18 months, 46% of new hires failed (got fired, received poor performance reviews, or were written up). According to Murphy, these results are fairly consistent with the results from other similar studies.

In his book, Hiring for Attitude, Murphy says that, “a lack of skills or technical competence accounted for only 11% of new hire failures.”[17] The other 89% were failures grounded in attitude: inability to accept and implement feedback (coachability) 26%; inability to understand and manage one’s own emotions (emotional intelligence) 23%; insufficient drive (17%); and attitude and personality unsuited to the job or work environment (15%). In most cases, skills and abilities can be taught. Attitude cannot. Hiring someone who already has or can learn the skills and abilities needed to do the job well (aptitude), in combination with the right attitude, may go a long way in ensuring employee retention and ultimately reducing staff turnover and its related costs.

Murphy provides specific strategies for Hiring for Attitude and suggests the following:

  • The attitudes that work for your organization are unique.
  • Standard interview questions don’t assess attitude.
  • A few simple questions will reveal if someone’s attitude is right for you.
  • The grammar that people use predicts whether they’re a good or bad fit.
  • Hiring for attitude will make current employees even better.[18]

In terms of hiring staff to work with youth, a key factor will be that person’s general attitude toward youth and whether he or she believes young people are capable of changing.

References and background checks. Checks of previous employment and references are additional tools used in the selection of new staff. Agency policies vary on this topic, and there is ongoing debate about the value of the information obtained from reference checks. Job candidates typically choose as personal references those individuals they know or believe will portray them in a positive light. Employment references are becoming more difficult to obtain and may be unreliable, as many employers are concerned about being sued for anything—negative or positive—that they may say about a former employee. A written release of information that grants permission for the sharing of information about the candidate should always be obtained before contacting any reference. Because candidates may request a copy of reference reports, written notes about information obtained from references should be minimal and general (e.g., “References indicate...”) and should not identify the sources of the specific information provided.

Criminal background checks are used to determine how appropriate candidates may be for employment in a confinement setting, particularly in a facility that serves youth. Agency and jurisdictional requirements may vary. However, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Juvenile Facility Standards, in §115.317, require the following before hiring any staff that may have contact with juveniles: (See Ch. 5: Rights and Responsibilities: Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003)

  • The agency shall also perform a criminal background records check, and consult applicable child abuse registries, before enlisting the services of any contractor who may have contact with residents.
  • The agency shall either conduct criminal background records checks at least every five years of current employees and contractors who may have contact with residents or have in place a system for otherwise capturing such information for current employees.
  • The agency shall also ask all applicants and employees who may have contact with residents directly about previous misconduct described in paragraph (a) of this section in written applications or interviews for hiring or promotions and in any interviews or written self- evaluations conducted as part of reviews of current employees. The agency shall also impose upon employees a continuing affirmative duty to disclose any such misconduct.
  • Material omissions regarding such misconduct, or the provision of materially false information, shall be grounds for termination.
  • Unless prohibited by law, the agency shall provide information on substantiated allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment involving a former employee upon receiving a request from an institutional employer for whom such employee has applied to work.[19]

Drug screening is also used to determine how appropriate candidates may be for employment. In addition to pre-employment drug screening, it is recommended that additional screening be done randomly and at least annually, if not more frequently. Pre-employment health screening is also typically required and should include testing for tuberculosis.

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines prohibit discriminatory practices in advertising, recruitment, application, hiring, and referrals.[20]

Cultivating a Professional Staff

Once the hiring process is complete, staff orientation and training are critical and should occur prior to staff being given responsibility for the direct care and supervision of youth. Proper orientation helps to ensure that newly hired staff have 1) a general understanding of where to go and to whom to look for direction and support and 2) the level of responsibility and decision-making that will be expected of them.

Orientation

Orientation should be provided relative to the organization’s culture and to the facility’s vision, values, and mission. Every facility has its own unique culture, what is commonly referred to as institutional or organizational culture. A facility’s culture is evident in its values and customs, and in the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of those working in the facility. Facility culture is observable and is reflected in the way employees dress and behave in the workplace, and in the way they interact with one another, with the youth and families they serve, and in the community. The facility’s organizational culture is reflected in its mission statement, which communicates how the organization does its work. This mission statement should be posted in the facility and easily accessible to staff, residents, and their families. (See Ch. 8: Management and Facility Administration)

 

Bartholomew County Youth Services Center

Columbus, Indiana

Our mission is to respond to the community's needs with a continuum of care, programming, services and advocacy for minors in settings that are safe for both the community and the youth.

We treat each youth with respect and dignity, holding them to appropriate behavioral expectations through a system of rewards and consequences that are applied in a fair, firm and consistent manner that is conducive to their personal growth and development.

New staff must clearly understand the organizational hierarchy or chain of command at the facility. This is the line of authority and responsibility through which orders or directives are approved and passed, permissions or authorizations are granted, and grievances are processed. Depending on the type of confinement facility, the chain of command may come from officer rank (e.g., sergeant, lieutenant) or by authority designated to staff with specific job titles (e.g., intake officer, shift supervisor). Without this information, new staff members may inadvertently violate established protocols and have difficulty fitting into the facility’s culture.

Training

The importance and value of staff training cannot be emphasized enough. Research shows that the more education, training, and experience an individual who works in a juvenile confinement setting has, the more likely it is he or she will have good communication skills, be able to effectively implement behavior management programming, and encourage and reinforce positive program participation and behavioral outcomes of youth.[21]

It is informative to look at the ACA training requirements for staff who work in specific confinement settings.

ACA Core Jail Standards

Correctional Officer Training Prior to Assuming Duties (1-CORE-7B-04)

(No specific number of hours identified; no specific training topics or hours recommended in subsequent years)

ACA Adult Corrections Training Standards, Correctional Officers (4-4084)

(40 hrs. Orientation and 120 hrs. 1st year, 40 hrs. each yr. after)

ACA Juvenile Corrections Training Standards, Juvenile Careworker Training (4-JCF-6E-08)

(40 hrs. Orientation and 120 hrs. 1st year, 40 hrs. each yr. after)

ACA Juvenile Detention Training Standards, Juvenile Careworker Training

(4.1, ID-01-14)        (40 hrs. Orientation and 120 hrs. 1st year, 40 hrs. each yr. after)

Facility policies and procedures

Security procedures

Security procedures

Security procedures

Suicide prevention

Suicide precautions &
Signs of suicide risks

Suicide intervention/prevention

Signs of suicide risk
&
Suicide precautions

Use of force

Use of force regulations

Use of force

Use of force regulations and tactics

Report writing

Report writing

Report writing

Report writing

Inmate rules and regulations

Offender rules and regulations

Juvenile rules and regulations

Juvenile rules and regulations

Key control

Key Control

Key control

Key Control

Emergency plans and procedures

Fire and emergency procedures

Fire and emergency procedures

Fire and emergency procedures

Cultural diversity

Cultural diversity

Culture awareness

Culture awareness

Communication skills

Communication skills

Communication skills

Communication skills

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)/first aid

First aid/CPR

First aid

First aid/CPR

 

Rights and responsibilities of offenders

Rights and responsibilities of juveniles

Rights and responsibilities of juveniles

 

Supervision of offenders

Supervision of juveniles

Supervision of juveniles

 

Safety procedures

Safety procedures

Safety procedures

 

Interpersonal relations

Interpersonal relations

Interpersonal relations

 

Counseling techniques

Code of ethics

Counseling techniques

 

Social/cultural lifestyles of the offender population

Sexual harassment

Social/cultural lifestyles of the juvenile population

 

 

Sexual abuse/assault

 

 

 

Search and seizure

 

 

 

Rules of evidence

 

Underlined text in cells contain areas of training in which the content is basically the same regardless of the facility type or population served (adult or juvenile).

 

Although the content of the ACA training standards for Correctional Officers in jails and adult correctional facilities bear many similarities to the content of the training standards articulated by the ACA for Juvenile Careworkers in juvenile detention and correctional facilities, it also reflects some significant differences.[22] These differences are important because working with juveniles requires some knowledge, skills, and abilities different from those required for working with adults. Juvenile work also requires a mindset and commitment to education and rehabilitation. This mindset is particularly relevant given what has been learned from research in the area of adolescent brain development. In a Fact Sheet entitled, Using Adolescent Brain Research to Inform Policy: A Guide for Juvenile Justice Advocates, the National Juvenile Justice Network says,

  • Youth will likely be in a better position to resist some of the triggers that may drive them to make unhealthy decisions if they are educated about their own development, and that of their peers, and how it can impact their behavior.
  • The guidance of supportive adults can help youth to use their positive assets to benefit the community.
  • When adults understand more about the brain development that occurs during adolescence, they may interact more effectively with youth and can provide youth with better services.[23]

This information clearly indicates the need for more specialized behavior and relationship-based training for staff who work with youth. This is particularly true for those staff who work with youth confined in an adult facility, as this area is not inherently a part of the training programs provided for these staff. (See Ch. 6: Adolescent Development)

In addition, the PREA Standards require training of all facility employees having contact with residents, which includes:

  1. [The facility’s] zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse and sexual harassment;
  2. How to fulfill their responsibilities under agency sexual abuse and sexual harassment prevention, detection, reporting, and response policies and procedures;
  3. Residents’ right to be free from sexual abuse and sexual harassment;
  4. The right of residents and employees to be free from retaliation for reporting sexual abuse and sexual harassment;
  5. The dynamics of sexual abuse and sexual harassment in juvenile facilities;
  6. The common reactions of juvenile victims of sexual abuse and sexual harassment;
  7. How to detect and respond to signs of threatened and actual sexual abuse and how to distinguish between consensual sexual contact and sexual abuse between residents;
  8. How to avoid inappropriate relationships with residents;
  9. How to communicate effectively and professionally with residents, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or gender nonconforming residents; 
  10. How to comply with relevant laws related to mandatory reporting of sexual abuse to outside authorities;
  11. Relevant laws regarding the applicable age of consent.[24]

PREA Standards go on to say that:

  • Such training shall be tailored to the unique needs and attributes of residents of juvenile facilities and to the gender of the residents at the employee’s facility. The employee shall receive additional training if the employee is reassigned from a facility that houses only male residents to a facility that houses only female residents, or vice versa.
  • All current employees who have not received such training shall be trained within one year of the effective date of the PREA standards, and the agency shall provide each employee with refresher training every two years to ensure that all employees know the agency’s current sexual abuse and sexual harassment policies and procedures. In years in which an employee does not receive refresher training, the agency shall provide refresher information on current sexual abuse and sexual harassment policies.
  • The agency shall document, through employee signature or electronic verification that employees understand the training they have received.

With the exception of minor language differences specific to the population being served, the requirements identified in the PREA Standards for the training of employees in both juvenile and adult confinement facilities are identical.

Resources abound that offer training and technical assistance for confinement facilities serving youth.

  • NPJS, using OJJDP grant funds, developed two 40-hour training curricula for direct care staff who work in juvenile detention and juvenile corrections facilities, the content of which can be tailored to meet specific facility and or system training needs.
  • OJJDP provides support through its National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) to states, tribes, units of local government, and organizations that support the justice system's response to juvenile delinquency and victimization.
  • The ACA specifies an annual minimum number of training hours for each category of staff to occur at regular periods throughout employment in a facility. Compliance with ACA mandatory training standards is required to achieve and maintain ACA certification. The ACA offers a wide range of educational and training opportunities for adult correctional and juvenile justice staff.[25]
    • In addition, most states have facility standards that include recommended or mandatory training requirements for staff who work in confinement facilities. These state standards are often based on the requirements identified in the ACA standards referenced above and address training of new staff and annual training for all staff.
  • The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) offers training and technical assistance for facilities seeking to develop their own training staff and through an inter-agency agreement with OJJDP provides leadership development programs for juvenile and adult corrections personnel.
  • PREA—signed into law on September 4, 2003—established the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. This Commission proposed standards for the prevention, detection, and response to sexual misconduct in criminal and juvenile justice settings. The PREA Resource Center (PRC) was funded through a cooperative agreement between the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) to develop and deliver training and technical assistance programs and services related to the implementation of PREA standards in both juvenile and adult confinement facilities.

Some jurisdictions have established training academies where curricula such as those mentioned above are taught with a requirement that newly hired staff complete this training either upon hire and before beginning a facility-specific assignment or sometime within the first year of employment.

All newly hired staff who work in a confinement facility should be certified or be provided with training in the following:

  • First aid
  • CPR
  • Universal precautions
  • Suicide prevention
  • De-escalation and crisis intervention

Training in first aid, CPR, Universal Precautions, de-escalation, and crisis intervention should be re-administered either annually or as prescribed by the entity that provides the certification.

Recordkeeping—the accurate and timely written documentation of both routine and special situations regarding residents, staff, and program activities—is a critical job function for anyone who works in a confinement setting. Reports become a permanent record of a staff member’s actions in response to an incident, may be used in the course of an investigation, and may help in documenting compliance with policies, procedures, and standards. In consideration of this, training in the fundamentals of effective report writing should be provided to newly hired employees at the earliest opportunity. (See Ch. 16: Behavior Observation, Recording, and Report Writing)

 

Quality Assurance

Although there are many roads to quality assurance, for the individual employee who works with youth in a confinement setting, there are two primary resources available for this purpose: facility policy and procedure, and a professional code of ethics. (See Ch. 17: Quality Assurance)

Policies and procedures are designed to address all major decisions, actions, concerns, and activities that take place within a facility. Understanding and adhering to a facility’s policies and procedures is a key element in assuring quality of work. However, given the often erratic and unpredictable behavior and decision-making of youth, it would be impossible to develop policy and procedure that would address every circumstance that staff who work with youth in a confinement setting may face. Situations not specifically addressed in policy and procedure require staff discretion. Matters such as the use of restraints and isolation, or programming for youth with special needs also require discretion and judgment. Discretion is best exercised within a framework or context for decision-making. Such a framework exists within a profession’s code of ethics. (See Ch. 8: Management and Facility Administration: Policy and Procedure Manual)

 

Although there are a number of ethical codes of conduct from which to choose (e.g., the American Jail Association Code of Ethics, the International Corrections and Prison Association Ethical Code of Conduct), the DGS will focus on two codes of ethics commonly referred to by staff who work with youth in confinement—those of NPJS and ACA.

National Partnership for Juvenile Services (NPJS)

CODE OF ETHICS

Preamble

In 2004, the Council for Educators of At-Risk and Delinquent Youth (CEARDY), the Juvenile Justice Trainers Association (JJTA), the National Association for Juvenile Correctional Agencies (NAJCA), and the National Juvenile Detention Association (NJDA) merged their respective membership organizations under one operational structure, the National Partnership for Juvenile Services (hereafter referred to as the Partnership or NPJS). Building on years of experience, knowledge, and skill, this union allows these individual organizations to focus on their respective mission and discipline while minimizing duplication, maximizing limited resources, and ensuring sustainability.

As an educational, scientific, training and professional organization, NPJS recognizes that its membership reflects the full range of diversity in the juvenile justice system. The specification of ethical standards enables NPJS to clarify for all members and to those served by its members, the nature of ethical responsibilities shared by its members.

NPJS and its members contribute to the analysis, interpretation, understanding, and resolution of juvenile justice issues by providing programs, services, policy statements, conferences, training, and publications.

The Code of Ethics serves to stimulate greater concern by NPJS members for their own professional functioning and for the conduct of fellow professionals within the juvenile justice system. As the ethical code of NPJS, this document establishes principles that define the ethical behavior of NPJS members.

Purpose of the NPJS Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics guides NPJS members in their own professional functioning and advocates for the ethical conduct of all professionals within the juvenile justice system. The Partnership Code of Ethics has established the following principles and standards to guide member conduct.

Ethical Principles and Standards

Recognizing the critical role of conscience in choosing among courses of action and taking into account the moral ambiguities of life, the members of NPJS commit themselves to the following:

  • Demonstrating the highest standards of personal conduct.

Juvenile justice professionals are rarely defined by the public or the helping professions as having a high status career. Public perceptions often imply that everyone has the ability to work with at risk and delinquent youth. For these reasons, members must continually demonstrate pride in their profession and self-respect reflective of the highest level of personal conduct. This conduct specifically refers to personal integrity, honesty, and truthfulness demonstrated in their relationships between colleagues, youth and the public.

Juvenile justice professionals are charged with the responsibility to assure public safety, promote competency development and provide safe care of juvenile justice involved youth. Cognizant of this public trust, members understand that any individual or collective compromise of their integrity or self-respect can damage the ability of the juvenile justice system to accomplish its mission. The best insurance against a loss of public confidence is strict adherence to the highest standards of personal conduct.

  • Demonstrating the highest standards of professional conduct.

Progress as a profession depends not only on public trust but on professional competency. Therefore, members strive for excellence in job performance that advances the cause of their profession by gaining increased public respect in order to further the best interest of justice involved youth. Members support and encourage programs that develop knowledge, skills, and abilities directly relevant to juvenile justice services. Members demand regular and periodic feedback regarding their job performance, career goals, as well as opportunities for continuous professional development.

Members understand that the important component of juvenile justice services is the relationship between staff and youth. Members emphasize training and skill acquisition in the area of interpersonal communication.

Members are concerned with providing the highest quality of care. In keeping with this concern, members contribute to the performance improvement process consistent with nationally recognized juvenile justice standards and encourage others to contribute in this process as well. Members perform their duties in a non-intrusive and respectful manner. Members do not permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence their decisions. Members implement programs without fear or favor, without malice or preferential treatment. Members consistently respect the personal safety and boundaries of youth and co-workers and utilize appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Members utilize the least restrictive intervention available to ensure the safety of the youth as well as the immediate community.

  • Avoiding any interest or activity that conflicts with or that produces undue personal gain through the execution of official duties.

Members refrain from any task or relationship that is or could be viewed as conflicting with job responsibilities. Conflicts occur when an individual’s obligation to meet their professional responsibility to their clients, their employer or the Partnership are at odds with the individual’s own personal or financial interests.

Members must understand their role in developing the independence of youth in their care. Therefore, members value the human worth of these youth by steadfastly refusing to behave in a manner which satisfies their personal needs at the expense of youth.

Members must not engage in any activity which may result in or be perceived as a financial conflict.

Members must abstain from voting on any matters which may create or be perceived as a conflict of interest.

  • Safeguarding the confidentiality of youth.

Members adhere to all legal requirements, standards and policies regarding issues of confidentiality for justice involved youth. Members refrain from identifying youth and discussing specific problems and incidents outside the context of their official duties.

  • Advocating for the legal and ethical rights of youth.

Members advocate for policies that ensure the legal and human rights of justice involved youth. Members educate justice involved youth, professionals and others about policies and practices that either promote or violate these rights. Members refuse to remain silent when these rights are violated, and they speak on behalf of the affected youths.

Members support the rights of justice involved youth to be served in a psychologically and physically safe and secure environment.

  • Eliminating all forms of unethical and illegal behavior.

As representatives of the juvenile justice system, members are committed to promoting legal and ethical standards of behavior. Therefore, members will confront and report illegal or unethical behaviors that occur in any juvenile justice setting. Members are committed to upholding ethical standards that transcend issues of friendship, efficiency, and loyalty to their agency.

Members do not tolerate acts of discrimination, theft, or any form of child abuse (i.e., physical, mental, or sexual), and advocate for the removal from the profession those individuals who condone or engage in such behaviors.

  • Maintaining an optimum level of physical conditioning and mental alertness.

Members realize that working with juvenile offenders is a highly stressful profession. Part of this stress derives from the potential for physical interventions. Members maintain an optimum level of physical conditioning in order to respond to physical situations in the most efficient manner. Members realize that both staff and residents are less likely to be injured when staff are trained, in good physical condition, and psychologically prepared to control any situation.

Members take responsibility for maintaining their physical and psychological wellness in order to provide optimal levels of safety, security, and helpful services for youth in their care.

Members realize that working with youth is a challenging and sometimes stressful profession. The stress that can be associated with juvenile justice service may affect the mental attitude and physical health of staff. In order to provide optimal levels of care and supervision, members consistently maintain a high degree of mental alertness and an awareness of both youth and the environment. Members also maintain an optimal level of physical fitness in order to respond safely and appropriately to situations that may require physical intervention.

Members support and encourage training and continuing education for juvenile justice staff in stress management and other mental and physical health practices. Members endorse and encourage the development of support groups among staff within the juvenile justice system to provide an appropriate forum to ventilate frustrations, to discuss problem situations, to share ideas that work, and to rejuvenate.

Adapted from the National Juvenile Detention Association Code of Ethics, July 10, 2012.

ACA Code Of Ethics

Preamble

The American Correctional Association expects of its members unfailing honesty, respect for the dignity and individuality of human beings and a commitment to professional and compassionate service. To this end, we subscribe to the following principles.

  1. Members shall respect and protect the civil and legal rights of all individuals.
  2. Members shall treat every professional situation with concern for the welfare of the individuals involved and with no intent to personal gain.
  3. Members shall maintain relationships with colleagues to promote mutual respect within the profession and improve the quality of service.
  4. Members shall make public criticism of their colleagues or their agencies only when warranted, verifiable, and constructive.
  5. Members shall respect the importance of all disciplines within the criminal justice system and work to improve cooperation with each segment.
  6. Members shall honor the public's right to information and share information with the public to the extent permitted by law subject to individuals' right to privacy.
  7. Members shall respect and protect the right of the public to be safeguarded from criminal activity.
  8. Members shall refrain from using their positions to secure personal privileges or advantages.
  9. Members shall refrain from allowing personal interest to impair objectivity in the performance of duty while acting in an official capacity.
  10. Members shall refrain from entering into any formal or informal activity or agreement which presents a conflict of interest or is inconsistent with the conscientious performance of duties.
  11. Members shall refrain from accepting any gifts, services, or favors that is or appears to be improper or implies an obligation inconsistent with the free and objective exercise of professional duties.
  12. Members shall clearly differentiate between personal views/statements and views/statements/positions made on behalf of the agency or Association.
  13. Members shall report to appropriate authorities any corrupt or unethical behaviors in which there is sufficient evidence to justify review.
  14. Members shall refrain from discriminating against any individual because of race, gender, creed, national origin, religious affiliation, age, disability, or any other type of prohibited discrimination.
  15. Members shall preserve the integrity of private information; they shall refrain from seeking information on individuals beyond that which is necessary to implement responsibilities and perform their duties; members shall refrain from revealing nonpublic information unless expressly authorized to do so.
  16. Members shall make all appointments, promotions, and dismissals in accordance with established civil service rules, applicable contract agreements, and individual merit, rather than furtherance of personal interests.
  17. Members shall respect, promote, and contribute to a work place that is safe, healthy, and free of harassment in any form.

Adopted by the Board of Governors and Delegate Assembly in August 1994.

Specialized practitioners who work in a confinement setting (e.g., medical and mental health staff) may have a code of ethics meant to guide practice in those more specialized areas. Counseling staff may be guided by the ACA, the National Association of Social Work (NASW), the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), or the American Psychological Association (APA) Code of Ethics. The code by which counseling staff may be guided will depend on any number of factors that may include the practitioner’s educational background, the professional group through which the practitioner is licensed and the individual’s personal preference.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) both have codes of ethics; however, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) says that, while nurses in traditional medical settings may only occasionally face ethical dilemmas, “In contrast, the correctional nurse may face ethical situations daily…about care delivery, caring and patient advocacy in planning and providing safe patient care.”[26] The NCCHC encourages nurses to refer to the ANA Code of Ethics, which has specific scope and standards of practice for nursing in correctional settings.

Performance Evaluations

The performance evaluation is just one step in an overall performance management system. This system includes the development of position-specific job descriptions; the identification of standards for performance related to the job description that can be rated such as the amount and quality of work, effort, or employee tasks necessary to reach a predetermined level of performance; and processes for addressing performance issues that may range from coaching to progressive discipline.

Writing a quality job description sets the stage for a quality performance evaluation, as the criteria on which an employee’s performance is evaluated should be directly related to the job functions outlined in the job description. In The Job Description Handbook, Margie Mader-Clark says,

Because a good job description tells employees exactly what they are expected to accomplish, employees won’t be able to argue later that you surprised them by using unexpected factors to measure their performance. And because every employee in the same position will be rated on the same performance factors, it will be more difficult for an employee to claim that you were unfairly harsh or imposed additional requirements on him or her—an argument that can form the basis for a discrimination lawsuit.[27]

Performance evaluations typically use some form of rating system. One of the most common rating systems used in performance evaluations is a numeric system. For example:

1 = Employee has failed to meet expectations.

2 = Employee is below performance expectations.

3 = Employee meets expectations with average performance.

4 = Employee exceeds expectations with an above average performance level.

5 = Employee far exceeds expected job performance.

If used correctly, this method of evaluation can be a useful tool to motivate employees. However, if the employee only receives is a numeric rating, this process is of little value. Without a descriptive narrative to put the rating in context, this scale will be of little value to the employee or the employer. Employers need to discuss with employees the overall ratings and provide specific information regarding the criteria that was used to determine the rating for 1) the employee to know what to do to improve his or her performance and 2) the employer to be clear about what the organization can do to help the employee improve and add value to the organization.

Performance issues identified in the performance evaluation should never be a surprise to the employee, as these issues should have been recognized and addressed in advance of the regularly scheduled performance evaluation. When employees have opportunities for ongoing feedback (e.g., weekly or monthly check-ins with supervisors), concerns about performance can be addressed much more quickly. Once performance issues are identified, whenever reasonable to do so, supervisors should invest coaching, mentoring, or other productive approaches to correcting employee performance. These approaches provide the employee with the opportunity to receive support and feedback and make progress on the issue, in which case, formal disciplinary action may not be needed.

When and if formal disciplinary action is required, whenever reasonable, a process of progressive discipline should be used. The goal of progressive discipline is to improve employee performance and entails the following steps:

  • Counseling the employee about the performance issue, including dialogue to understand whether any specific issues or problems contributing to the employee’s poor performance. This process is documented in the employee’s personnel file with the employee’s signature to demonstrate his or her understanding of the issue and the correction needed.
  • Written warnings outlining consequences for an employee’s continued failure to meet performance expectations and provision of a formal performance improvement plan if needed. A written warning should outline potential progressive discipline up to and including termination if corrective action is not taken.
  • Suspensions, either paid or unpaid, pending are a recommended component of a discipline progression. Suspensions should be used in response to serious workplace issues and instituted consistent with federal, state and local wage-and-hour employment laws [and labor contracts where applicable].
  • Final written warnings are a step in progressive discipline that may or may not accompany a suspension and are often a last step before termination of an employee. However, steps in progressive discipline may be combined or skipped depending on the specific situation or circumstances involved.[28]

Although a process for progressive discipline is important, it may not be appropriate in all cases; some situations may be serious enough to require immediate termination.

Ken Lloyd’s book, Performance Appraisals and Phrases for Dummies, provides a “Cheat Sheet” with the following tips for preparing, conducting, and following-up after performance evaluations. The following are key points addressed in this resource. Preparing for the performance evaluation:

  • See yourself as a leader in order to be objective.
  • Expect that the performance evaluation process will go smoothly, effectively, and productively.
  • Spend time with employees so that your feedback will be more accurate and acceptable to the employee.
  • Know exactly how the performance evaluation process works.
  • Schedule performance evaluations, planning for each of the steps needed to complete the process.
  • Collect and review all relevant information to inform the evaluation, including the employee’s job description.
  • Begin completing the evaluation form with comments about the employee’s performance before selecting performance ratings.
  • Schedule enough time for discussion and to answer employee questions.

Conducting the performance evaluation:

  • Open the discussion on an upbeat note to set a positive tone.
  • Explain the topics to be covered and the order in which they will be addressed.
  • Invite questions.
  • Focus on the employee’s performance.
  • Provide a specific rationale for the performance ratings.
  • Listen actively, rephrasing and summarizing to ensure understanding.
  • End the discussion with positive expectations, inviting questions and scheduling any needed follow-up

Follow up after the performance evaluation:

  • Set specific performance goals moving forward.
  • Set professional development goals focused on building and further developing the employee’s skills and abilities.
  • Create real goals that are specific, achievable, measurable, and prioritized, including action plans related to goal achievement.
  • Spend time observing employee performance and maintain ongoing contact, communication, and feedback.
  • Recognize quality performance, providing coaching guidance, direction, and feedback as needed.
  • Be a role model, leading by example.[29]

Though there is some controversy related to the value and importance of performance evaluations and the frequency with which they should be conducted, the ACA standards on “Performance Evaluation of Probationary Staff and Annual Performance Rating for All Staff” say that “performance appraisals shall be implemented by the Director to encourage each staff member to evaluate his/her own work habits. Annual appraisals shall be required for all non-probationary staff.” This standard goes on to prescribe the following for inclusion in a facility’s performance evaluation system, all of which have been addressed in this chapter:

  • Establishing performance standards that objectively and accurately evaluate job performance (performance standards directly connected to job functions listed in the job description; focus on employee performance).
  • Communicating to each staff member both the performance standards and critical elements of his or her position (job description, facility and program orientation, policies and procedures, post orders).
  • Evaluating staff performance during the appraisal/evaluation period (ongoing feedback and communication; performance issues addressed as they arise).
  • Recognizing and rewarding staff members whose performance warrants it (merit pay increases, promotions, facility employee recognition processes, “atta boys/girls”).
  • Assisting in improving unacceptable performance (performance counseling, mentoring, coaching, and training as needed and appropriate).
  • Reassigning, reducing in grade, or removing any staff member who continues to perform on an unacceptable level, but only after he/she is given an opportunity to demonstrate acceptable performance (progressive discipline that include demotion or termination for cause).

Practitioner Certification

Practitioner certification is gaining momentum across fields of practice and around the world, and the field of corrections is no exception. A number of professional associations, institutions of higher education, and other organizations and groups offer various levels of certification ranging from entry or basic level to professional and advanced certification.

Webster’s dictionary defines certification as “the act of making something official” and “official approval to do something professionally or legally.” Certifications in the field of corrections are primarily professional rather than legal. The following is a sampling of the professional certifications available to practitioners who work in the field of corrections.

  • NPJS sponsors the Certified Juvenile Services Practitioner (CJSP) certification. Through this process, NPJS recognizes practitioners in the field who have achieved the levels of education, training, and experience necessary to indicate a basic understanding and knowledge of the field of juvenile justice and the work required in a juvenile confinement setting. Applications and the requirements for the CJSP certificate are available at the NPJS website.
  • The ACA offers four levels of corrections staff certification ranging from Certified Corrections Officer (CCO) to Certified Corrections Executive (CCE). In addition, the ACA offers special certifications related to working with Security Threat Groups (STG), three levels of certification in healthcare, and a provisional certification (CCO/P) for those individuals who have yet to pass the CCO exam and may not have secured a full-time position in a corrections-related agency. Detailed information about ACA certifications is available at the ACA website.
  • The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) offers four different categories of the Certified Corrections Health Professional (CCHP) certification. Detailed information about NCCHC certifications is available at the NCCHC website.
  • The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University has recently begun offering a Youth in Custody Certificate Program focused on assisting public and private sector leaders in juvenile justice, child welfare, and other systems of care that serve justice-involved youth. The goal is to affect systemic change and improved outcomes for youth in custody. Additional information about the Youth in Custody Certificate Program is available at the Center’s website.

A number of states now offer programs to that certify youth workers regardless of where they practice. State-supported youth work certification programs range from basic- to intermediate-level certification and are available in many states including Indiana, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Since 2008, a national certification for child and youth care professionals, the Child and Youth Care—Professional (CYC-P), has been available through the Child and Youth Care Certification Board. This national certification program, established by the Association for Child and Youth Care Practice (ACYCP) is an effort to increase quality standards and the effectiveness and safety of programs serving children, youth, and families across disciplines and practice settings in the United States.

Practitioner certification provides benefits to both juvenile justice practitioners and the facilities and agencies in which they work. Benefits of certification for practitioners include professional recognition of education, job-related training, and experience and the possibility of greater access to opportunities for employment and advancement. A benefit of certification to facility and agency administrators is assurance that employees or applicants for employment that are certified have at least a basic understanding and knowledge of the field of juvenile justice, the work required in a juvenile confinement setting, or youth work in general, depending on the specific type of certification. Certification of staff may also provide facilities and agencies with some level of protection from liability.

Finally, certification provides increased motivation for employees to participate in training and professional development opportunities, as most practitioner certifications require ongoing training and membership in a job-related professional membership association for annual, biannual or other intervals of re-certification.

Maintaining and Growing the Workforce

Although the availability and recruitment of quality staff for work with youth in a confinement setting is a challenge, often the greater challenge is in retaining these staff. Staff turnover has far-reaching negative effects on the implementation, continuity, and consistency of programming; staff morale and burnout; budgetary resources related to higher rates of overtime and the costs of continually hiring and training new staff; and, ultimately, potential outcomes for the youth being served.

Historically, little research has been done on turnover in the juvenile justice workforce. However, in recent years, this topic has become of interest to a number of researchers and to professional organizations such as the ACA. In 2003, with grant funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the ACA began a three-phase project—Discovery Phase, Create Phase, Implementation Phase—entitled A 21st Century Workforce for America’s Correctional Profession (the Project). The focus of the Project is on developing a workforce plan for strengthening recruitment and improving rates of retention of qualified correctional staff. Though the Project is ongoing, reports on Phase One and a portion of Phase Two were released in 2004 and 2009 respectively.[30]

Academic research has been conducted looking at things such as The Influence of Individual, Job, and Organizational Characteristics on Correctional Staff Job Stress, Job Satisfaction, and Organizational Commitment[31] and Predictors of Turnover Intention Among Staff in Juvenile Correctional Facilities: The Relevance of Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment.[32]

Some of the findings from research point out a number of factors that impact recruitment and retention about which most facility administrators are already aware.

  • Correctional confinement is an ill-defined profession not typically identified as a desirable career choice.
  • The pay is inadequate compared to other jobs in the criminal justice system.
  • Confinement facility staff have demanding hours that require 24-hour shift work and overtime.

Some of these factors are or may seem to be beyond the control of a facility administrator. The individuals that approve facility budgets rarely have a clear understanding of the staff, services, and programmatic and other needs of a confinement facility to inform their decision-making. The need for shift work and overtime in a facility that must operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is beyond the control of the administrator. However, there are many things facility administrators can do to lessen the impacts of the factors they cannot control.

Based on information contained in the studies mentioned above, the following are strategies that may positively impact employee retention and grow the workforce, many of which have been mentioned previously in this chapter.

  • Develop creative recruitment materials using staff and, if appropriate, youth testimonials about the work being done at the facility (electronic formats, targeted workshops, presentations) to appeal to the various generations represented in the job market.
  • Assume that everyone you meet is looking for a job and market to those individuals who seem interested and suited to the work.
  • Develop a quality orientation and pre-service training program to effectively prepare new staff for the job, assigning appropriate veteran staff to serve as mentors and coaches to these individuals. Mentors and coaches should have clear expectations about their role and recognition for fulfilling this commitment.
  • Put in place internal and external employee recognition programs that may include judicial and media recognition of the work staff have done, material rewards such as gift certificates or premium parking, and additional training or conference attendance.
  • Use a suggestion box and electronic or other surveys, along with regular direct contact with employees, to solicit feedback about what is great and what is difficult about the their job, what they would like to have, change, or get rid of in the workplace that would make it better, etc. Implement appropriate changes and explain clearly anything you cannot do or change and why.
  • If available, provide longevity pay for long-term staff and shift differentials for those staff who work the least desirable and most difficult to fill shifts.
  • Ensure that all staff are aware of opportunities for promotion and the requirements to qualify for promotion; support the staff’s access to education and other means of satisfying requirements that may help staff become eligible for promotion.
  • Provide information and easy access to employee benefit programs such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that address stress management and other issues related or leading to burnout. Ask EAP or facility mental health staff to facilitate staff training on caregiver burnout and appropriate self-care. Make direct referrals to these programs when there is a need.
  • Access the services of EAP staff in response to facility or community-based crisis situations that may impact the staffs’ ability to effectively meet the needs of youth and the facility (e.g., in the event of the suicide of a youth or staff, following the suicide of youth known to facility residents).
  • Conduct exit interviews with staff who voluntarily end their employment to better understand why they leave and what administration might do differently to increase organizational commitment and job satisfaction for employees. Exit interviews may be facilitated by a third party such as the sitting judge, members of the facility or agency’s Advisory Board, human resource staff, etc.

Building Future Leaders

Every profession must intentionally and proactively invest in building its future leadership. Generational changes in the workforce require new and innovative ideas and perspectives in leadership. (See Ch. 8 Management and Facility Administration: Leadership and Capacity Building)

The NIC 2005 publication entitled Correctional Leadership Competencies for the 21st Century: Executives and Senior-Level Leaders identifies a set of core competencies for executive and senior-level leaders, a summary of which is provided below.[33]

Self-Awareness. A key aspect of self-awareness is understanding one’s personal strengths and weaknesses, understanding why you are the way you are and knowing how your strengths and weaknesses affect others and your ability to reach your goals.[34]

Ethics and Values. Ethics encompasses the standards for evaluating right and wrong and the person qualities that sustain the ability to make and act on these judgments. Ethical standards guide decisions and focus behavior for right or wrong action.

Values include principles, qualities, or aspects of life that individuals believe possess intrinsic goodness or worth.[35] 

Vision and Mission. The vision describes what the organization wants to do or where it wants to go and projects an ideal future that may not be attainable.

The mission describes what the organization will do to achieve the vision and should be attainable and measurable.[36]

Strategic Thinking. This is the ability to recognize the relationships, complexities, and implications of a situation; anticipate possibilities; and plan what to do.[37]

Managing the External Environment. For correctional executives and senior-level managers, this involves interacting with citizens and interest groups, collaborating with other public agencies, acquiring necessary resources, maintaining a productive place in the criminal justice system, and applying effective techniques and strategies to build public and media relations.[38]

Power and Influence. Power is the ability to understand organizational politics and to influence others to achieve a desired outcome.

Influence is finding and using the most effective and prudent methods for altering an organization’s or an individual’s beliefs and behavior to implement decisions and achieve desired outcomes.[39]

Strategic Planning and Performance Management. Strategic planning is the process of developing a comprehensive plan that provides leadership, direction, and resource prioritization to ensure that the intended visions, mission, goals, and objectives of a correctional agency/organization are met.

Performance management is the process of establishing measures that describe how success in achieving the organization’s mission will be measured and tracked.[40]

Collaboration. In its broadest meaning, collaboration is a reciprocally beneficial association between two or more participants who work toward shared goals by equally distributing responsibility, authority, and accountability.[41]

Team Building. Teams are basic workplace units. Natural work teams might be shifts in a confinement facility, while project teams are shorter term and established to achieve a specific goal.[42]

In 2006 the NIC published a second report, Correctional Leadership Competencies for the 21st Century: Manager and Supervisor Levels, which identifies a set of core competencies for managerial and supervisory staff.[43] In addition to identifying core competencies, along with the key skills and behaviors related to them, the NIC also developed a knowledge base to help correctional leaders better understand each competency. The information compiled in these documents is intended to serve as a tool for use by staff at the NIC to enhance its leadership training programs and to assist individual correctional agencies to identify candidates for leadership training. In addition, “Correctional agencies/organizations will be able to use the competencies identified in these documents to improve their recruitment and selection processes, in the placement and retention of current employees, in succession planning for leadership positions, and in staff development.”[44]

Conclusion

The most important and valuable resources for confinement facilities that serve youth are the very special people who work and serve in these facilities. Facility administrators must identify and recruit well-qualified staff and prepare and maintain a well-trained and committed workforce.

Staff that serve youth must be able to follow facility policies and procedures, be good problem solvers, and, when the use of discretion is required, they must be guided by their own conscience within the context of an ethical code. To be effective, staff working with youth in confinement must be optimistic, believe in the ability of young people to change, and be keen observers of behavior. They must respect both coworkers and youth and show a genuine care and concern for the young people in their care.

 

References

American Correctional Association. 1991. Standards for Juvenile Detention Facilities. 3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Author.

American Correctional Association. 2002. Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions. 4th ed. Lanham, MD: Author.

American Correctional Association. 2008. Performance-Based Standards for Juvenile Correctional Facilities. 4th ed. Alexandria, VA: Author.

American Correctional Association. 2010. Core Jail Standards. Alexandria, VA: Author.

Baker, N., and M. Carerra. 2007. “Unlocking the Door to Relationship-based Corrections Recruitment.” Corrections Today 69, no. 3: 36–38. https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=239448.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook.” https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Protective-Service/Correctional-officers.htm.

Campbell, Nancy M. 2005. Correctional Leadership Competencies for the 21st Century: Executives and Senior-Level Leaders. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections. https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.nicic.gov/Library/020474.pdf.

Campbell, Nancy M. 2006. Correctional Leadership Competencies for the 21st Century: Manager and Supervisor Levels. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections. https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.nicic.gov/Library/020475.pdf.

Christy, J.T. 1989. “A Curriculum for Training Detention Staff.” Journal for Juvenile Justice and Detention Services 4: 23–29.

Howe, M., E. Clawson, and J. Larivee. 2007. “The 21st Century Juvenile Justice Workforce.” Corrections Today 69, no. 1: 34–39.

Indiana University. “Progressive Discipline.” https://hr.iu.edu/relations/ca/progressive.html.

Lambert, Eric G., and Eugene A. Paoline. 2008. “The Influence of Individual, Job, and Organizational Characteristics on Correctional Staff Job Stress, Job Satisfaction, and Organizational Commitment.” Criminal Justice Review 33, no. 4: 541–564.

Lloyd, Ken. 2009. Performance Appraisals & Phrases for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Mader-Clark, Margie. 2008. The Job Description Handbook, 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: Nolo.

Mattingly, Martha A., Carol Stewart, and Karen VanderVen, eds. 2010.Competencies for Professional Child & Youth Work Practitioners, (Revised). College Station, TX: Child and Youth Care Certification Board.

Matz, Adam K., James B. Wells, Kevin I. Minor, and Earl Angel. 2013. “Predictors of Turnover Intention Among Staff in Juvenile Correctional Facilities: The Relevance of Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment.” Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 11, no. 2: 115–131.

Merriam-Webster, s.v. "certification." https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/certification.

Merriam-Webster, s.v. "profession." http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/profession.

Merriam-Webster, s.v. "professional." https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/professional.

Merriam-Webster, s.v. "professionalism." http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/professionalism.

Mixdorf, L., and R. Rosetti. 1992. Responsibilities and Training (From Juvenile Caseworker: Resource Guide. NCJ 138674). Washington, DC: National Criminal Justice Reporting Service: 14–19.

Murphy, M. 2012. Hiring for Attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting Star Performers with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude. New York: McGraw-Hill.

National Commission on Correctional Health Care. 2014. “Ethical and Legal Issues.” https://www.ncchc.org/cnp-ethical-legal.

National Juvenile Justice Network. 2012. “Using Adolescent Brain Research to Inform Policy: A Guide for Juvenile Justice Advocates.” http://www.njjn.org/uploads/digital-library/Brain-Development-Policy-Paper_Updated_FINAL-9-27-12.pdf.

National Research Council. 2013. Report Brief: Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach. Washington, DC: The National Academies.

PREA Resource Center. 2012. “Juvenile Facility Standards.” Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 28 CFR 115.5–115.501. https://www.prearesourcecenter.org/sites/default/files/library/preafinalstandardstype-juveniles.pdf.

Roush, D.W., and J.D. Hudzik. 1994. The Indiana Youth Care Worker Inventory: A Training Needs Assessment Report and Implications for Juvenile Detention Training. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

Roush, D.W. 1996. Juvenile Detention Training Needs Assessment: Research Report. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Workforce Associates, Inc. 2009. Correctional Workforce Project: Phase II Report of a Survey and Analysis Commissioned by the American Correctional Association. Indianapolis, IN: Author.

 

Bibliography

Adler, L. 2013. The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired. Lexington, KY: Workbench Media.

Roush, David W. 1996. Juvenile Detention Training Needs Assessment: Research Report. NCJ 156833. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention.

Roush, David W., and Michael McMillen. 2000. Construction, Operations, and Staff Training for Juvenile Confinement Facilities. NCJ 178928. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention.

Workforce Associates, Inc. 2004. A 21st Century Workforce for America’s Correctional Profession. (Phase I). Indianapolis, IN: Author.

  

Endnotes


[1] Merriam-Webster, s.v. “professionalism.”

[2] National Research Council, Reforming Juvenile Justice, A Developmental Approach, (Washington, DC, The National Academies Press, 2013).; Martha A. Mattingly, Carol Stewart, and Karen VanderVen, eds. Competencies for Professional Child & Youth Work Practitioners, (Revised) (College Station, TX: Child and Youth Care Certification Board, 2010).

[3] M. Howe, E. Clawson, and J. Larivee, “The 21st Century Juvenile Justice Workforce,” Corrections Today 69, no. 1 (2007), 34–39.

[4] Ernest L.V. Shelley, Ph.D., is best remembered as a champion of volunteer services who served the correctional community in Michigan. He developed treatment programs for the Michigan Department of Corrections and concluded his professional career as the chair of the Department of Psychology at Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan. After retiring, Dr. Shelley remained active through volunteer service, speaking engagements, and his writing. He influenced many people in juvenile detention and corrections through his dynamic teachings and his affable personality. He was awarded posthumously the 1986 C.A. Zott Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Juvenile Detention Association

[5] See the following sampling of websites related to corrections as a profession, https://www.corrections.com/articles/25158https://www.aca.orghttps://www.icpa.ca.

[6] Sampling of certification websites; https://cjjr.georgetown.edu/certprogs/certificates.htmlhttps://www.aca.org/certification/

[7] Howe, Clawson, and Larivee, “The 21st Century Juvenile Justice Workforce,” 35.

[8] Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Outlook Handbook.”

[9] L. Mixdorf and R. Rosetti, Responsibilities and Training, (Washington, DC: National Criminal Justice Reporting Service, 1992).

[10] Personal communication with Earl Dunlap dated October 16, 2013.

[11] Margie Mader-Clark, The Job Description Handbook, 2nd ed., (Berkeley, CA: Nolo, 2008).

[12] J.T. Christy, “A Curriculum for Training Detention Staff,” Journal for Juvenile Justice and Detention Services, 4 (1989): 23–29.

[13] D. W. Roush and J.D. Hudzik, The Indiana Youth Care Worker Inventory: A Training Needs Assessment Report and Implications for Juvenile Detention Training, (Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, 1994).

[14] N. Baker and M. Carerra, “Unlocking the Door to Relationship-based Corrections Recruitment,” Corrections Today 69, no. 3 (2007): 36–38.

[16] One example of video-based testing currently being used at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center is IMPACT offered by Ergometrics, which may be found at https://www.ergometrics.org/impact.cfm.

[17] M. Murphy, Hiring for Attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting Star Performers with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012): xi.

[18] Ibid., 207–209.

[19] PREA Resource Center, “Juvenile Facility Standards,” 28 CFR 115.317, (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice).

[20] EEOC Prohibited Employment Policies/Practices may be found at https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/index.cfm.

[21] D.W. Roush, Juvenile Detention Training Needs Assessment: Research Report, (Washington, DC: OJJDP, 1996).

[22] American Correctional Association, Standards for Juvenile Detention Facilities.; Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions.; Performance-Based Standards for Juvenile Correctional Facilities.; Core Jail Standards.

[23] National Juvenile Justice Network, “Using Adolescent Brain Research to Inform Policy: A Guide for Juvenile Justice Advocates,” (2012).

[24] PREA Resource Center, “Juvenile Facility Standards,” (28 CFR 115.31 – Employee Training) (Docket no. OAG-131, 2012).

[25] For more information about American Correctional Association facility standards, see https://www.aca.org/ACA_Member/Standards___Accreditation/About_Us/ACA/ACA_Member/Standards_and_Accreditation/SAC_AboutUs.aspx.

[26] National Commission on Correctional Health Care, “Ethical and Legal Issues.”

[27] Mader-Clark, The Job Description Handbook, 19.

[28] Indiana University, “Progressive Discipline.”

[29] Ken Lloyd, Performance Appraisals & Phrases for Dummies, (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2009). The entire Cheat Sheet may be found at https://www.dummies.com/article/business-careers-money/business/human-resources/performance-appraisals-phrases-for-dummies-cheat-sheet-209493.

[30] Workforce Associates, Inc., A 21st Century Workforce for America’s Correctional Profession, Phase One, (Indianapolis, IN: Author, 2004).; Workforce Associates, Inc., Correctional Workforce Project: Phase II Report of a Survey and Analysis Commissioned by the American Correctional Association, (Indianapolis, IN: Author, 2009).

[31] Eric G. Lambert and Eugene A. Paoline, “The Influence of Individual, Job, and Organizational Characteristics on Correctional Staff Job Stress, Job Satisfaction, and Organizational Commitment,” Criminal Justice Review 33, no. 4 (2008): 541–564.

[32] Adam K. Matz, James B. Wells, Kevin I. Minor, and Earl Angel, “Predictors of Turnover Intention Among Staff in Juvenile Correctional Facilities: The Relevance of Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment,” Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 11, no. 2 (2013): 115–131.

[33] Nancy M. Campbell, Correctional Leadership Competencies for the 21st Century: Executives and Senior-Level Leaders, (Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections, 2005).

[34] Ibid., 25.

[35] Ibid., 49.

[36] Ibid., 69.

[37] Ibid., 89.

[38] Ibid., 113.

[39] Ibid., 129.

[40] Ibid., 153.

[41] Ibid., 187.

[42] Ibid., 205.

[43] Nancy M. Campbell, Correctional Leadership Competencies for the 21st Century: Manager and Supervisor Levels, (Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections, 2006).

[44] Ibid.

Ch.5 Rights and Responsibilities of Youth, Families, and Staff

Ch.5 Rights and Responsibilities of Youth, Families, and Staff web_admin Thu, 12/23/2021 - 16:03

Author: Michael Umpierre, Esq.

Youth in juvenile detention and correctional facilities and adult jails and prisons have a multitude of legal rights that staff must take great care to respect. The rights of youth residents—such as the right to education; medical and mental healthcare; due process; access to families, counsel, and the courts; and safe and humane treatment—stem from various sources including the U.S. Constitution, federal laws, state constitutions and laws, and case law determined by the courts. Facility personnel must protect these rights or otherwise be subject to costly litigation, judicial oversight, and financial and administrative sanctions imposed by entities such as the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Facility staff can best safeguard the rights of youth residents by 1) understanding and abiding by constitutional, federal, and state legal requirements and 2) acting with professional judgment and in accordance with accepted professional standards and best practices. Though not exhaustive, this chapter presents an overview of the key laws, regulations, and standards that establish the rights and responsibilities of youth, families, and staff.

Constitutional Rights

The U.S. Constitution affords youth in custody with a wide range of rights. It is incumbent on facility staff to protect these rights, not only to meet best practice standards, but also to limit legal liability. The constitutional rights of youth include:

  • Due process
  • Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment
  • Equal protection
  • Free speech
  • Free exercise of religion
  • Counsel

Right to Due Process

The due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution provides that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Courts have held that the due process clause affords youth in detention and correctional facilities with a number of rights, including the right to safe conditions,[1] education,[2] and adequate medical and mental healthcare.[3] Additionally, the Supreme Court has ruled that the due process clause prohibits the punishment of all detainees prior to an adjudication of guilt.[4] This means that individuals held in pre-trial detention, including youth prosecuted as adults, cannot be subjected to conditions amounting to punishment, such as excessive use of force, deprivation of basic necessities, or other measures not reasonably related to legitimate governmental interests. Most courts also apply this analysis more broadly to cases involving youth held in juvenile detention and correctional facilities, as juvenile justice proceedings are civil in nature and do not result in criminal convictions.

Right to Be Free from Cruel and Unusual Punishment

The 8th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual punishments.” Typically applied in conditions of confinement cases in adult prisons, the 8th Amendment protects a resident’s right to basic care, such as adequate food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. In evaluating whether a condition is cruel and unusual, courts generally assess whether the condition imposes a substantial risk of serious harm and whether officials acted with “deliberate indifference” (a conscious or reckless disregard of the consequences of one’s acts or omissions) to the resident’s rights.[5]

Right to Equal Protection

The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits states from denying “any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Accordingly, government-operated or contracted institutions, including detention and correctional facilities, cannot discriminate on the basis of race or gender without a sufficiently legitimate government interest. Facilities should ensure that programs, services, and privileges are provided equally regardless of residents’ race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Right to Free Speech

The 1st Amendment to the Constitution also prohibits the making of any law “abridging the freedom of speech.” The Supreme Court has held that the 1st Amendment applies to the states, and specifically that residents in juvenile and adult detention and correctional facilities maintain the freedom of speech.[6] Facilities may limit residents’ speech, but only to the extent necessary to achieve a substantial governmental interest, such as maintaining security.

Right to Free Exercise of Religion

According to the free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Courts have ruled that pursuant to the 1st Amendment, residents of juvenile and adult detention and correctional facilities have the right to exercise their sincerely held religious beliefs.[7] Under certain circumstances, facilities may limit this right, and the Supreme Court has listed the following factors to be considered when determining the validity of such a regulation: 1) whether the regulation is “reasonably related to legitimate penological interests,” 2) whether the resident has alternative ways to exercise his beliefs, 3) whether accommodating the resident’s religious exercise would have a significant “ripple effect” on other residents or staff, and 4) whether there is an alternative to the regulation that would accommodate the resident’s rights at “de minimis cost to valid penological interests.”[8] Courts have held that maintaining safety and security may constitute a legitimate or valid penological interest in this context.[9]

Right to Counsel

Pursuant to the 6th Amendment to the Constitution, criminal defendants, including youth prosecuted as adults, have the right to an attorney.[10] Youth involved in juvenile delinquency matters also maintain the right to counsel, given 14th Amendment due process protections.[11] Accordingly, detention and correctional facility staff are responsible for protecting residents’ access to counsel, including by allowing them to meet and speak by phone with their attorneys.

Federal Laws and Regulations

In addition to the rights established by the Constitution, several federal statutes and regulations impact the work of facilities that house youth. Some of the most important federal laws with which facility staff should be familiar include:

  • Section 1983 of Title 42 of the U.S. Code.
  • Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).
  • Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980 (CRIPA).
  • Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.
  • Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA).
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  • Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA).

Section 1983 of Title 42 of the U.S. Code

Enacted as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, Section 1983 of Title 42 of the U.S. Code is a federal statute that allows citizens to sue government officials for violations of their constitutional and federal rights. It provides in part the following:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.[12]

Under Section 1983, youth in juvenile and adult detention and correctional facilities may bring litigation against facility staff for violations of their civil rights. The statute provides a wide basis for lawsuits, and, historically, claims raised against facilities have focused on issues such as unsafe conditions, cruel and unusual punishment, excessive use of force, and inadequate medical and mental healthcare. If staff members are found liable for violating youth’s rights, courts may award money damages or order other types of remedies, such as changes in facility policies or procedures.

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA)

Enacted in 1974 and amended several times subsequently, the JJDPA is the landmark law through which the federal government sets juvenile justice standards and provides state funding for research, training and technical assistance, and evaluation. To receive funding under the JJDPA, state agencies that operate detention and correctional facilities must comply with the following four core requirements:

  1. Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders. This requirement mandates that youth who are charged with or have committed status offenses—that is, offenses that would not be criminal if committed by adults, such as truancy or curfew violations—cannot be held in secure detention and correctional facilities. Additionally the requirement specifies that non-offenders, defined as juveniles who are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for matters other than delinquency, such as dependent or neglected children, may not be detained in these facilities.[13]
  2. Removal of Juveniles from Adult Jails and Lockups. Under this requirement, states may not detain youth under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court in any adult jail or lockup. Limited exceptions apply such as holding youth for not more than six hours for processing, release, or transfer to a juvenile facility or while they make a court appearance, or holding youth awaiting an initial court appearance in a “rural” area for not more than 48 hours, but only if no acceptable alternative placement exists.[14]
  3. Sight and Sound Separation of Juveniles from Adults in Institutions. In the limited circumstances that youth under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court can be held in adult jails or lockups, this requirement prohibits them from having any contact with adult detainees. At all times these youth must be separated from adult detainees by “sight and sound”—in a manner that prevents youth from hearing or seeing adults. Additionally, the law requires that “there is in effect in the state a policy that requires individuals who work with both such juveniles and such adult inmates, including in collocated facilities, [to] have been trained and certified to work with juveniles.”[15]
  4. Reduction of Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC). Under this requirement, states must address any disproportionate representation of youth of color in their juvenile justice systems. Specifically, states must “address juvenile delinquency prevention efforts and system improvement efforts designed to reduce, without establishing or requiring numerical standards or quotas, the disproportionate number of juvenile members of the minority groups, who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.”[16]

Failure to comply with the JJDPA may result in significant reductions, possibly even termination, of federal funding. Accordingly, facility administrators and staff should develop policies, practices, and procedures to meet the Act’s requirements. Additional information on the JJDPA can be obtained from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) website.[17]

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) of 1980

CRIPA gives the U.S. DOJ the power to investigate and bring civil actions against state or local governments for violating the civil rights of those held in publicly-operated facilities, including juvenile detention and correctional facilities and adult jails and prisons. In pursuing these actions, the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ focuses on systemic violations of civil rights rather than individual claims. Since CRIPA’s inception, the Special Litigation Section has investigated hundreds of juvenile and adult facilities on a wide variety of issues, including but not limited to the inadequate provision of medical and mental healthcare, failure to protect youth from physical and sexual abuse, and discriminatory practices and procedures.[18] Given that cases often result in costly and time-intensive consent decrees, settlement agreements, and court orders, facility staff are well advised to ensure the protection of residents’ civil rights.

Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 prohibits government officials and agents responsible for the “administration of juvenile justice or the incarceration of juveniles” from engaging in patterns or practices that deprive persons of their constitutional rights. The law gives the Attorney General the discretion to initiate civil actions against such officials to obtain court-ordered remedies to eliminate the unconstitutional conduct.[19] The Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ is primarily responsible for enforcing the law.

Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) of 2000

RLUIPA prohibits state and local governments from substantially burdening the religious exercise of institutionalized persons, unless it can be demonstrated that the burden furthers a compelling government interest and is the least restrictive means to further that interest. RLUIPA, which applies to juvenile detention and correctional facilities and adult jails and prisons, authorizes the U.S. DOJ to investigate and file civil actions, and enables private individuals to seek judicial remedies as well. To comply with RLUIPA, facility staff should take measures to protect residents’ rights to “any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.”[20] Courts have found that a wide range of practices constitute religious exercise under RLUIPA including “attending religious services, joining prayer groups, leaving hair uncut, wearing head coverings, adhering to certain dietary restrictions, and receiving certain religious reading materials.”[21] Another law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, provides similar protections for residents held in federal and District of Columbia facilities.[22]

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.[23] Agencies that violate Title VI may see federal funding suspended or terminated. Accordingly, juvenile justice and adult corrections facility staff should ensure that all practices and procedures are non-discriminatory.

Facilities that house youth with limited English proficiency (LEP) must take special care to comply with Title VI. In 2000, President Clinton signed Executive Order 13166, entitled "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency,” a measure designed to enforce Title VI that requires federal agencies to “examine the services they provide, identify any need for services to those with limited English proficiency (LEP), and develop and implement a system to provide those services so LEP persons can have meaningful access to them.”[24] The Executive Order also requires recipients of federal financial assistance to “take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities by LEP persons.” In 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memorandum recommitting to the implementation of the Executive Order. Guidance on complying with the Executive Order is available on the federal government’s “Limited English Proficiency” website.[25]

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

IDEA is the principal federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities.[26] IDEA originated with the Education for Handicapped Children Act of 1975, which, among other things, mandated that youth with disabilities have access to a free, appropriate public education. Over the years, amendments to IDEA have greatly expanded its scope, and its provisions apply to all youth placed in juvenile and adult detention and correctional facilities (the only exception being a youth aged 18 to 21 who, in his or her last educational placement prior to detention in an adult facility, was not identified as a child with a disability and did not have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), unless otherwise mandated by state law).

To receive federal education funding under IDEA, states and local education agencies (LEAs) must demonstrate compliance with the law or risk reduction or termination of such funding, as well as potential administrative challenges and civil litigation. Accordingly, staff of juvenile detention and correctional facilities and adult facilities that serve youth should work with their educational partners to meet the requirements of IDEA, some of which include:

  1. Child Find Obligation. States and local education agencies must identify, locate, and evaluate all youth with disabilities. Juvenile and adult detention and correctional facilities can play a key role in identifying youth residents with disabilities through appropriate screening and evaluation measures, as well as staff training.[27]
  2. Individualized Education Program. Within 30 days of the determination that a child needs special education and related services, a meeting to develop an IEP must be held.[28] The team responsible for creating the IEP includes the youth, the youth’s parents, a regular education teacher, a special education teacher, an LEA representative, an individual who can interpret institutional implications of evaluations, and others with special knowledge of the youth. The IEP must detail a wide range of information, including statements regarding the youth’s present educational performance level, educational goals for the youth, and the special education and related services to be provided to the youth, including transition services. Once developed, the state or LEA must then provide the services in accordance with the IEP.
  3. Least Restrictive Environment. IDEA requires that, “to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled” and that “special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.”[29]
  4. Due Process Protections. IDEA provides parents of youth with disabilities with various rights, including the right to view records, receive written notice of proposed actions, participate in IEP meetings, and be involved in educational placement decisions. Parents may also initiate due process proceedings regarding their child’s educational services.[30]

This list represents only a select portion of the requirements outlined in the law and the accompanying federal regulations. More information on IDEA is available at the U.S. Department of Education’s website.[31] Additionally, all states have laws and regulations incorporating IDEA provisions and concepts, most often found in education codes and regulations. Facility staff should consult with their agency’s general counsel’s office for guidance on state and local legal requirements.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990

ADA is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on disability, defined as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.”[32] The law covers a wide range of areas, including employment, public services, transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunications. The Supreme Court has ruled that Title II of the act, which prohibits disability discrimination by all public entities at the state and local level, applies to prisons and jails.[33] ADA regulations also specifically require adult and juvenile detention and correctional facilities to ensure that disabled residents are not “excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of, the [facility’s] services, programs or activities…or be subjected to discrimination.” The regulations provide that facility staff should avoid placing disabled residents in “inappropriate security classifications because no accessible cells or beds are available,” in “designated medical areas unless they are actually receiving medical care or treatment,” or in “facilities that do not offer the same programs as the facilities where they would otherwise be housed.” Facility staff should also not “deprive inmates or detainees with disabilities of visitation with family members by placing them in distant facilities where they would not otherwise be housed.”[34]

Since the ADA’s inception, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. DOJ has investigated and enforced many cases involving the provision of accommodations at juvenile and adult detention and correctional facilities. More information about the ADA’s requirements can be found on the website dedicated to the law and hosted by the federal government.[35]

Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Similar to ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits disability discrimination.[36] Whereas the ADA applies to facilities operated by state and local agencies, regardless of whether they receive federal funding, the Rehabilitation Act applies to facilities run by federal agencies, such as the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, and to any state or local agency that receives federal funding. Facilities that run afoul of the Rehabilitation Act risk the suspension or termination of federal funding, as well as court-ordered remedies and monetary damages.

Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003

Enacted in 2003, the Prison Rape Elimination Act is the principal federal law that addresses sexual violence in juvenile and adult confinement facilities. The law created the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission and charged it with developing standards for the elimination of prison rape and sexual misconduct. After review by the DOJ, the PREA Standards were published on the Federal Register on June 20, 2012, and became effective on August 20, 2012.[37]

The PREA Standards apply to four types of facilities: juvenile facilities, and adult prisons and jails, lockups, and community confinement facilities. The Standards cover a wide range of areas, including prevention and responsive planning; training and education; screening for risk of sexual victimization and abusiveness; responses to sexual misconduct (e.g., reporting, investigations, medical and mental healthcare, and discipline); data collection and review; and audits. The Standards are available on the National PREA Resource Center website.[38]

It is in the interest of juvenile and adult facilities to comply with the PREA Standards. PREA provides that a state whose governor does not certify full compliance with the standards is subject to the loss of 5% of any U.S. Department of Justice grant funds that it would otherwise receive for prison purposes. The exception to this is if the governor submits an assurance that such 5% will be used only for the purpose of enabling the state to achieve and certify full compliance with the standards in future years.[39] Even facilities not subject to the loss of federal funds should comply with the PREA Standards, as they set forth thoughtful, comprehensive measures to ensure the safety of all youth residents. (See Ch. 6: Adolescent Development: Identifying Trauma)

State Laws and Regulations

State laws and regulations also offer additional protection to youth placed in facilities. Many state laws, for example, give children a right to treatment and rehabilitation, limit the amount of time they can be held in detention, require the use of risk assessments and suicide and mental health screening, and mandate that juvenile records remain confidential. Similarly, many state regulations set forth standards for building conditions, safety measures, staff training and youth programming. It is incumbent on facility staff to understand state-specific legal requirements regarding the care of youth residents. Staff should consult with general counsel’s office of their agency for guidance.

Professional Standards and Best Practices

In recent decades, the development of professional standards has greatly impacted the work of facilities that house youth. Facility standards issued by national programs and organizations such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI),[40] the American Correctional Association (ACA),[41] the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC),[42] and Performance-based Standards (PbS)[43] have been successfully implemented by juvenile detention and correctional facilities around the country. Standards such as these are important because they set forth programmatic, treatment, and environmental guidelines for facilities.

Advancements in juvenile justice research have also informed the field. Researchers have studied the effectiveness of juvenile justice efforts and identified key programmatic and operational factors linked with success.[44] OJJDP also emphasizes the importance of evidence-based practices and programming and publishes the “Model Programs Guide,” a searchable database of effective and promising programs, including those based in detention and correctional facilities.[45]

To enhance services for youth residents and their families, facility staff should understand and comply with professional standards and best practices. Such compliance can also be a strategy to limit legal liability, as when courts evaluate facility conditions, they often consider whether the condition or practice in question departs substantially from “accepted professional judgment, practice or standards.”[46]

Responsibilities of Facility Staff

The most basic responsibilities of detention and correctional facility staff with respect to youth residents and their families are defined by legal requirements, professional standards, best practices research, and the opinions of field experts.[47] As this summary represents general (and in many cases minimum) guidelines for the care of youth residents, facility staff should consult with their agency’s leadership for further direction.

Programming

Detention and correctional facilities should provide youth with ample opportunities for programming, including education, exercise, and recreation. Although the Supreme Court has never expressly ruled on the issue, many lower courts have found that youth in custody have a right to treatment.[48] Professional standards and best practice research make it clear that facility staff have responsibilities to engage youth to promote their development, help them acquire skills, and establish connections with positive, caring adults.[49]

Education is an essential element of any facility’s programming approach. As a starting point, facilities must comply with state law requirements regarding compulsory education and the provision of a minimum number of minutes of school per day. Equally important, however, facilities must deliver an educational program that addresses residents’ significant needs. According to the OJJDP Survey of Youth in Residential Placement, in 2003, nearly one-half of youth in facilities functioned below the school grade level appropriate for their age, over 60% reported being suspended or expelled during the year before they arrived at the facility, and, as a whole, were much more likely not to be enrolled in school at the time they entered custody, compared to the general population of youth.[50] A comprehensive, facility-based education program designed to meet youth needs contains various components, including the following:

  • Screening and Assessment. Upon entry into the facility, staff should gauge a youth’s educational status with screening and assessment tools. Professional standards mandate timely reviews of data such as grade levels, schools attended, and special education and LEP status, to inform the educational placement and approach. JDAI’s Detention Facility Assessment Standards, for example, require staff to conduct a brief educational history screening at the time of admission and a more comprehensive assessment of a youth’s general educational functioning within five days of admission.[51]
  • Rigorous Educational Programming. Facilities should offer residents an educational program that operates year round, and provides live, high-quality, individualized instruction. In jurisdictions where the local school district provides the education, facility staff should work together with school personnel to ensure that all residents receive educational services. To the extent that residents cannot attend the regular facility school, due to safety or medical reasons, staff should nevertheless make sure that they receive a comparable education. Facilities should also offer alternative educational programs for residents who may not benefit from regular education (those who already have diplomas or GEDs, or are beyond the age of compulsory education), such as vocational training or college preparation courses.
  • Effective Learning Environment. Facilities should offer education in classrooms that are conducive to teaching and learning. Teaching areas should be sufficiently quiet to allow residents to focus on instruction, and residents should have access to educational resources and materials, such as textbooks, writing materials, and computers, unless those are prevented by legitimate security concerns. The educational environment should also accommodate the needs of youth with disabilities and LEP youth to comply with ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Adequate Staffing. The facility’s educational program should be adequately staffed by teachers, including substitutes, to provide residents with engaging instruction and to comply with state-imposed teacher-student ratios. Teachers—including those who provide special education services—should have appropriate credentials.
  • Specialized Services. To comply with the federal legislation described earlier in this chapter, facilities must provide appropriate services for residents with special education needs, disabilities, and LEP.
  • Transition Services. Facility staff should help youth transition to the educational placement that will follow their release, including prompt transfer of school records, credits, and grades. Staff should assist youth with school enrollment, if appropriate. (See Ch. 13: Education)

Recreation is another critical component of facility programming. Facility residents have constitutional rights to regular exercise and fresh air.[52] These activities are particularly important to promote healthy growth and development. For this reason, professional standards require that facilities provide youth with at least one hour of large-muscle exercise every day. Additionally, PREA Standards require staff to provide opportunities for large muscle exercise; this applies also to youth under the age of 18 that are housed in adult prisons and jails.[53] Staff should not deprive residents the opportunity for recreation for disciplinary purposes, and should make reasonable efforts to provide such activities outdoors if weather permits. Facilities should also offer youth recreational resources such as athletic equipment, games, and reading materials. (See Ch. 10: Effective Programs and Services)

Medical and Mental Healthcare

Detention and correctional facilities are responsible for providing healthcare to youth. Statistics show that youth typically arrive at facilities with medical and mental health conditions that require prompt attention and ongoing care. Some reports estimate that about 70% of youth in custody have some type of healthcare need, nearly 70% have experienced past trauma[54] (which may include physical and sexual abuse), and between 65% and 70% suffer from mental health disorders.[55]

Courts have recognized that facility residents have constitutional rights to adequate medical and mental healthcare, and state laws and regulations impose additional obligations to provide such services.[56] Critical elements of facility-based healthcare services include:

  • Screening and Assessment. Upon a youth’s facility admission, qualified medical professionals or health-trained staff should conduct brief medical and mental health screenings to identify any urgent health needs. Screenings should utilize a validated, standardized instrument, such as the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-2 (MAYSI-2), and should be conducted confidentially. PbS require the completion of health and mental health screenings within one hour of the youth’s presentation for admission at the facility.[57] Youth that require immediate care (suicidal, intoxicated, or withdrawing from substance abuse) should be referred as soon as possible. Following the initial screening, qualified medical staff should conduct a full health and mental health assessment, which includes a review of the youth’s health history and a complete medical examination. PbS and JDAI Detention Facility Assessment Standards call for this assessment to be completed no later than one week after admission.[58]
  • Medical Services. Facilities must provide youth with regular and prompt access to medical services. Care should be delivered by qualified medical professionals and should include regular physical examinations, dental and eye care, prescription medicines, health and hygiene education, treatment for chronic conditions, and access to emergency medical services, if necessary. Staff should provide medical services in a timely fashion, as courts may construe significantly delayed treatment as “deliberate indifference” to medical needs, in violation of the Constitution.[59] (See Ch. 9: Admission and Intake, and Ch. 12: Healthcare)
  • Mental Health Services. Facilities should offer youth residents with a wide array of mental health services, including appropriate service planning and access to necessary treatment, medications, and services. Care should be provided by qualified mental health professionals who are properly trained in areas such as assessment of mental and behavioral health disorders, trauma, and suicide prevention. To the extent permitted by provider–patient confidentiality, mental health professionals should work together with other facility staff regarding strategies to manage youth behavior and adequately address their needs. (See Ch. 15: Service and Treatment Plans, and Ch. 11: Mental Health)
  • Suicide Prevention. Facilities should develop and implement policies, procedures, and practices to prevent youth suicide. Suicide prevention strategies, as informed by national standards and set forth in the seminal report by Lindsay Hayes entitled, Juvenile Suicide in Confinement: A National Study, include regular staff training (initially upon employment and annually thereafter); prompt screening and assessment for suicide risk; procedures enhancing communication among facility staff, arresting or transporting officers, family members, and youth; housing youth in suicide-resistant, protrusion-free rooms and avoiding isolation of youth at risk of suicide; appropriate supervision and monitoring (such as close observation for potentially suicidal youth based on recent self-destructive behaviors or expressed suicidal ideation, and constant observation for residents that demonstrate actively suicidal behavior); intervention policies that require staff training in CPR, immediate responses to emergencies, and continuation of life-saving measures until the arrival of medical personnel; and reporting of and follow-up to any suicide attempts or suicides. It is worth noting that industry standards such as those set forth by PbS require that facilities conduct suicide screenings for youth within one hour of admission.[60]
  • Confidentiality. Facility staff should ensure that youth health records are kept confidential and that disclosure practices comply with state and federal laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). More information about HIPAA can be found on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.[61]
  • Continuity of Care. Staff should work to ensure continuity of medical care for each youth resident, both upon admission to and discharge from the facility. Qualified medical professionals should develop individualized plans to guide youth treatment while in the facility, including the continuation of any necessary medication regimen, as well plans to govern smooth transitions to the youth’s next placement, including any necessary record transfer and healthcare enrollments.

Family and Community Engagement

A growing body of research indicates that family and community engagement is a critical component of positive youth development and that it leads to improved outcomes for court-involved youth and their families.[62] For youth placed in facilities, maintaining family and community connections is especially important. Studies have found that youth residents who keep positive relationships with loved ones are more likely to address treatment needs while in the facility and less likely to recidivate upon return to the community.[63] Additionally, it appears that regular family visitation can positively impact youth behavior and school performance.[64] Practices that facilities should implement to support family and community engagement include:

  • Visitation. Youth in facilities have rights to family visitation.[65] Facilities should permit visits during the weekdays and weekends, and during business and non-business hours, to accommodate family members that would otherwise be unable to attend. With approval from the youth’s probation officer or counselor, staff should allow residents to receive visits from parents and guardians, adult relatives, family friends, mentors, residents’ own children, and siblings.
  • Access to Telephone and Mail. Youth have rights to reasonable access to telephones to communicate with their loved ones.[66] Standards issued by ACA and JDAI require that youth can place two phone calls during admission and twice weekly during the length of stay. Staff should not deprive youth of phone calls as a disciplinary measure, and should not listen to or record conversations without specific and reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or threat to facility security.[67] Youth also have legal rights to send and receive mail.[68] Although staff may inspect mail for contraband, they should only read non-privileged mail (mail from individuals other than attorneys, court or public officials) if there are grounds to reasonably believe it contains information related to unlawful activity.
  • Staff–Family Communication. Facility staff should maintain regular contact with the families and loved ones of youth residents. Shortly after admission, staff should provide youth and families with a comprehensive orientation to the facility using materials that are clear, easy to understand, and appropriate for language needs. Facilities should offer families meaningful opportunities to provide input on the treatment plans and care for their children. Families should know how to contact staff with questions and concerns. Staff should explain to family members how to file grievances on behalf of their children, and should respond promptly and thoroughly to such complaints.
  • Programming. To the extent possible, facilities should include families and other positive role models, such as mentors, in the programming provided to youth. Some of the most successful juvenile justice interventions, such as Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) and Functional Family Therapy (FFT), incorporate strong family involvement.[69] While MST and FFT have primarily been employed in the community, many facilities have effectively incorporated the program principles in their approaches.

Access to Counsel and the Courts

Youth in facilities have constitutional rights to access their attorneys and the courts. Facility staff should support such access not only to limit legal liability, but as a strategy to manage behavior. Attorneys can play a critical role in helping youth residents understand the legal process, prepare them for potential outcomes, and provide them with case information. Increasing youth knowledge about their legal cases and the law can reduce anxiety and frustration that might otherwise lead to undesirable behaviors. Facility staff can protect youth rights to access counsel and the courts by developing and implementing policies and practices in the following areas:[70]

  • Visitation. Youth residents have a right to communicate with their attorneys. Facilities should permit attorney visits to occur at all reasonable times and not limit them to family visiting hours. Attorneys should not be prohibited from bringing in materials they must review with youth in connection with the legal case, including hard files, exhibits, and electronic video and audio files. Additionally, youth must be able to speak with their counsel in private areas. Ideally, attorney–client visits should take place in rooms outside the presence of others. To the extent that visits must occur in public areas, facility staff should ensure that others cannot listen to the conversations.
  • Access to Mail and Telephone. Mail to and from attorneys (as well as court and public officials) is privileged and should not be reviewed by facility staff.[71] Privileged mail may be opened only to inspect it for contraband, but must not be read. In addition to providing access to legal mail, facilities should ensure that residents are able to make free telephone calls to their lawyers.
  • Access to Legal Materials and Information. Facilities should provide residents with access to legal materials necessary to challenge their adjudication, sentence, or conditions of confinement.[72] Many facilities offer extensive law libraries and access to computers to conduct legal research. Additionally, contact information for residents’ attorneys and local courts should be readily accessible to youth. Facilities should consider working with local public defender and attorneys’ offices or courts to collect such contact information.

Protection from Harm

While housed in detention and correctional facilities, youth have rights to personal safety. Staff are legally responsible for protecting residents from harm, including threats of violence, and may be found liable if they act with deliberate indifference to youth safety needs and concerns.[73] Facility practices that impact safety include:

  • Classification. A comprehensive classification system to guide facility housing and programming decisions is a critically important tool to secure and maintain youth safety. Collecting and appropriately using information about youth background and needs helps facility staff properly identify and address safety concerns, including any necessary separation of more aggressive or violent residents from others. PREA Standards require that, within 72 hours of a resident’s arrival at a juvenile facility and periodically throughout the resident’s stay, staff must attempt to ascertain the following information about residents to make housing, bed, program, education, and work assignments: prior sexual victimization or abusiveness; any gender nonconforming appearance or manner or identification as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or intersex (LGBTQI) and whether the resident may therefore be vulnerable to sexual abuse; current charges and offense history; age; level of emotional and cognitive development; physical size and stature; mental illness or disabilities; intellectual or developmental disabilities; physical disabilities; the resident’s own perception of vulnerability; and any other information that may indicate heightened needs for supervision, additional safety precautions, or separation from certain other residents.[74] Classification decisions must never be made solely on the basis of race or ethnicity,[75] or on residents’ actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,[76] and must afford equal opportunities for female and male residents alike.[77] Additionally, to comply with the JJDPA, adult prisons and jails must ensure that youth residents under juvenile court jurisdiction are separated by sight and sound from adult inmates at all times.[78] (See Ch. 8: Admission and Intake)
  • Use of Force and Restraints. Staff have a legal duty to keep youth safe using behavior management techniques that do not unnecessarily subject residents to harm or injury.[79] Professional standards permit staff to use physical force on youth only as a last resort to ensure safety, and only for the amount of time necessary to bring a situation under control. JDAI Detention Facility Assessment Standards, for example, allow staff to use approved physical force techniques only when a “youth’s behavior threatens imminent harm to the youth or others or serious property destruction.” These standards also require that staff receive regular training in “conflict management, de-escalation of confrontations, crisis intervention, management of assaultive behavior, minimizing trauma involved in the use of force, and the facility’s continuum of methods of control.”[80] Staff should never use pressure-point control tactics—which involve pain compliance and joint manipulation—and should never employ physical force to punish youth, as doing so violates their constitutional rights.[81] Forms of restraint that raise liability issues include:
    • Mechanical Restraints. Staff must ensure that the use of mechanical restraints protects youth’s safety at all times. Handcuffs should be used only to the extent necessary to prevent injury and escape, and staff should never restrain youth to fixed, stationary objects, including beds, doors, and walls.[82] With respect to restraint chairs, the U.S. DOJ Civil Rights Division has declared that accepted professional standards require juvenile detention facilities to eliminate the practice entirely, or in the “rare cases where a restraint chair is used, that it only be used under the direct supervision of a medical or mental health care provider.”[83] Best practices also prohibit the use of four- or five-point restraints and straightjackets, given the increased risk of harm.
    • Chemical Restraints. The use of chemical agents, including pepper spray, tear gas, and mace, within facilities that house youth is a controversial practice that industry standards such as the JDAI Detention Facility Assessment Standards clearly prohibit.[84] Some courts have found that the use of chemical restraints in facilities violates residents’ constitutional rights,[85] and the U.S. DOJ Civil Rights Division has investigated several facilities for improper and excessive use of the practice. Many facilities have eliminated the use of chemical agents by emphasizing alternative behavior management strategies, such as de-escalation, conflict management, and trauma-informed care.
  • Isolation. Research indicates that the use of isolation, administrative segregation, and solitary confinement practices within facilities harms youth. Such practices may cause or exacerbate mental health problems and limit youth’s access to services necessary to meet their physical, psychological, social, and developmental needs.[86] Although the Supreme Court has not squarely addressed the constitutionality of isolating youth residents in detention and correctional facilities, several federal courts have found that placing vulnerable individuals—such as those with severe mental health disorders—in solitary confinement violates constitutional rights and have required that residents held in isolation at a minimum be afforded due process, humane physical conditions, and access to basic necessities.[87] Given the harm imposed and increased potential for legal liability, facilities should strictly limit or eliminate altogether the use of isolation practices. PREA Standards disfavor the use of isolation and permit it in juvenile facilities only as a “last resort when less restrictive measures are inadequate to keep them and other residents safe, and then only until an alternative means of keeping all residents safe can be arranged.” PREA Standards also require juvenile facilities to provide residents held in isolation with daily large-muscle exercise, education services, daily visits from medical or mental health clinicians, and access to programming and work opportunities. For each resident in isolation, PREA requires that facility staff document the “basis for the facility’s concern for the resident’s safety” and the “reason why no alternative means of separation can be arranged” Every 30 days, staff must review whether there is a continuing need to separate the youth from the general population.[88] In adult prisons and jails, PREA Standards require staff to make best efforts to avoid placing youth under 18 years old in isolation, and ensure—absent exigent circumstances—that isolated youth have daily large-muscle exercise, education services, and access to programming and work opportunities.[89] (See Ch. 9: Admission and Intake, Ch. 11: Mental Health, and Ch. 14: Behavior Management)
  • Searches. Searching for contraband within facilities is an important element of maintaining safety for residents and staff. However, staff must comply with legal requirements and residents’ rights to privacy when conducting personal and facility searches.[90] At a minimum, searches should always be conducted for legitimate safety reasons and never to harass, punish, or discipline youth residents. Forms of searches include:
    • Strip Searches. A strip search is an inspection that requires a youth to remove or arrange clothing to examine the youth’s breasts, buttocks, or genitalia. Several courts have found that facility staff may not conduct strip searches of youth without reasonable suspicion that doing so would produce contraband or weapons.[91] In this context, reasonable suspicion generally refers to a particularized and objective basis, supported by specific and articulable facts, for believing a person is concealing a weapon or contraband and a strip search will result in the discovery of the weapon or contraband. Industry standards, including the JDAI Detention Facility Assessment Standards, require that staff conduct strip searches only with prior supervisory approval and upon reasonable suspicion that a youth possesses a weapon or contraband.[92] Staff should also document all searches and conduct them with youth individually and in private areas so that others not involved in the searches cannot observe them.
    • Physical Body-Cavity Searches. A physical body-cavity search involves the manual inspection of residents’ anal or vaginal cavities. Given the high level of physical intrusion, many jurisdictions require a search warrant issued by a judge prior to conducting a physical body-cavity search.[93] Additionally, several standards, including the Juvenile Federal Performance-Based Detention Standards and the JDAI Detention Facility Assessment Standards, require that only medical personnel conduct physical body-cavity searches.[94]
    • Cross-Gender Searches and Searches of Transgender or Intersex Residents. PREA Standards limit the use of cross-gender searches in facilities that house youth. Cross-gender strip searches and visual body-cavity searches (“search[es] of the anal or genital opening”) are permitted only in exigent circumstances (“any set of temporary and unforeseen circumstances that require immediate action in order to combat a threat to the security or institutional order of a facility”)[95] or only by medical practitioners.[96] The juvenile PREA Standards also prohibit cross-gender pat-down searches of both female and male residents except in exigent circumstances.[97] Any cross-gender pat-down, strip, or body search must be documented. Additionally, the PREA Standards prohibit staff from searching or physically examining a transgender or intersex inmate for the sole purpose of determining the inmate’s genital status. Staff must also be trained on “how to conduct cross-gender pat-down searches, and searches of transgender and intersex residents, in a professional and respectful manner, and in the least intrusive manner possible, consistent with security needs.”[98] (See Ch. 9: Admission and Intake)
    • Facility and Room Searches. Professional standards require staff to conduct facility and individual room searches with the “least amount of disruption and with respect for youth’s personal property.”[99]
  • Discipline. Facility staff must ensure that disciplinary and behavior management approaches protect the safety of youth and respect their rights. Corporal punishment, such as the wanton infliction of pain, plainly violates residents’ constitutional rights,[100] and industry standards such as the JDAI Detention Facility Assessment Standards, strictly prohibit the deprivation of basic rights as a form of discipline, including the right to meals and drinking water, a place to sleep, clean and sanitary living conditions, clean clothes, personal hygiene items, opportunity for daily showers and access to toilets, daily opportunity for exercise, daily education, family visits, telephone and in-person contacts with attorneys, receiving and sending mail, and access to reading materials.[101] Staff must also protect the due process rights of youth when responding to negative behaviors and imposing discipline. A fair disciplinary or behavior management system ensures that youth clearly understand the facility rules, allows them the opportunity to be heard, and explains the reasons for any sanctions imposed. To the extent that facilities impose major discipline such as administrative segregation or isolation (see above for discussion regarding such practices), staff are legally required to afford youth several due process protections, including notice of the alleged charges against them, an opportunity to challenge and present evidence, and the ability to appeal the final decision.[102] (See Ch. 14: Behavior Management)
  • Grievances. A grievance procedure is an important element of safeguarding youth safety as it provides them a means of addressing conditions issues and perceived injustices, enhances communication between staff and youth, and provides administrators information regarding policy violations and other issues that require attention. The basic elements of adequate grievance procedures include: 1) notice to youth regarding availability of grievances, 2) a clear and simple process for presenting grievances, 3) prompt investigation of grievances, 4) opportunity for youth to present grievances to impartial parties, 5) notice to residents regarding decisions, 6) a process to appeal decisions, 7) written records and final actions, and 8) appropriate staff discipline for substantiated grievances. Youth have the right to file grievances without staff retaliation.[103] Additionally, PREA Standards address grievance procedures, requiring that facilities “provide multiple internal ways for residents to privately report sexual abuse and sexual harassment, retaliation by other residents or staff for reporting, and staff neglect or violation of responsibilities that may have contributed to such incidents.” Standards also require that there be “at least one way for such reporting to a public or private entity not part of the agency.” Staff must accept reports made verbally, in writing, anonymously and from third parties; provide residents with access to tools to make written reports; and provide staff a method to privately report sexual abuse and harassment of residents.[104] PREA Standards also prohibit time limits to file grievances regarding allegations of sexual abuse.[105]

Fair and Equal Treatment

All youth in custody have constitutional and federal rights to be treated equally and without discrimination.[106] Accordingly, facility staff should implement policies, procedures, and practices designed to ensure fair and appropriate treatment of youth, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Areas on which facilities should focus include:

  • Non-Discrimination Policies and Practices. Facilities should have written policies that prohibit all forms of discrimination and allow residents to report harassment or discrimination. Facility management should investigate and respond promptly to any such complaints and hold staff accountable for violating these policies. Retaliation against complainants of harassment or discrimination should be strictly forbidden. Staff should also be trained on the different types and consequences of harassment and discrimination and how to best prevent them.
  • Language Services and Cultural Competency. To comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Executive Order 13166, staff must take reasonable steps to ensure that LEP youth have meaningful access to facility programs and activities. Facilities should maintain adequate staffing to address the language needs of residents, including any necessary interpretation or translation services. PREA Standards specifically require facilities to “take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to all aspects of the agency’s efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse and sexual harassment to residents who are limited English proficient, including steps to provide interpreters who can interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially, both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary.”[107] Orientation and other facility written materials should also be made available in the native languages spoken by residents and their families. Additionally, to the extent that facilities house youth with different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, staff should be trained in cultural competency, which OJJDP defines as the ability to “understand the world view of clients of different cultures and adapt practices to ensure their effectiveness.”[108] Such training can help staff increase knowledge about cultures, address biases and stereotypes, and learn strategies for treating youth in culturally sensitive manners.
  • Religion. Facilities must accommodate youth rights to religious exercise. Although the Supreme Court has held that facilities may restrict these rights on the basis of “valid penological interests,”[109] both the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (applicable to state and local institutions that receive federal funds)[110] and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (applicable to federal and District of Columbia institutions)[111] prohibit facilities from imposing a substantial burden on exercise of religious beliefs unless the burden is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest. Accordingly, facility staff should take care when fashioning policies and practices that may impact religious observances, including religious or prayer services,[112] dietary practices,[113] and access to religious materials.[114]
  • Treatment of LGTBQI Youth. Facility staff must treat LGBTQI residents equally with other youth, ensuring full access to programs and services and providing for their safety, as failure to do so may result in legal liability.[115] Several PREA Standards govern the care of LGBTQI youth, including requirements that facilities do not automatically house LGBTQI youth solely on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, or consider such identification or status as an indicator of being sexually abusive,[116] do not search or physically examine a transgender or intersex resident solely to determine genital status,[117] afford transgender and intersex residents the opportunity to shower separately from other residents, reassess bi-annually the placement and programming assignment for each transgender or intersex resident for safety,[118] and provide staff training on how to communicate effectively and professionally with LGBTQI youth.[119] Additionally, facilities should not use practices that harm LGBTQI residents, such as the labeling of or treatment as sexual offenders merely on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.[120] Reparative or conversion therapies designed to involuntarily change youth’s gender identity or sexual orientation should also not be used, as they have been condemned by major health organizations such as the American Medical Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the American Psychological Association.[121] (See Ch. 19: Complex Issues and Vulnerable Populations)

Privacy and Confidentiality

Facility staff must protect the privacy rights of youth residents. Most jurisdictions have laws that prohibit the disclosure of information contained in juvenile records (with specific exceptions), including records generated or used at detention and correctional facilities. These laws are generally designed with the intent of supporting youth treatment and rehabilitation by avoiding the creation or perpetuation of negative stigmas associated with being publicly identified as court-involved. In addition to complying with state and local statutes and regulations, facility staff must take special care to protect the confidentiality of health and education records; HIPAA and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)[122] (respectively) govern their disclosure.

One evolving issue in the privacy arena is staff use of social media to communicate with youth or monitor their present or past activities. Social media programs and applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram enable users to post writing, photos, videos, and other content in publicly accessible online forums. Although there appears to be no current case law directly governing the use of such media by staff, facilities would be well advised to carefully craft written policies and procedures that consider youth privacy rights. At a minimum, permitting staff to communicate with or monitor youth online could open the door for actions that cross professional or ethical boundaries.

Safe, Clean, and Humane Environment

Youth residents have rights to safe, sanitary and humane living environments.[123] Elements of an appropriate facility environment include:

  • Food, Clothing, and Shelter. Residents have the right to adequate food, clothing, and living environments.[124] In addition to complying with requirements imposed by sanitation and health codes, facilities should meet industry standards that mandate a wholesome, nutritious diet for youth residents. JDAI Detention Facility Assessment Standards, for example, require the provision of at least three meals daily, of which two are hot meals, with no more than 12 hours between the evening meal and breakfast, as well as healthy snacks in the evening.[125] Facilities should also provide youth with clean clothing and access to adequate personal hygiene and toiletry supplies. Living quarters should be kept clean and should have adequate ventilation, heating, cooling, and lighting.
  • Fire Safety. Staff have legal responsibilities to take the steps necessary to prevent and respond to fires within the facility.[126] At a minimum, facilities should have functioning smoke detectors or similar monitoring devices, posted evacuation plans, at least two means of egress within occupied areas, identification and lighting of all exits, working and fully charged fire extinguishers, and first-aid kits and automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Additionally, facility staff should conduct regular fire drills and ensure that all hazardous and flammable items are properly secured at all times.
  • Emergency Preparedness. Facility staff must be fully prepared for emergency situations that may affect their geographical location, including fires, natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods), national security issues (terrorist threats or actions) and public health and medical emergencies. Accordingly, facilities should develop plans to prepare for, respond to, and recover from such emergencies. Staff should review the OJJDP 2011 report entitled, Emergency Planning for Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities. This publication provides guidance on developing an emergency plan, budgeting for emergency planning and response, allocating staff responsibilities, establishing communications procedures, planning to protect critical infrastructure, preparing to shelter in place and to evacuate, providing mental health and medical care, training staff in basic emergency care, evaluating staffing needs, offering support to youth residents and their families, meeting the needs of staff and their families, and managing volunteers.[127] (See Ch. 19: Complex Issues and Vulnerable Populations: Facility Emergency Preparedness)
  • Overcrowding. Facility overcrowding is a serious issue that threatens the safety and quality of life of residents and staff alike. Operating facilities at over the standard bed capacity can place heavy burdens on staff and can lead to inadequate programming and services for residents, as well as increased rates of incidents. To prevent these issues, staff should work with system partners to ensure that the total population of the facility does not exceed capacity. Strategies include developing alternatives to detention, utilizing validated risk assessment instruments to guide placement decisions, and systematically reviewing cases to achieve appropriate lengths of stay. Nevertheless, if overcrowding occurs, staff remain responsible for providing the full gamut of legally required services—including education; recreation; mental and medical healthcare; and access to families, counsel, and the courts.

Conclusion

Staff in juvenile and adult detention and correctional facilities play a critical role in keeping youth residents safe, ensuring they receive services, and protecting their rights. As this chapter demonstrates, staff responsibilities are broad—ranging from providing youth with programming to maintaining a safe, clean, and humane facility environment. Although this chapter is designed to assist staff in understanding the legal and professional obligations governing their work, staff are nevertheless strongly encouraged to consult with legal counsel for further guidance, as requirements and duties vary by jurisdiction.

 

References

20 U.S.C. § 1232g.

20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.

20 U.S.C. § 1412 (a)(5)(A).

20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(3)(A).

20 U.S.C. § 1415(b).

28 C.F.R. § 35.130(d).

28 C.F.R. § 35.152.

28 C.F.R. 115 et seq.

28 C.F.R. 115.14.

28 C.F.R. 115.15.

28 C.F.R. 115.16.

28 C.F.R. 115.31.

28 C.F.R. 115.315

28 C.F.R. 115.316.

28 C.F.R. 115.331.

28 C.F.R. 115.341.

28 C.F.R. 115.342.

28 C.F.R. 115.351.

28 C.F.R. 115.352.

28 C.F.R. 115.42.

28 C.F.R. 115.5.

28 C.F.R. 115.51.

29 U.S.C. § 794(a).

34 C.F.R. § 300.340 et seq.

34 C.F.R. § 300.550.

34 C.F.R. §§ 300.501 et seq.

34 C.F.R.§ 300.125.

42 U.S.C. § 12132 et seq.

42 U.S.C. § 14141.

42 U.S.C. § 15601 et seq.

42 U.S.C. § 15607(c).

42 U.S.C. § 1983.

42 U.S.C. § 2000bb et seq.

42 U.S.C. § 2000d.

42 U.S.C. § 5633 (a)(11).

42 U.S.C. § 5633 (a)(12).

42 U.S.C. § 5633 (a)(13).

42 U.S.C. § 5633 (a)(22).

ACLU and Human Rights Watch. 2012. Growing Up Locked Down: Youth in Solitary Confinement in Jails and Prisons Across the United States. https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/us1012webwcover.pdf.

Adams v. Carlson, 488 F.2d 619 (7th Cir. 1973).

Agudelo, Sandra Villalobos. 2013. The Impact of Family Visitation on Incarcerated Youth’s Behavior and School Performance. Washington, DC: Vera Institute of Justice. https://www.vera.org/publications/the-impact-of-family-visitation-on-inc....

Ahrens v. Thomas, 434 F. Supp. 873 (W.D. Mo. 1977), 570 F.2d 286 (8th Cir. 1978).

Alexander S. v. Boyd, 113 F.3d 1373 (4th Cir. 1997).

Alexander S. v. Boyd, 876 F.Supp. 773 (D. S.C. 1995).

American Correctional Association. “Standards and Accreditation.” http://www.aca.org/ACA_Prod_IMIS/ACA_Member/Standards___Accreditation/AC....

Annie E. Casey Foundation. 2006. “Detention Facility Self-Assessment: A Practice Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform.” https://www.aecf.org/resources/juvenile-detention-facility-assessment.

Arya, Neelum. n.d. FAMILY Comes First: A Workbook to Transform the Justice System by Partnering with Families. Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice. http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/research-policy/item/comes-first-....

Baxter v. Palmigiano, 425 U.S. 308 (1976).

Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 599 (1979)

Bradley v. Hall, 911 F. Supp. 446 (D. Or. 1994))

Butts, Jeffrey A., Gordon Bazemore, and Aundra Saa Meroe. 2010. Positive Youth Justice: Framing Justice Interventions Using the Concepts of Positive Youth Development. Washington, DC: Coalition for Juvenile Justice. .

California Penal Code § 4030 (h).

Coleman v. Wilson, 912 F. Supp. 1282 (E.D. Cal. 1995).

D.B. v. Tewksbury, 545 F. Supp. 896 (D. Or. 1982).

Dixon v. Brown, Co., 38 F.3d 1024 (8th Cir. 1994).

Durmer v. O’Carroll, 991 F.2d 64 (3d Cir. 1991).

Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976).

Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994).

Austin, J., Kelly Dedel Johnson, and Maria Gregoriou. 2000. Juveniles in Adult Prisons and Jails: A National Assessment. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Assistance. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bja/182503.pdf.

American Psychological Association. 2008. Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel. https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/just-the-facts.pdf.

Ford v. McGinnis, 352 F.3d 582 (2d Cir. 2003).

French v. Owen, 777 F.2d 1250 (7th Cir. 1986).

Gartrell v. Ashcroft, 191 F.Supp. 2d 23 (D.D.C. 2002).

Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963).

Glover v. Johnson, 934 F.2d 703 (6th Cir. 1991).

H.C. v. Hewett by Jarrard, 786 F.2d 1080 (11th Cir. 1986).

Hare v. City of Corinth, 74 F.3d 633 (5th Cir. 1996).

Hayes, Lindsay M. 2009. Juvenile Suicide in Confinement: A National Survey. NCJ 213691. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/213691.pdf.

Hopowit v. Spellman, 753 F.2d 779 (9th Cir. 1985).

In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967).

Lareau v. MacDougall, 473 F.2d 974 (2d Cir. 1972).

Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343 (1996).

Limited English Proficiency: A Federal Interagency Website. "Mission Statement.” http://www.lep.gov.

Lipsey, Mark W., James C. Howell, Marion R. Kelly, Gabrielle Chapman, and Darin Carver. 2010. Improving the Effectiveness of Juvenile Justice Programs: A New Perspective on Evidence-based Practice. Washington, DC: Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. Georgetown University. http://njjn.org/uploads/digital-library/CJJR_Lipsey_Improving-Effectiven....

Madrid v. Gomez, 889 F. Supp. 1146 (N.D. Cal. 1995).

McFaul v. Valenzuela, 684 F.3d 564 (5th Cir. 2012).

Mihalic, S., Abigail Fagan, Katherine Irwin, Diane Ballard, and Delbert Elliott. 2004. Blueprints for Violence Prevention. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/204274.pdf.

Moyle v. County of Contra Costa, 2007 WL 4287315 *8, N.D. Cal., (Dec. 5, 2007).

National Commission on Correctional Health Care. “Standards for Correctional Health Services.” https://www.ncchc.org/standards.

Neal v. Shimoda, 131 F.3d 818 (9th Cir. 1997).

O’Bryan v. Bureau of Prisons, 349 F.3d 399 (7th Cir. 2003).

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. “Model Programs Guide.” https://www.ojjdp.gov/mpg.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. “Monitoring Facilities under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002.” http://www.ojjdp.gov/compliance.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. “Performance Measures Glossary.” https://ojjdp.ojp.gov/model-programs-guide/resources/glossary.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 2011. Emergency Planning for Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/234936.pdf.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 1997. Sharing Information: A Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and Participation in Juvenile Justice Programs. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/163705.pdf.

Omar v. Casterline, 288 F. Supp. 2d 775 (W.D. La. 2003).

Pena v. New York State Division for Youth, 419 F. Supp. 203 (S.D. N.Y. 1976).

Pennell, Joan, Carol Shapiro, and Carol Spigner. 2011. Safety, Fairness, Stability: Repositioning Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare to Engage Families and Communities. Washington, DC: Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. https://jbcc.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/safety_fairness_stability_r....

Pennsylvania v. Yeskey, 118 S. Ct. 1952 (1998).

Performance-based Standards. “Performance-based Standards.” http://pbstandards.org.

PREA Resource Center. 2012. Federal Register 77, no. 119. https://www.prearesourcecenter.org/sites/default/files/library/2012-12427.pdf.

Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396 (1974).

R.G. v. Koller, 415 F.Supp.2d 1129 (D. Hawaii, 2006).

Ramos v. Lamm, 639 F.2d 559 (10th Cir. 1980), 450 U.S. 1041 (1981).

Ruiz v. Estelle, 503 F. Supp. 1265 (S.D. Tex. 1980)(5th Cir. 1982).

Santiago v. Miles, 774 F.Supp 775 (W.D. N.Y. 1991).

Sedlak, Andrea J., and Karla S. McPherson. 2010, April. Youth’s Needs and Services: Findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/227728.pdf.

Shanahan, R., and S. Agudelo. 2012. Families as Partners: Supporting Incarcerated Youth in Ohio. Washington, DC: Vera Institute of Justice.
https://www.vera.org/publications/families-as-partners-supporting-incarcerated-youth-in-ohio.

Shufelt, Jennie L., and Joseph J. Cocozza. 2006. Youth with Mental Health Disorders in the Juvenile Justice System: Results from a Multi-State Prevalence Study. Delmar, NY: National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. https://sites.unicef.org/tdad/usmentalhealthprevalence06(3).pdf.

Spain v. Procunier, 600 F.2d 189 (9th Cir. 1979).

State of West Virginia v. Werner, 242 S.E.2d 907 (W.Va. 1978).

Sutton v. Rasheed, 323 F.3d 236 (3d Cir. 2003).

T.S. v. Gabbard, 860 F.Supp.2d 384, 392 (E.D.Ky. 2012).

Taylor v. Armontrout, 888 F.2d 555 (8th Cir. 1989).

Thomas v. Bryant, No. 09-11658, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 17419 (11th Cir. Aug. 20, 2010).

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78 (1987).

U.S. Department of Education. “Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004.” http://idea.ed.gov/.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Health Information Privacy.” https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/index.html.

U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General’s Office. “Federal Government’s Renewed Commitment to Language Access Obligations Under Executive Order 13166,” (February 17, 2011). https://www.lep.gov/13166/AG_021711_EO_13166_Memo_to_Agencies_with_Supplement.pdf.

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. “Special Litigation.” https://www.justice.gov/crt/special-litigation-section.

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. “Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act.” https://www.ada.gov/.

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. “Statement of the Department of Justice on the Institutionalized Persons Provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).” https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/crt/legacy/2010/12/15/RLUIPA10thAnnivSPLQAs.pdf.

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. 2012. Investigation of the Shelby County Juvenile Court. Washington, DC: Author. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/crt/legacy/2012/04/26/shelbycountyjuv_findingsrpt_4-26-12.pdf.

U.S. Department of Justice. 2011. “Juvenile Federal Performance-Based Detention Standards Handbook.” https://www.justice.gov/archive/ofdt/juvenile.pdf.

Weems v. United States, 217 U.S. 349 (1910).

Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294 (1991).

Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539 (1974).

Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307 (1982).

 

Endnotes

[1] Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994).

[2] D.B. v. Tewksbury, 545 F. Supp. 896 (D. Or. 1982).

[3] Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976).

[4] Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 (1979).

[5] Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976).; Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994).; Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294 (1991).

[6] Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78 (1987).; Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 (1979).; Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396 (1974).

[7] Ford v. McGinnis, 352 F.3d 582 (2d Cir. 2003).

[8] Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78 (1987).

[9] McFaul v. Valenzuela, 684 F.3d 564 (5th Cir. 2012).

[10] Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963).

[11] In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967).

[12] 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

[13] 42 U.S.C. § 5633 (a)(11).

[14] 42 U.S.C. § 5633 (a)(13).

[15] 42 U.S.C. § 5633 (a)(12).

[16] 42 U.S.C. § 5633 (a)(22).

[17] OJJDP, “Monitoring Facilities under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002.”

[18] U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, “Special Litigation.”

[19] 42 U.S.C. § 14141.

[20] 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc et seq.

[21] U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, “Statement of the Department of Justice on the Institutionalized Persons Provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).”

[22] 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb et seq.; see also, O’Bryan v. Bureau of Prisons, 349 F.3d 399 (7th Cir. 2003).; Gartrell v. Ashcroft, 191 F.Supp. 2d 23 (D.D.C. 2002).

[23] 42 U.S.C. § 2000d.

[24] U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General’s Office, “Federal Government’s Renewed Commitment to Language Access Obligations Under Executive Order 13166.”

[25] Limited English Proficiency: A Federal Interagency Website, "MIssion Statement."

[26] 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.

[27] 20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(3)(A); 34 C.F.R.§ 300.125.

[28] 34 C.F.R. § 300.340 et seq.

[29] 20 U.S.C. § 1412 (a)(5)(A); 34 C.F.R. § 300.550.

[30] 20 U.S.C. § 1415(b); 34 C.F.R. §§ 300.501 et seq.

[31] U.S. Department of Education, “Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004.”

[32] 42 U.S.C. § 12132 et seq.; 28 C.F.R. § 35.130(d).

[33] Pennsylvania v. Yeskey, 118 S. Ct. 1952 (1998).

[34] 28 C.F.R. § 35.152.

[35] U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, “Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

[36] 29 U.S.C. § 794(a).

[37] 42 U.S.C. § 15601 et seq.; 28 C.F.R. 115 et seq.

[38] PREA Resource Center, Federal Register 77, no. 119 (2012).

[39] 42 U.S.C. § 15607(c).

[40] Annie E. Casey Foundation, Detention Facility Self-Assessment: A Practice Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform, (Baltimore, MD: Author, 2006).

[41] American Correctional Association, “Standards and Accreditation.”

[42] National Commission on Correctional Health Care, “Standards for Correctional Health Services.” https://www.ncchc.org/standards-for-correctional-health-services

[43] "Performance-based Standards."

[44] Mark W. Lipsey, James C. Howell, Marion R. Kelly, Gabrielle Chapman, and Darin Carver, Improving the Effectiveness of Juvenile Justice Programs: A New Perspective on Evidence-based Practice (Washington, DC: Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. Georgetown University, 2010).

[45] Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, “Model Programs Guide.”

[46] Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307 (1982).

[47] For an excellent overview of the legal responsibilities of staff in adult facilities housing youth, see James Austin, Kelly Dedel Johnson, and Maria Gregoriou, Juveniles in Adult Prisons and Jails: A National Assessment (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance), adapted from “Legal Rights of the Child,” in Representing the Child Client, edited by Mark Soler.

[48] Alexander S. v. Boyd, 113 F.3d 1373 (4th Cir. 1997).

[49] Jeffrey A. Butts, Gordon Bazemore, and Aundra Saa Meroe, Positive Youth Justice: Framing Justice Interventions Using the Concepts of Positive Youth Development (Washington, DC: Coalition for Juvenile Justice, 2010).

[50] Andrea J. Sedlak and Karla S. McPherson, Youth’s Needs and Services: Findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2010).

[51] Annie E. Casey Foundation, Detention Facility Self-Assessment.

[52] French v. Owen, 777 F.2d 1250 (7th Cir. 1986); Spain v. Procunier, 600 F.2d 189 (9th Cir. 1979).

[53] 28 C.F.R. 115.14; 28 C.F.R. 115.342.

[54] Sedlak and McPherson, Youth’s Needs and Services.

[55] J.L. Shufelt and J.J. Cocozza, Youth with Mental Health Disorders in the Juvenile Justice System: Results from a Multi-State Prevalence Study, (National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, 2006).

[56] Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976); Ruiz v. Estelle, 503 F. Supp. 1265 (S.D. Tex. 1980)(5th Cir. 1982).

[57] "Performance-based Standards."

[58] “Performance-based Standards.”; Annie E. Casey Foundation, Detention Facility Self-Assessment.

[59] Durmer v. O’Carroll, 991 F.2d 64 (3d Cir. 1991).

[60] Lindsay M. Hayes, Juvenile Suicide in Confinement: A National Study, (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2009).

[61] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Health Information Privacy.”

[62] Joan Pennell, Carol Shapiro, and Carol Spigner, Safety, Fairness, Stability: Repositioning Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare to Engage Families and Communities, (Washington, DC: Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, 2011).; Neelum Arya, FAMILY Comes First: A Workbook to Transform the Justice System by Partnering with Families, (Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice).

[63] R. Shanahan and S. Agudelo, Families as Partners: Supporting Incarcerated Youth in Ohio, (Washington, DC: Vera Institute of Justice).

[64] S. Agudelo, The Impact of Family Visitation on Incarcerated Youth’s Behavior and School Performance, (Washington, DC: Vera Institute of Justice, 2013).

[65] D.B. v. Tewksbury, 545 F. Supp. 896 (D. Or. 1982).; Taylor v. Armontrout, 888 F.2d 555 (8th Cir. 1989).

[66] See Ahrens v. Thomas, 434 F. Supp. 873 (W.D. Mo. 1977), 570 F.2d 286 (8th Cir. 1978).

[67] Annie E. Casey Foundation, Detention Facility Self-Assessment.

[68] Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78 (1987).

[69] S. Mihalic, Abigail Fagan, Katherine Irwin, Diane Ballard, and Delbert Elliott, Blueprints for Violence Prevention, (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2004).

[70] Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396 (1974).; Adams v. Carlson, 488 F.2d 619 (7th Cir. 1973).

[71] Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539 (1974).

[72] Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343 (1996).

[73] Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307 (1982).; Alexander S. v. Boyd, 876 F.Supp. 773 (D. S.C. 1995).

[74] 28 C.F.R. 115.341.

[75] Santiago v. Miles, 774 F.Supp 775 (W.D. N.Y. 1991).

[76] 28 C.F.R. 115.342.

[77] Glover v. Johnson, 934 F.2d 703 (6th Cir. 1991).

[78] 42 U.S.C. § 5633 (a)(12).

[79] Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307 (1982).

[80] Annie E. Casey Foundation, Detention Facility Self-Assessment.

[81] H.C. v. Hewett by Jarrard, 786 F.2d 1080 (11th Cir. 1986).

[82] Pena v. New York State Division for Youth, 419 F. Supp. 203 (S.D. N.Y. 1976).

[83] U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Investigation of the Shelby County Juvenile Court, (Washington, DC: Author, 2012).

[84] Annie E. Casey Foundation, Detention Facility Self-Assessment.

[85] Alexander S. v. Boyd, 876 F.Supp. 773 (D. S.C. 1995).; State of West Virginia v. Werner, 242 S.E.2d 907 (W.Va. 1978).; Thomas v. Bryant, No. 09-11658, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 17419 (11th Cir. Aug. 20, 2010).

[86] ACLU and Human Rights Watch, Growing Up Locked Down: Youth in Solitary Confinement in Jails and Prisons Across the United States, (Washington, DC: Authors).

[87] Coleman v. Wilson, 912 F.Supp. 1282 (E.D. Cal. 1995).; Madrid v. Gomez, 889 F. Supp. 1146 (N.D. Cal. 1995).; Lareau v. MacDougall, 473 F.2d 974 (2d Cir. 1972).

[88] 28 C.F.R. 115.342.

[89] 28 C.F.R. 115.14

[90] Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 (1979).

[91] Moyle v. County of Contra Costa, 2007 WL 4287315 *8, N.D. Cal., (Dec. 5, 2007).; T.S. v. Gabbard, 860 F.Supp.2d 384, 392 (E.D.Ky. 2012).

[92] Annie E. Casey Foundation, Detention Facility Self-Assessment.

[93] California Penal Code § 4030 (h).

[94] U.S. Department of Justice, 2011, Juvenile Federal Performance-Based Detention Standards Handbook.; Annie E. Casey Foundation, Detention Facility Self-Assessment.

[95] 28 C.F.R. 115.5.

[96] 28 C.F.R. 115.315; 28 C.F.R. 115.15.

[97] 28 C.F.R. 115.315.

[98] 28 C.F.R. 115.315; 28 C.F.R. 115.15.

[99] Annie E. Casey Foundation, Detention Facility Self-Assessment.

[100] Weems v. United States, 217 U.S. 349 (1910).

[101] Annie E. Casey Foundation, Detention Facility Self-Assessment.

[102] Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539 (1974); Baxter v. Palmigiano, 425 U.S. 308 (1976).

[103] Bradley v. Hall, 911 F. Supp. 446 (D. Or. 1994).; Dixon v. Brown, Co., 38 F.3d 1024 (8th Cir. 1994).

[104] 28 C.F.R. 115.351; 28 C.F.R. 115.51.

[105] 28 C.F.R. 115.352.

[106] Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

[107] 28 C.F.R. 115.316; 28 C.F.R. 115.16.

[108] Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, “Performance Measures Glossary.”

[109] Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78 (1987).

[110] 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc et seq.

[111] 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb et seq.

[112] Omar v. Casterline, 288 F. Supp. 2d 775 (W.D. La. 2003).

[113] Ford v. McGinnis, 352 F.3d 582 (2d Cir. 2003).

[114] Sutton v. Rasheed, 323 F.3d 236 (3d Cir. 2003).

[115] R.G. v. Koller, 415 F.Supp.2d 1129 (D. Hawaii, 2006).

[116] 28 C.F.R. 115.342.

[117] 28 C.F.R. 115.315; 28 C.F.R. 115.15.

[118] 28 C.F.R. 115.342; 28 C.F.R. 115.42.

[119] 28 C.F.R. 115.331; 28 C.F.R. 115.31.

[120] Neal v. Shimoda, 131 F.3d 818 (9th Cir. 1997).

[121] For an overview of these organizations’ positions on conversion and reparative therapies, see American Psychological Association, 2008, Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel. https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/just-the-facts.pdf.

[122] 20 U.S.C. § 1232g.; Also, for a useful overview of FERPA in the context of juvenile justice, see Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1997, Sharing Information: A Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and Participation in Juvenile Justice Programs. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/163705.pdf.

[123] Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994).

[124] Ramos v. Lamm, 639 F.2d 559 (10th Cir. 1980), 450 U.S. 1041 (1981).; Hare v. City of Corinth, 74 F.3d 633 (5th Cir. 1996).

[125] Annie E. Casey Foundation, Detention Facility Self-Assessment.

[126] Hopowit v. Spellman, 753 F.2d 779 (9th Cir. 1985).

[127] Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Emergency Planning for Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities.

Ch.6 Adolescent Development

Ch.6 Adolescent Development web_admin Thu, 12/23/2021 - 16:08

Author: Rodney Erwin, MD

Adolescence is a period of significant transformation from childhood to adulthood. The change during this period is equaled only by the growth and development that happens in infants. Adolescence is marked by tremendous physical, cognitive, emotional, and social challenges and growth. This chapter describes the myriad changes that occur in the bodies, minds, and lives of typical adolescents. Although there is a definite expected pattern of development, many adolescents encounter roadblocks along the way, whether related to differences in biology, environment, or a combination of both. This chapter addresses some of the challenges to appropriate adolescent development that may arise in the lives of many young people. Unfortunately, some challenges may contribute to the youth’s involvement in unacceptable or illegal activities, which in turn change the path of that youth’s development.

A transition is change and movement from one state to another. As disruptive and complicated as this can be, the most hopeful aspect of transition is the opportunity for choosing which path to take forward. A crucial role of society and its adults is to provide the greatest number of positive paths for adolescents to choose from, as they become the next generation of leaders and to minimize the factors that lead adolescents to more negative and destructive paths. One of the most important developments of adolescence is in the ability to make reasonable, rational choices for oneself. An adolescent’s development cannot proceed appropriately without making choices and learning from good and bad ones alike.

When an adolescent enters the juvenile justice system, in most cases, the opportunity for daily choices is greatly curtailed. Movement, routines, behavior, activities, and social associations are all strictly prescribed and closely monitored. The typically adolescent traits of risk-taking, pushing boundaries, and self-expression are all discouraged (reasonably so) in facilities. How does this strange environment impact adolescent development? Is it possible for the critical changes in adolescence to occur in such a setting? It is similar to uprooting a tree and planting that tree in a different type of soil, with reduced sunlight, less water, and a different temperature. Is it reasonable to expect that tree to continue to produce its fruit as expected? This is not meant to argue that confinement facilities are dark and barren places of deprivation, as many facilities provide great opportunities for growth and support for youth. However, many of the ingredients for healthy adolescent development are very difficult to provide in facilities, even with the best of intentions.

Even though the environment in facilities can be challenging for ongoing and appropriate development, that development does not stop. This chapter should stimulate thought about the role of confinement facility staff as a strong and positive force to guide young people to a more successful and meaningful life.

Theories of Development

Adolescence is the normal, distinct, and expected period of development between childhood and adulthood. In childhood, parents are responsible for regulating the behavior of their children. Adults are responsible for regulating their own behavior.[1] This shift in primary responsibility for behavior, and all that this entails, is perhaps the greatest task of adolescent development. Behavior in adolescence tends to be characterized by several different factors. Adolescents seem to be driven to experiment and take more risks. They are much more susceptible to the influence of their peers and make efforts to pull away from the influence of family. These behaviors help the adolescent develop his or her own personal identity and help an adolescent acquire the basic skills and experience necessary to move from relative dependence on parents to independence.

There are numerous theories that describe the process of human development, and specifically adolescent development. These theories are based on observations of behaviors and changes and attempt to outline and explain typical expectations, outcomes, and obstacles that occur. All human beings progress through stages and processes as they develop. These processes include the maturation of biological systems, cognitive abilities, personality, emotional regulation, and appropriate and healthy social skills. Development occurs in sequential stages—each stage building on previous stages. It involves interdependent physical, cognitive, emotional, and social factors. It is vitally important to be aware of the great diversity in the rate and specifics of development in adolescence; age or physical appearance are not necessarily valid indicators of development. Increasing amounts of scientific data provide a biological understanding of why adolescents behave in the ways they do.

One of the most influential theories of development is the concept of psychosocial stages from developmental psychologist Erik Erikson. He proposed eight stages in his 1950 book, Childhood and Society (and later expanded in further publications), which extend throughout life, from infancy to old age. Each stage is defined by the competition of two different forces creating a “crisis” that must be resolved to obtain the appropriate “virtue” from that developmental stage. According to Erikson’s theory, the resolution of these crises and acquisition of the necessary virtues depends in large part on the individual’s own traits and abilities but also on the presence of vital social support from family, peers, and society. The major forces competing during the adolescent period are “identity versus role confusion,” with the goal of obtaining “fidelity” when the conflict is resolved appropriately. In this context, fidelity implies an individual’s ability to remain committed to a certain identity and belief system, even in the midst of conflicting values and demands in his or her life.[2] Most important, in the context of this chapter, is the understanding that an adolescent’s major task is the formation of a solid identity and the ability to understand his or her place in the world as a productive and contributing member of society.

Positive Youth Development (PYD)

Another important development in the field of adolescent development and work with adolescents is the perspective of positive youth development, or PYD. This approach to understanding adolescence emphasizes the possibility of change and the idea that youth represent a resource to develop rather than a potential problem to be managed. This strengths-based perspective relies on the belief that if youth have mutually beneficial relationships with the people and institutions of their social world, then they will be able to create a life of positive contributions to their families, communities, society, and their own lives. PYD has developed from a variety of different sources, from academic research to the experience of youth workers. It has been strengthened and developed through contributions from various fields of sociology and developmental and community psychology.[3]

The PYD perspective stresses the capacity for change. It argues that change occurs most powerfully in the context of mutually influential relationships between an adolescent and his biology, psychology, family, culture, community, environment, and historical context. This perspective focuses attention on the strengths of adolescents and encourages what have been called the Five C’s of PYD: competence, confidence, character, connection, and caring. PYD argues that the acquisition of these characteristics requires several interventions. These include positive and sustained adult–youth relationships, activities that promote skill building in youth, and opportunities for adolescents to participate in and lead community-based activities.[4]

The PYD approach to adolescents is not a program in itself. Indeed, many programs in confinement facilities have attempted to incorporate PYD principles in a manner that works in their particular contexts. It is very important to understand that this philosophy can provide a basis for personal, individual contact with adolescents even in confinement facilities. Each interaction that a staff member has with an adolescent in a facility has the potential to help build the Five C’s in that youth’s life. This is even more important in facilities, given that incarcerated adolescents often have poor relationships with adults, disconnection with their communities, few opportunities to build skills, and little chance to participate in ongoing pro-social activities.

In addition to strengths, adolescents also have basic developmental needs that must be addressed adequately for positive growth and development to occur. These needs include physical activity, competence and achievement, self-definition, creative expression, positive social interactions, structure and clear limits, and meaningful participation.

Activity

It is important that any program designed to serve youth provides a means for the constructive channeling of energy through physical activity. There is a particular need for at least some involvement in sports and activities that allows for differences in strength, dexterity, and size. Adolescents are learning to operate their rapidly changing and maturing bodies, and they need space and opportunity to test out their new strength and skills. In addition, establishing habits of healthy exercise in adolescence is vital to lay the groundwork for ongoing physical health in adulthood. Adolescents are being driven biologically to begin to compete in life, and providing structured outlets for this sense of competition will help to prevent or counteract more negative manifestations of competition that can arise in confinement facilities. As an alternative to competitive activities, the New Games movement, introduced in the late 1960s and early 1970s, encourages participation in more cooperative, interactive games and activities. Although these games sometimes include competition, the more important focus of New Games is on participants playing together and having fun, rather than playing against one another in an effort to win, which serves to more effectively bring members of diverse groups together. (See Ch. 10: Effective Programs and Services)

Competence

All human beings (and adolescents in particular) need to have their accomplishments recognized and valued by individuals they respect. The opportunity to develop skills and to succeed at activities is absolutely vital for youth to develop a sense of competence. Adolescence is perhaps the most important developmental stage in terms of establishing a sense of one’s strengths and abilities and forming a more consistent self-image. Adolescents in confinement facilities may often get a clear message that they are far from competent and can easily take on an identity of being a failure and disappointment. On the other hand, through engagement in positive activities with positive feedback from adults, adolescents can begin to develop a sense of their ability to make a positive difference in their world.

Identity

Adolescents need to adjust to the new self that they are becoming. Rapid change requires time to absorb new ways of thinking, feeling, and reacting to others. It requires time to reflect on the meaning of new experiences in exploring a widening world and to integrate those experiences into a new self-concept. Adolescents, especially in the early and middle years of the stage, may still think concretely about themselves and their world and lack the ability at times to use more abstract and objective thinking about themselves. Adolescent emotion also heavily influences the ability to reason. It is extremely important for adolescents to form a more consistent identity so that they can begin to differentiate who they are from what happens to them and where they are.

Social Skills

Adolescents need positive social interactions with peers and adults. Youth need relationships with reassuring and informed adults who like and respect them for who they are. An effective staff member in a confinement facility must be able to respond sensitively to an adolescent’s rapidly changing emotions and thoughts. Ideally, staff in facilities should strive to be role models of healthy, functioning adults, helping youth to navigate their own pathways in terms of values, beliefs, and personal integrity. Healthy interactions with peers provide support and companionship, while creating opportunities to deal with criticism and promoting identification, imitation, and individualization. Adolescents are also driven by increased sexual and emotional feelings to seek out romantic and sexual relationships, which can be extremely difficult to manage in confinement facilities. It is vital that staff members acknowledge that these feelings are there and to establish clear expectations of appropriate behaviors around such issues without suppressing or shaming youth.

Another vital aspect of socialization is the opportunity for adolescents to have fun. The typical adolescent often values time with friends over anything else, and these interactions are essential for developing all of the other basic needs of adolescence. As discussed later, the adolescent brain is wired to seek out peer interactions and is motivated very powerfully by these relationships. Confinement facilities are not typically known for being fun, but effective programs need to include opportunities for adolescents to have fun in the context of their social groups. Programming in a confinement facility that prohibits youth from interacting and socializing with one another (during meals, free time, recreational activities) inhibits the development of appropriate social skills. Needed during these activities are structure, direction, and supportive supervision by caring adults to ensure that youth interactions are healthy and appropriate.

Structure

Adolescents must have structure and clear limits with flexibility to accommodate their ever-increasing capabilities. Clear expectations help uncertain, self-critical youth by defining areas where they can legitimately have the freedom to explore, which allows for safe experimentation with new emotions, sensations, and behaviors. Establishing expectations should become an increasingly participatory process so adolescents can gain experience in setting their own limits.

Engagement

Adolescents need to see themselves as participants and not merely observers. It is through this process of engagement that they learn to experience themselves as contributing members of their communities. Adolescents hate to be bored, and they often seek any kind of stimulation when they are bored. It is vital to keep adolescents in confinement facilities occupied and engaged in thoughts and activities to prevent them from creating their own excitement, which is usually not entirely positive. They should also be expected to plan and participate in activities that are more pro-social, allowing them to explore new interests and abilities and to develop a deeper sense of responsibility for making choices and engaging in their own lives.

The Onset of Puberty

Most people view adolescence as a particularly volatile and unpredictable time. Even the very definition of adolescence can be controversial and is interpreted in different ways. The lower limit of adolescence has traditionally been associated with the beginning of the teen years. However, the onset of puberty has become earlier for U.S. youth, and many states have lowered the age of responsibility for certain crimes in the past few decades. As more scientific evidence emerges about the developmental changes in a young brain, the upper limit of adolescence has also increased. The legal age of adulthood, with its benefits and responsibilities, is usually age 18. However, it is evident that the brain continues to develop vital and significant capabilities even into the mid-20s, suggesting that brain maturation does not reach adult capacity until then.[5]

Puberty is the process of sexual maturation that often signals the beginning of adolescence. The body is transformed from a child’s body into an adult’s body, with dramatic changes in size, appearance, and function. In the U.S., the average age of onset of puberty is for girls ages 10–11 years, and for boys ages 11–12. It typically takes 4–6 years for an individual to move through the stage of puberty. Puberty is characterized by the increased release of sex hormones, which are powerful signals to the body and brain to grow and develop. Physical growth is tremendous in terms of height, weight, and redistribution of fat and muscles. Secondary sexual characteristics also appear, including body hair, skin changes (acne), and body odor. The ability to reproduce and related sexual behavior also emerges during this time.[6]

As mentioned earlier, physical and sexual maturation occurs at different rates and in different ways for each individual. Some youth develop physically at much younger ages than others, which can cause significant difficulties for some young people. For example, there is some evidence that girls who enter puberty earlier ultimately have shorter stature and a higher incidence of mental health issues.>[7] Boys who begin puberty early have been shown in some studies to have an increased risk of early sexual activity and engagement in risky behaviors. On the other hand, those youth who begin puberty later are also at risk of social stigma.[8] Even typical puberty can be very awkward and difficult for adolescents who are struggling to understand their new bodies and the new feelings that accompany this physical development. These changes may be especially hard to manage for youth in facilities, due to the relative lack of privacy from their peers and from staff who need to monitor normally private activities (showers, bathroom, changing clothes).

The physical changes of puberty are also accompanied by increased emotions and sexual desire. It is expected that adolescents will begin to seek out relationships and sexual activity, and confinement in a facility can significantly hinder this aspect of typical adolescent development. It is very important to consider strategies to help youth begin to develop an understanding of meaningful and healthy sexual and romantic relationships in the context of a confinement setting, more for educational rather than practical purposes. Development and expression of sexual orientation occurs throughout this period as well, and this process can be even more confusing and difficult for youth in settings that are segregated by gender. Sexual exploration, most often through masturbation, will also occur and should be addressed specifically by staff in terms of balancing privacy and the need for required visual monitoring by staff.

Perhaps one of the most important things to remember about physical development is that, although youth may look like adults, their cognitive and emotional development may not be as advanced. In fact, adolescents whose bodies have matured and developed may still think and feel much like children. This emotional immaturity can be confusing for them and the adults around them, leading to unreasonable expectations and frustrations. Physical growth does not necessarily have any correlation with how mature a young person is, mentally, cognitively, or emotionally.

The Healthy Adolescent Brain

Although puberty is associated with children developing into adults through adolescence, it appears that other changes occur during this time that are not necessarily related to sex hormones and that involve several other very important chemical and structural changes in the brain. Research into adolescent brain development has expanded greatly in the past decade, due in large part to the increased ability to observe and understand the functioning of the brain. Research tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) enable scientists to observe and measure brain function and changes in ways that were not possible in the past. Researchers have also identified various chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters that serve as messengers between neurons, which are the basic building blocks of the brain and its functions. These messengers work by activating specific receptors on other neurons, similar to a key fitting into a lock.

This section describes some of the important structures and neurotransmitters in the brain that play a role in many typical adolescent behaviors. Brain research is still in its relatively early stages, and it is very difficult to interpret and predict behaviors based on neurochemical studies and imaging observations. However, this research, together with other remarkable studies that are combining behavior with functional brain studies, is helping us understand the behavioral and emotional changes that occur during adolescence.

Dopamine and the “Pleasure Center”

One of the most important neurotransmitters is dopamine, which plays a role in many different functions in the brain, including cognition (thinking and awareness), voluntary movement, sleep, mood, attention, memory, learning, motivation, and reward. Dopamine has been associated with the reward system in the brain, increasing feelings of pleasure and reinforcing activities that bring enjoyment. This chemical is released in a part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens (also called the “pleasure center”) in response to food, sex, certain drugs (amphetamines, cocaine, nicotine, morphine), and stimuli that are associated with them.[9] Dopamine acts as a powerful motivational substance in response to anticipation of rewards as well.

Another part of the brain that is extremely important in the discussion of adolescent development is the prefrontal cortex, which lies at the front of the brain. The significance of the prefrontal cortex is that it is involved in the planning and regulation of complex behaviors and social interactions. It is felt to be the center of executive function in the brain, serving as the “CEO” of one’s life. Executive functions include resolving internal conflicts, planning and organizing for the future, prioritizing needs and actions and beliefs, making goals and decisions, predicting outcomes, promoting impulse control, and managing social interactions.[10]

Beginning at around age 9, dopamine receptors start to undergo a significant redistribution in the brain. In early adolescence, which is typically defined as ages 10–13 for research purposes, dopamine activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain is higher than at any other time in a person’s life.[11] The changes that occur in the dopamine system during this time (redistribution and changes in concentration of receptors in various areas of the brain) result in a much more efficient dopamine transmission system. Stimuli that are rewarding to an individual are even more rewarding during this time; those rewards have much greater salience, or greater importance, relative to other factors.[12]

Risk Taking

This discovery matches behavioral observations of youth, who show higher scores in studies of sensation seeking, risk preference, and sensitivity to rewards. Scores tend to peak in mid-adolescence (ages 13–16) and then start to decline. This is manifested in a preference for short-term rewards over long-term rewards in young adolescents. There is increased dopamine activity in the pleasure center of the brain in young adolescents in response to risky behaviors, which means that risky behaviors stimulate the reward system in the adolescent brain. Adolescents attach much greater value to the rewards associated with risk-taking than either children or adults do. Further, there is also evidence that adolescents and adults may be able to perceive risks of certain behaviors similarly, but they tend to evaluate the rewards differently; adolescents feel a relatively increased power of rewards.[13]

These findings help to explain why adolescents tend to seek out risky behaviors. They simply feel more reward, not just from the activity itself, but also from the fact that it is risky. For example, an adolescent may choose to drive fast for several reasons. First, the thrill of driving fast likely has more importance for an adolescent than for an adult. In addition, the fact that driving fast has inherent risks offers an additional reward. It appears that adolescents are equally aware of the potential negative outcomes of driving fast as adults (potential to crash, receive a speeding ticket). However, the relative perceived importance of the rewards over the potential risks may lead the adolescent to drive fast more often than an adult would.

A recent study involving adolescents and driving conducted by Dr. Laurence Steinberg, a psychologist at Temple University, underscores another significant component of adolescent development: the influence of peers. Three groups of individuals—adolescents (mean age 14), young adults (mean age 20), and adults (mean age 40 ) were asked to play a video game in which they drove cars and received rewards for completing certain tasks that involved increasing risks. During the game, researchers monitored the activity of their brains using fMRI scans. The level of risky driving was comparable between the age groups when they played the game alone. However, when asked to play the game in the presence of peers, risky driving doubled in adolescents, increased by 50% in young adults, and showed no change in adults. The results from the fMRI showed that the presence of peers caused activation of regions of the brain that were not activated when performing the task alone. With peers present, there was increased activity in the pleasure center of the brain, and other neural circuits that are associated with the reward cycle.[14]

There is another powerful neurotransmitter called oxytocin whose impact is highly strengthened during adolescence. Oxytocin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that is essential for emotional and social bonding and that regulates the recognition and memory of social stimuli.[15] It is the hormone that is released in large amounts during childbirth and breastfeeding to stimulate bonding between a mother and newborn infant. Receptors for oxytocin proliferate in the adolescent brain, largely mediated by the increase in sex hormones. The release of oxytocin results in heightened activation of brain regions associated with reward and social bonding. Thus, adolescents appear to interpret social acceptance by peers as with other types of rewards, due to the overlap in brain systems that process rewards and social stimuli.[16]

Peer Influence

This very powerful social aspect of adolescent behavior helps to explain the many different risks that increase in the presence of adolescent peers. Adolescent crime occurs much more often in the context of groups, as opposed to adults, who tend to commit crimes more often when they are alone.[17] The presence of another adolescent as a passenger in a car significantly increases the risk of a serious accident. Adolescents are more likely to be sexually active if their peers are and even if they just believe their peers are (whether or not this is not true).[18] One of the strongest predictors of an adolescent’s substance use is the degree of his or her peer group’s substance use.[19] For reasons likely related to the perceived rewards of antisocial behaviors, early adolescents (up to ages 13–14) find it more difficult to resist antisocial influences than they do neutral or pro-social influences. It is only after the age of 14 that adolescents typically start to show increased resistance to all forms of peer influence.[20] It is extremely important to recognize this vital biological and social force that significantly influences the behavior of adolescents, especially given who their peers are in juvenile confinement facilities. This also provides a powerful argument for establishing classification systems for youth in detention facilities that take into account the tremendous differences in social development for youth of different ages.

Emotion Processing

Another crucial component of the brain that contributes a great deal to an understanding of adolescent behavior is the limbic system. The limbic system is composed of several different structures, including the amygdala, and is responsible for key aspects of social processing. The function of the limbic system includes recognition of socially relevant stimuli (faces, for example), social judgments (appraisals of others, attractiveness, assessing the intentions of others, evaluating race), and social reasoning.[21] The amygdala—which makes up a small but vital part of the limbic system—processes emotions such as fear, anger, and pleasure and is responsible for determining what memories are eventually stored. This means that the amygdala plays a key role in determining which environmental stimuli are important to remember, largely from an emotional perspective.[22] There is significant overlap between the limbic system and regions associated with rewards in adolescents.

Automatic emotional responses, such as a fear reaction to seeing a snake slither across a path, are produced in the amygdala, which has numerous connections to other parts of the brain. Its connection to motor and sensory parts of the brain allow us to react to a snake by immediately jumping away or freezing in our steps without having to think through our response. In turn, the connection of the amygdala to the memory and cognitive parts of the brain allow us to modulate our responses to a snake.[23] For example, this allows us to recognize the snake as a harmless garden snake and to reduce our initial emotional fear reaction.

Adolescent behavior is a reflection of the developmental imbalance between the more functionally mature limbic system (more emotional part) of the brain and the relative immaturity of the developing cognitive and executive function systems of the brain. The “thinking part” of the brain, consisting of neurons and called gray matter, reaches its peak thickness in the brain at age 11 in girls and 12 in boys. After that point, it begins to thin in the prefrontal cortex of the brain (as well as other regions) due to a process called synaptic pruning.[24] This occurs when the brain begins to eliminate unused connections between neurons and begins to reorganize and reinforce pathways that are used.[25] This occurs simultaneously with the restructuring of the dopamine and reward system

The process of synaptic pruning, which is essentially complete by age 16, reflects cognitive development in the adolescent brain.[26] By age 16, adolescents show marked improvements in understanding and reasoning, and they become capable of more abstract, deliberative, and hypothetical thinking. After this point, adolescents are equal to adults in terms of the basic cognitive abilities of measures of memory, verbal fluency, and logical reasoning.[27] However, when adolescents are asked to complete more complex cognitive tasks that require the coordination of more regions of the brain, they do not reach adult levels until much later.[28] It is very important to note that demonstrating cognitive capacities for understanding and reasoning does not mean demonstrating comparable levels of maturity of judgment, which is affected by both cognitive capabilities as well as psychosocial ones.

Emotion versus Cognition

In reality, this means that adolescents are able to understand and reason through the risks of certain behaviors, but when emotions are triggered, the relatively more mature limbic system will win over the relatively less mature cognitive system. The combination of the increased response to rewards, the strength of the emotional part of the brain, and the relative immaturity of the executive function or behavioral control part of the brain, leads adolescents to make decisions that are much more short-term in nature and more emotionally driven. For example, in one study, adolescents took longer than adults to respond when asked if certain dangerous activities (such as swimming with sharks or setting one’s hair on fire) were “good ideas.” Their functional brain scans during that time also showed that adults used the cognitive control regions of the brain much more efficiently than adolescents. When asked about non-dangerous activities (eating a salad, taking a walk), adolescents and adults performed equally and their patterns of brain activation were similar.[29]

These different ways of thinking have been called “hot and cold cognition.” Hot cognition is the mental process that occurs when emotions have been triggered and there is a more personal stake in the choices that are made. Cold cognition is more intellectual or hypothetical in nature. When faced with a pressing situation that personally and emotionally affects an adolescent, he or she will rely more on feelings and less on intellectual reasoning to make the decision. When the situation is more hypothetical, the adolescent is able to use more logical reasoning to make the choice. Decision-making in adolescents cannot be fully understood without considering the role of emotions and the interaction between thinking and feeling.[30] Adolescent decisions are unlikely to emerge from a logical evaluation of the risks and benefits of a situation. Instead, adolescent decisions are the result of a complex set of competing feelings—the desire to look cool, fear of being rejected, anxiety about being caught, or the excitement of risk.[31]

The complex interplay between the emotional and cognitive functions of the brain are also evident in difficulties that arise in communication with adolescents. Youth are not very skilled at distinguishing the subtlety of facial expression (excitement, anger, fear, sadness), which can result in miscues. That lack of distinction can result in miscues and inappropriate communication and behavior. There is increased involvement during adolescence of multiple brain regions in tasks involving the processing of emotional information. Youth are less likely to be able to activate multiple brain areas simultaneously, which makes it more difficult for them to think and feel at the same time in making choices.[32] These differences in processing information, both logical and emotional, make misperceptions and misunderstandings of verbal and nonverbal cues more likely in the adolescent brain.

Neural Changes and Integration

Another extremely important biological process that occurs throughout adolescent brain development is the steady increase in myelination of neurons. Myelination is the wrapping of nerve cells by an electrically insulating material called myelin. This enables the speed of messages along nerve cells in the brain to be much faster and more efficient. In addition, myelin helps to modulate the timing and synchronization of messages in the brain, again making nerve transmission much more effective. Myelinated neurons, called “white matter,” initially allow improved and more efficient connections between certain regions of the prefrontal cortex. This allows improvements in certain tasks of executive function, such as improved future orientation, impulse control, planning, and the ability to consider multiple sources of information simultaneously.[33] Later, more connections are established between the prefrontal cortex and other regions of the brain, including the limbic structures and the pleasure center of the brain. This improved connectivity across brain regions leads to improved coordination of emotion and cognition, reflected in improved emotional regulation as a result of the increased connectivity of regions associated with processing emotional and social information (amygdala, nucleus accumbens).[34]

The course of adolescent brain development can be summarized briefly as a rebalancing of the socio-emotional components and the cognitive control system of the brain. The imbalance appears just before puberty, when the emotional (limbic) aspect of the brain—driven by dopamine and the reward system—increases its functioning dramatically. This occurs at a time when the ability of the brain to regulate and modulate the social and emotional feelings has not yet been equally developed. One researcher described this situation as “starting the engines without a skilled driver behind the wheel.”[35] At the same time, the adolescent brain is primed by very powerful hormones to seek out relationships with and approval from peers.

Adolescents begin to acquire increasing cognitive skills as the thinking part of the brain—the gray matter—is pruned and reorganized. However, even with the improved ability to reason, adolescents are still greatly influenced by emotional components of situations and are not yet able to synthesize and weigh various bits of information to make better judgments. The higher coordination of the cognitive control system develops into the mid-20s, as more specialized and efficient connections are made within and between important centers of brain functioning.[36]

Nature and Nurture

It is important once again to stress the variability in development that occurs in each individual. However, the basic neurochemical changes are very similar and do occur in roughly the same order and time period. The study of adolescent brain development is in its very early stages, and the remarkable information that is available only scratches the surface of the complexity of the brain. The genetics of each adolescent likely play a major role in various neurochemical processes, even down to the molecular level, but research is just beginning in this area. The interplay of genetics and environmental factors is also extremely important but little understood.

One example of the role of the environment in development is the increasingly earlier onset of puberty in children in the U.S. over the past few decades. This is possibly related to changes in nutrition, as obesity has been linked to earlier puberty in girls. There is legitimate concern as well about the exposure to hormones in food and chemicals in the environment that may have an impact on puberty.[37] As discussed above, there is a powerful and not fully understood relationship between the sex hormones and other changes in the brain, and the ultimate impact of earlier release of sex hormones on brain development.

Brain Development and Substance Use

The processes discussed above are the typical stages of brain development. There can be serious assaults on this development from a variety of different environmental factors. One of the most important stressors to consider in the adolescent population in a confinement facility is substance use. There are apparently many factors that attract adolescents to substance use. The chemical and structural changes in the brain that occur during adolescence heighten the drive to seek new and rewarding experiences, and the rewards that they receive from these experiences are also much more intense. The immediate effects of substance use decrease impulse control and impair cognitive abilities in adolescents who already have relative deficits in those areas, compared to adults. Most substance use in adolescents occurs in the presence of peers, which increases the risk of the use itself as well as heightened risk of overuse.[38] The combination of substance use and peers also makes poor decisions and negative behaviors more likely. In fact, over half of adolescents in a confinement facility report that they were intoxicated at the time of their delinquent acts.[39]

The substance most commonly used by adolescents is alcohol, followed by marijuana.[40] The use of intoxicating substances increases tremendously during the teen years, putting teens at much greater risk for a variety of negative outcomes such as harmful effects on physiological, social, and psychological functioning; increased risk for future substance abuse and dependence disorders; and increased risk of delinquency, aggressive behaviors, risky sexual behaviors, and dangerous driving.[41] Although these relatively immediate effects can have a tremendously negative short-term impact on the lives of adolescents, the long-term effects are also extremely important.

Because of the dramatic development that occurs in the adolescent brain, the use of substances can have a significant deleterious effect and potentially alter the course of brain development. Studies show that there are marked differences in structure and function in the brains of youth who use alcohol, marijuana, or both. In particular, there are decreases in white matter (the paths of neurons that facilitate more efficient and complex communication between different parts of the brain), development in the prefrontal cortex, and impaired development of the coordination of brain processes. This may manifest as impaired development of the cognitive control system of the brain. The quality of the white matter that does develop is decreased in a direct relationship with the amount of alcohol used by that adolescent. The more an adolescent drinks, the poorer the quality of his or her brain tissue.[42]

When youth who use substances undergo neuropsychological testing to measure their brain functioning, the findings are remarkably negative. Adolescent substance users show a multitude of impairments: decreased retention of information, impaired attention, slowed information processing, decreased ability for future planning and abstract reasoning, lower language skills, decreased IQs, increased likelihood of repeating errors when solving problems. Many of these are higher cognitive functions that are expected to develop with the increase in white matter development and connectivity in late adolescence. The long-term data are still limited, but it appears that some of these deficits may persist throughout life.[43]

Given the extremely high risks of substance use in adolescents, prevention and treatment for substance use are vital. One of the most important risk factors for initiating and continuing substance use or abuse that must be addressed is substance use in the youth's family. There is very likely a genetic component involved, as families with multigenerational use place the adolescent at much greater risk of developing a substance use disorder.[44] The environmental component cannot be overestimated either, and substance abuse in parents has multiple implications for the development of their children. These risks include the potentially devastating effects of in utero exposure to substances, higher rates of mental health disorders in parents with consequent risks to children, exposure and availability of substances to adolescents in those families, and increased risk of abuse and neglect related to parental substance use.[45] The fact that a youth's family has such an important impact on the potential for substance abuse underscores the need for increased engagement of families while youth are in custody.

The Impact of the Justice System

An adolescent’s involvement in the justice system can also have a tremendous impact on his or her development. Under normal circumstances, increased risk taking, testing limits, and exploration of new experiences help the adolescent establish a new self-identity and create the basis for how he or she perceives the world. This phase of development requires a level of independence and freedom that adolescents in confinement facilities are rarely allowed.

In addition, there is much evidence that involvement in any confinement facility—juvenile or adult—can lead to negative labeling of youth (both self and other), increased negative views of authority and adults, and feelings of anger and hopelessness.[46] They are often removed for extended periods of time from their families, schools, and communities, resulting in impairment in those relationships that may have been troubled already. Confinement facilities necessitate close affiliation with others who may exhibit some of the same antisocial patterns and beliefs that contributed to a youth’s negative behaviors. It is well known that a healthy and supportive relationship with an adult can be an enormous factor of resilience in adolescents.[47] Unfortunately, so many of the interactions that staff members in confinement facilities have with youth are at best very structured and at times directive and even punitive. Adolescents watch closely and learn how to engage in their world, and their interactions with peers and staff in confinement facilities may help to create a powerful template for social behavior for the rest of their lives.

The influence of social interaction is even greater for youth who end up rotating in and out of confinement facilities, as they are removed further and further from their communities and potentially normative developmental influences. These adolescents are at increased risk of becoming chronic offenders who will likely transition into adult criminal behaviors later.[48] There are numerous critical junctures in development when appropriate interventions can push adolescents into a new trajectory. It is vitally important to understand adolescent development and to identify certain individual, social, educational, and familial components in that adolescent’s life to be able to intervene in a manner that will hopefully prevent deeper involvement in antisocial behaviors.

The theories behind the development of chronic offenders and the multiple interventions that may change the course of that development are beyond the scope of this chapter. There are many excellent resources to help develop a stronger understanding of the factors and issues that impact a youth’s development. The most important message for this chapter is that adolescent development is an extremely complex biological and social process that is affected—positively and negatively—by many physical and social factors. Understanding the process of youth development and responding in reasonable and rational ways to behaviors that are often frustrating and dangerous can lay the groundwork for adolescents to have better tools and to make better choices.

Theories of Delinquency

It is extremely important for any individual working with youth to have at least a basic understanding of the different theories of delinquency. This knowledge will hopefully provide the foundation on which to build a more thoughtful and reasonable approach to this difficult work. It is vital to anticipate and understand the actions of youth in a confinement setting to prevent practices and reactions that may be detrimental to both youths and staff alike. The emotional intensity that adolescence entails, particularly for those in a stressful setting, can only be handled appropriately when adults are well prepared. Adults need the anchor of knowledge and understanding of what is happening and possible reasons for it. This section explains some of the very basic components of delinquency theory, but there are entire textbooks and college courses that can provide greater insight into this very important topic.

Delinquent and criminal behavior has generally been approached from three different but related perspectives: biological, psychological, and sociological. The biological approach maintains that the origins of crime and delinquency are found within the physiological and hereditary makeup of the individual. The psychological orientation holds that illegal behavior is a function of the internal psychological traits and processes of the individual. The sociological theory explores delinquency in relation to society, social structure, and group behavior.

No single theory completely explains juvenile delinquency or its effective treatment.[49] For this reason, the emphasis on one theory over another is frequently tied to the perspectives of politicians whose understandings of delinquency are more often a function of rhetoric and appeals to public sentiments about crime. Currently, there is considerable controversy about the conflicting goals of the juvenile justice system. These conflicts are manifested in the laws, which differ from state to state, that define adolescent culpability. However, the federal government has supported in some ways a holistic and interactive approach to delinquency theory based on sound research practices.

Materials from OJJDP strongly emphasize the interaction between individual, family, and community variables. There are also systematic efforts to discover those factors in a youth’s life that can be identified as causes or correlates of delinquency.[50] By identifying the individual variables that are linked to delinquent behavior, various theoretical approaches can be used to develop effective interventions. The OJJDP Comprehensive Strategy for delinquency prevention and intervention outlines strategies and principles relevant to all juvenile justice professionals, especially caregivers in facilities that confine youth.[51]

Human behavior is extremely complex and often unpredictable, and adolescent behavior takes this to the extreme. An understanding of criminal behavior in adolescence cannot be reduced to any simple theory or explanation, despite the ongoing efforts of society, media, and politicians to do so. Research consistently shows that a majority of adolescents commit some type of illegal offense, which one could argue places delinquency in the realm of normal adolescent behavior—the adolescent’s biological and social drive to test limits and seek out new experiences.[52]

Patterns of Lawbreaking

Indeed, the prevalence and incidence of offenses start to increase in late childhood, with a peak in late adolescence. These rates then drop off as adolescents move into adulthood.[53] This pattern has led to the classification of offenders into adolescence-limited offenders and life-course-persistent offenders—those who continue to engage in antisocial behaviors into adulthood and throughout their lives. An understanding of the theory of delinquency can aid in developing a better perspective about why certain adolescents seem to move past delinquent behaviors and others do not.

Risk and Protective Factors

A multitude of risk and protective factors have been identified through research and practice in the development of delinquent behavior. These factors include individual traits such as the age at which the behavior begins, level of intelligence, and certain difficulties in self-regulation (emotional regulation and impulse control).[54] The latter may be symptoms of an underlying mental health disorder, which can also increase a youth's risk of delinquent behavior.[55] These traits then very likely impact the youth's school performance, which is another significant factor in the development of delinquency. Parenting styles, family history of delinquency and attitudes towards delinquent behaviors, and potential abuse and neglect by parents and caregivers are also risk factors that may increase the likelihood of delinquent behavior. As discussed previously, a youth's peer group and social environment (including socio-economic status) have enormous influence on a youth's development and tendency to commit illegal acts.

Despite these various risk factors and theories that address them, the development of delinquent behavior in adolescence—similar to physical and emotional development—varies from one individual to another. Perhaps one of the most powerful and useful tools to understand delinquent behavior is the perspective of adolescents themselves. Arnold Goldstein has emphasized the importance of using the experiences of juvenile offenders as a valuable source of knowledge, which, when combined with theory and research, greatly improves staff understanding of youth.[56] This strategy stresses the importance of talking with youth and listening to their life stories. There are a variety of resources and writings that relate the experiences of a youth in confinement facilities.

Gangs

Gangs are an avenue for many adolescents to become involved with crime and delinquency. The theories used to explain gangs include many developmental, biological, psychological, and sociological factors previously mentioned in this chapter. Gangs are included here because of their significant contribution to delinquent behavior. Research shows that a youth's involvement in a gang increases the risk of violence much more powerfully than his or her association with antisocial peers outside of a gang. An adolescent’s level of delinquency increases significantly with gang involvement and decreases if that adolescent leaves the gang, even if the youth was already engaged in delinquent behaviors. The risk of committing serious violent crime is also dramatically greater for youth in gangs.[57] For example, adolescents are 10 times more likely to commit homicide if they are in a gang.[58]

Despite the prevalence of gangs and their tremendous negative influence on adolescent development, there is little consensus even about the definition of a gang, including whether the involvement in criminal activity is necessary to be classified as a gang. Finding some agreement on the definition of gangs is a requirement for conducting further research and for developing more effective interventions to address the potentially devastating impact gangs can have in communities and the lives of the young people in them. Rather than subscribing to a specific definition, this chapter will use the OJJDP’s assertion that a gang includes certain components: a self-formed and maintained group, united by mutual interests, that controls a particular territory, facility, or enterprise; uses symbols in communications; and is collectively involved in crime.[59]

Gang History in the U.S.

It appears that youth gangs appeared in the U.S. as early as 1783, with the end of the American Revolution. They likely developed and spread in New England in the early 1800s with the rise of the Industrial Revolution and its increasing urbanization. Gangs in Chicago and other large cities increased during the industrial era, and the accompanying immigration and population shifts that occurred during this time likely contributed to the growth of gangs during that era. It is also likely that gangs developed in the Southwest during the same period due to the social, cultural, and economic difficulties encountered by Mexican immigrants in the early 1800s. The evolution of gangs in the U.S. has not been consistent and has been characterized by certain periods of growth and decline.[60] The peak periods of the growth of gangs in the U.S. were the late 1800s, the 1920s, the 1960s and the 1990s.[61]

The youth gangs of the early 19th century were primarily formed around ethnic groups (Italian, Irish, Jewish).[62] Youth gangs still continue to be quite segregated ethnically, although there is a growing segment of gangs called “hybrid gangs” that are multi-ethnic and more loosely structured than gangs in the past. Currently, according to the FBI, 47% of gang members in the U.S. are Hispanic, 31% are Black, 13% are White, and 7% are Asian. It is estimated that 40% of gang members are under the age of 18 years, and less than 10% are females.[63]

Gangs continue to migrate from urban areas into smaller cities and suburban and even rural areas. They recruit new members and expand territories and make alliances (at times) with rival gangs to grow their profits from drug trade and other illegal activities. The technological advances of the past decade, as well as the availability of extremely powerful weapons, have allowed gangs even greater influence in conducting their criminal activities. There is evidence that gangs are encouraging adolescents to join the military to get military training that can benefit the gang once that youth returns to the community.[64]

Monetary rewards remain a very powerful motivation for gang involvement, as they have throughout gang history. Gangs have been intimately involved in the sale and distribution of drugs, which has served as an opportunity for many poor youth to attain wealth and a way forward in their lives. The activity of gangs has expanded dramatically into other forms of crime, include human trafficking, alien smuggling, weapons trafficking, prostitution, and white-collar crimes such as counterfeiting, identify theft, and mortgage fraud.[65]

According to the FBI (2011 National Gang Threat Assessment) gangs are expanding throughout many communities. They are becoming more violent and sophisticated in their criminal activity, and they are responsible for anywhere from 48-90% of violent crime in certain jurisdictions. It is estimated that there are about 1.4 million gang members in 33,000 gangs across the nation, which represents a 40% increase in gang membership since 2009. There has also been an increase in the number of youth in gangs, partly related to the increased incarceration rates of older members and more sophisticated recruitment of younger children in schools and communities.[66]

Gangs and Adolescence

Youth are especially attractive targets for recruitment into gangs for several reasons. They tend to be more vulnerable and susceptible to recruitment tactics, in large part due to the heightened importance of peer influence during adolescence. The fact that minors may also receive less harsh punishment in the criminal justice system also makes them more attractive candidates for committing crimes on behalf of their older gang members. The National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) reports that juvenile gangs are responsible for the majority of crime in many jurisdictions throughout states across the country.[67]

The powerful sense of identity and belonging that come with being in a gang can be a compelling inducement to a youth that has not found acceptance elsewhere. Gangs can be vehicles for social interaction, safety, money and material goods, status, and achievement.[68] All of this occurs at a time when youth are developmentally breaking away from their families and looking to make new affiliations with peers and their community. The potential for involvement in exciting and risky activities can also be very attractive to youth.

There are also environmental, cultural, economic, and social factors that contribute to a youth's susceptibility to joining a gang. One theory emphasizes the “underclass” status of minority youth, which leaves them vulnerable to the attractions of opportunity and wealth that gangs can provide.[69] Some youth may also seek personal safety and well being from their membership in a gang. Identification with certain cultures or ethnicities may also contribute to the attraction of gangs to adolescents.

Risk Factors for Gang Membership

Long-term and ongoing research into adolescent involvement in gangs has revealed a number of risk factors in several different important domains: community, family, school, peer group, and individual characteristics. The most important risk factor in the community domain is living in a neighborhood in which the social integration or attachment is low. Family components that increase a youth's risk for gang involvement include poverty, absence of or poor attachment to parents, and poor parental supervision. Risk factors related to school are low expectations for academic success (in youth and parents), low commitment to school, and poor attachment to teachers. As with development of delinquency, association—especially unsupervised association—with delinquent peers increases the risk of gang affiliation. Individual risk factors for gang involvement include low self-esteem, numerous negative life events, symptoms of depression, and access to or a favorable view of drug use. Adolescents who use drugs and are involved in delinquent behaviors (especially violent acts) are more likely to join gangs than youth who are less involved in delinquency or drugs. The greater the number of risk factors an adolescent has, the higher the risk of being involved in a gang.[70]

Gangs and Juvenile Facilities

Unfortunately, gang activity is present not only on the streets but also in confinement facilities. In the OJJDP’s 2010 Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (SYRP), almost a third of the youth population admitted to some gang affiliation. A majority of youth (60%) reported that there are gangs in the facilities in which they are confined. The presence of gangs in a confinement facility can be challenging and disruptive in many ways.[71] Given the intensity of confinement and its sometimes crowded conditions, gang members often use their time in confinement to recruit new members. Some gangs (the Chicago Vice Lords, for example) have even formed inside confinement facilities.[72] Youth may feel especially vulnerable in a confinement setting and join a gang for protection.

Gangs contribute to the culture in confinement facilities in several other negative ways. The presence of gangs in a facility significantly increases the likelihood that a youth will be offered contraband. The percentage of youth living in units characterized by poor youth–staff relations are much higher in facilities with a gang presence. Youth are much more likely to report having been sprayed with pepper spray in units where gangs are present.[73] For reasons likely related to recruitment and exposure, confinement in a juvenile correctional facility is one of the strongest predictors of adult prison gang membership.[74]

Gangs are a primary concern for juvenile justice professionals because of the link they provide to drugs, criminal behaviors, and violence. The sale and distribution of illegal drugs is a big business, and corporate gangs are the organizations that run the business. Drugs are the product of the business. A system or mechanism is needed for the acquisition, distribution, and sale of the product. Sales territories must be established so that the salespersons can maximize distribution and sale of the product. Employees (sometimes referred to as “posse” or “crew”) are recruited for each of these purposes. The illegal nature of the product means that danger is involved in its acquisition, distribution, and sale. Because of the dangers involved, weapons become a tool of the trade as a means of protecting employees and investment. High profit margins make violence a very effective way of safeguarding the business, and ready cash buy the most sophisticated and powerful weapons money can buy.

Gangs and Violence

Goldstein identified some factors that increase the amount of violence associated with gangs.[75] Violence is enhanced by the drug-related activities of the gang. Gang fighting is more about selling drugs and economic territories than it is about traditional turf battles for many gangs. Territory does still remain an issue because of increased mobility. A disproportionately high number of gang members carry guns, and these guns are significantly more lethal and easier to use than previous weapons.

Violence is also linked to the increased number of gang members and to older gang members. First, the group has a tendency to encourage violence through a depersonalized process. Similar to mob violence, in which frenzied behavior can turn quickly into violent behavior, gang violence gains quick support when individual responsibility becomes lost in the group. Second, the increased number of gang members in general means that there are probably more sociopaths involved in the decision-making. This increases the likelihood that violence will become a part of gang strategies and that it will receive support from gang members. When the peer value system that fulfills or satisfies the basic psychological need for belonging also endorses violence, individuals will quickly accept the idea of violence.

Older gang members are more inclined to carry guns and to use violence and aggression as a way of maintaining their dominance in the gang. Furthermore, a common trait of gang members is the need for respect. Violence as a form of power, domination, and superiority satisfies many of the personal needs of those gang members who have low self-esteem. A childhood associated with abuse (physical, sexual, and emotional) and rejection produces anger and self-doubt. Violence is very effective for demonstrating strength, power, status, esteem, and authority within the gang.

A higher risk of violence for adolescents in gangs is not surprising, given their susceptibility to peer influence, the impaired ability to make rational decisions in stressful settings, and their still unformed capacity for higher cognitive function. These biological factors, combined with the external factors discussed above, make violence in gangs extremely likely for adolescents.

On a more positive note, some interventions and programs are making a positive impact on the issue of adolescents in gangs.[76] Intervention strategies address social skills, moral development, family preservation, school-based services, employment training, recreation, community involvement, and law enforcement. These strategies parallel the components of effective violence reduction programs for adolescents that focus on problem-solving skills, assistance to at-risk families, reduction of central nervous system trauma, controlled access to firearms, and enhanced racial and ethnic identity.[77]

Family Engagement

It is impossible to consider adolescent development outside the context of the family. Families provide youth with many critical values, perceptions, experiences, and beliefs. These factors have a dramatic effect on shaping the youth's behavior and on forming his or her character. Each individual goes through life with a set of beliefs and understanding about the world. The underlying perspective informs every decision and action that individual takes. Beliefs are rooted in early childhood experiences and in the family’s culture. They are almost always operating at an unconscious level, powerfully impacting behavior and decisions.

Self-Worth and the Family

Perhaps the most important trait a family can instill is a sense of self-worth. Self-worth is the internal picture a person has of himself or herself. The nature of this picture (whether positive or negative) is a crucial factor that influences a person’s internal life and social life.

Youth who have a positive sense of self-worth tend to possess a feeling of importance and believe that the world is a better place because they exist. They have faith in their own competence, are able to ask for help, and appreciate the worth of others. Youth with a positive self-worth are able to maintain trust and hope.

Youth who have a negative sense of self-worth feel that they have little value and often expect to be cheated, put down, and unappreciated. These youth often project these negative feelings onto others, meaning they assume that others perceive them in the same way—as worthless. They then respond and behave towards others as if this were true, and they easily interpret interactions with others in this context. As a defense, they may hide behind a wall of distrust or anger. The lack of appropriate relationships leads to apathy and indifference. These adolescents will then often treat others poorly in anticipation of being treated poorly themselves.

Social Connections and Beliefs

Individuals develop patterns and means of communication with others in a family context. Communication is simply how we make and share meaning with others. Early interactions with family members, especially parents or other caregivers, form the basis for learning to express needs and feelings with others. In the family, one adolescent may learn that he or she must yell to be heard by distracted or busy parents. Another may have a belief that his or her parents are not interested in what he or she has to say and therefore does not trust other adults to listen. These beliefs and patterns of communication will be repeated with the adults in the confinement facility and can create misunderstanding and confusion for staff members who are being yelled at or mistrusted for no apparent reason.

Adolescents are also linked through family relationships to people and institutions of the larger society. Beliefs about an individual’s relationship to others in the world are rooted in family culture and routines. It is within the family that beliefs about school and education, the government, law enforcement, religious institutions, and community involvement are established. Adolescents enter their worlds with an abundance of assumptions and expectations that were passed on through the experiences of their parents and extended families. For example, if a child grows up in a family in which the police are perceived as untrustworthy, it is extremely likely that the adolescent will adopt that perception and behave accordingly.

Removing an adolescent from his or her family does not mean that youth will change his or her basic beliefs about and behaviors toward adults and institutions. However, this separation is an excellent opportunity for adolescents to engage in relationships and experiences that may challenge their long-held beliefs and allow them to expand their ideas about the world and others. Workers in confinement facilities have a significant opportunity to model healthy communication, set appropriate limits, and positively encourage adolescents who may have never experienced those gifts before.

It has become more widely accepted in the field of juvenile justice that families of juvenile offenders should be as involved as possible in the care of youth in confinement facilities.[78] The most obvious and compelling reason for this intervention is that most youth will return to their families and communities after their release from the facility, and facilities have an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen the family as a resource for the youth. Parenting skills training and family-intensive interventions work to empower the family to provide better guidance and supervision. This is best accomplished by involving the family from the beginning of the court or confinement process.[79] The relative isolation of the confinement facility from the public, as well as the power of the court to compel parental involvement can create a safe place where interventions can be made to improve family–child relationships (often the origin of the youth’s problems).

There are immediate benefits that can be gained from involving families at every step of a youth's course through confinement. Family involvement has been shown to reduce anxiety, reinforce treatment, and provide a more effective means of communicating needs for youth in confinement.[80] Youth are often not able to accurately describe their medical and psychiatric histories, which can be vital to providing adequate medical and mental healthcare to them, and families can play a very important role in providing this information. Families are also a tremendous resource in helping to inform the juvenile justice system of the youth’s educational needs.

There are also several, more long-term programs that train and support families to help address problem behaviors in adolescents. These therapeutic programs have been proven to reduce behavioral difficulties in youth, improve school performance, and ultimately reduce recidivism. These interventions include Functional Family Therapy (FFT), Multisystemic Therapy (MST), and Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT). The focus of these interventions is to identify strengths and resources in families and to empower them to function in a healthier way. These programs underscore the need to foster change in the dysfunctional workings of many families of adolescents in confinement in an effort to avoid simply returning adolescents from confinement back into the same system that helped to create the initial problem. (See Ch. 10: Effective Programs and Services)

U.S. Supreme Court Rulings and Adolescent Development

In the past decade, there has been a dramatic shift in the way this country’s legal system views adolescents, driven in large part by very important and groundbreaking rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. These rulings relied heavily on the research from developmental psychology, presented earlier in this chapter, which supports the concept that adolescent brains do not have the same decision-making capacity as adult brains and are more heavily influenced by psychosocial and emotional factors. As a result, the Supreme Court has recognized the diminished culpability of adolescents in several rulings.

In 2005, in Roper v. Simmons, the Court abolished the death penalty for adolescents under the age of 18. The Court based this decision on several factors: the relative immaturity of the adolescent brain in decision-making, the undue influence that outside forces (including peers) have on adolescent decisions, and the fact that character is still forming in adolescents. The Court reasoned that adolescents are not able to engage in the same cost-benefit analysis as adults and would therefore not necessarily be deterred from committing crimes by the death penalty.[81]

The Court progressed further in the legal protection of adolescents in Graham v. Florida in 2010. This decision held that adolescents cannot be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for offenses other than homicide. The findings of this case were extended in 2012 in the case of Miller v. Alabama, which prohibited automatic mandatory sentences of life without the possibility of parole in youth under age 18. Adolescents who commit homicide can be given a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, but the Court required that several factors must be considered before such a sentence is given: an adolescent’s chronological age and its hallmark features of immaturity and inability to appreciate fully the risks and consequences of certain actions, and the family and home environment (from which a youth is presumably unable to remove himself or herself). The Court also put forth the concept that life in prison without the possibility of parole is especially damaging for youth, who will spend a much greater portion of their lives in incarceration compared to adults.[82]

Another case that highlights the growing legal understanding and acceptance of the diminished culpability of adolescents is J.D.B v. North Carolina in 2011. The Court’s ruling held that the age of an alleged offender must be considered when determining whether the youth can knowingly waive his or her Miranda rights. Again, the Court relied on the fact that the cognitive abilities of adolescents are less well developed than those of adults, and the perceptions of adolescents, due to their relative immaturity, may lead them to make poor decisions on their own behalf in the process of being detained and questioned.[83]

Youth and Accountability

These landmark cases offer an excellent summary of the major discoveries in adolescent development and how they impact a youth's culpability in delinquency. As discussed previously, youth differ from adults in many significant ways:

  • Youth are not able to utilize newly developed cognitive skills as well as adults due to a sheer lack of experience and the decreased efficiency of their brains in processing and integrating information.
  • Youth are more likely than either children or adults to make decisions and change behavior in response to influences from peers.
  • Youth have not fully developed the ability for future orientation and are less likely to consider the consequences of their actions; they tend to give more weight to immediate benefits than to the risks of possible consequences.
  • Youth have a decreased ability to control impulsive behavior due to the relative immaturity of the frontal lobes of their brains.
  • A crucial part of adolescent development is the formation of an identity and self-concept.

None of this is to argue that youth should not be held responsible for their choices; it is meant to underscore the importance of intervening in the lives of youth in a way that will allow them to develop identities that do not include delinquent or criminal behaviors.

The confinement of youth can be profoundly disruptive to their development. This period of development is crucial in the formation of identity and the acquisition of a sense of competency in life. Confinement often interrupts educational progress and important social and family relationships, which puts youth at even greater risk. Confinement places into close proximity young people who have demonstrated significant difficulties in making good choices and behaving appropriately, all at a time when they are most susceptible to peer influences.

On the other hand, involvement in the justice system also brings youth into close contact with adults who have great potential to change their lives in a very positive way. Many youths in confinement facilities come from families and communities that have little appropriate structure and few resources to allow the youth to obtain the skills he or she needs to move forward in life. Through interventions to strengthen parenting and families, confinement facilities can transform the lives of youth. Through teaching and modeling pro-social and supportive communication and behavior, staff in confinement facilities can help young people to develop a better understanding of their challenges and learn strategies to overcome them.

Impact of Trauma

Trauma can have an enormous impact on the development and behavior of youth. There is much evidence that youth involved in the justice system have a much higher rate of exposure to trauma than the general population.[84] Exposure to trauma may lead to the development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can have significant emotional and behavioral symptoms that may impact on the young person’s development and functioning. Statistics about the prevalence of exposure to trauma and rates of PTSD in confinement facilities are varied, largely due to differences in screening and research protocols. However, it is clear that trauma plays a significant role in the lives of many of the youth in the justice system.

It has been estimated that more than 90% of justice-involved youth have been exposed to some form of trauma.[85] The percentage of youth with a full diagnosis of PTSD ranges from one-third to one-half of all youth in confinement facilities, with rates of PTSD consistently higher in girls than boys. These rates are similar to those seen in mental health and substance abuse systems.[86] In addition, girls are more likely to report sexual and physical abuse than boys.[87] Data suggest that up to 75% of all youth in the justice system have experienced some form of severe victimization, which puts them at higher risk of developing significant mental health and medical problems.[88]

Exposure to trauma can be manifested in multiple cognitive, emotional, relational, and behavioral symptoms. In brain research on children who have been exposed to trauma, many of those symptoms have been shown to have biological correlates.[89] Trauma likely has an even more significant impact on the brains of children and adolescents (compared to adults, as they are still developing. It is important to understand the symptoms that arise from traumatic exposure in adolescents, as the behaviors and feelings they express may be misinterpreted and result in punishment rather than treatment. As a result, many youth in confinement facilities experience re-traumatization from harsh responses to their symptoms or from experiences of additional actual physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

Results of Trauma

Youth with trauma exposure often display significant difficulties in their ability to regulate emotions and behavior, occasionally resulting in aggression or defiance. Research shows that youth exposed to trauma may have difficulty interpreting and expressing emotions; they may be very sensitive or withdrawn in response to negative emotions. In the context of a confinement facility, these responses place adolescents at risk for appearing uncooperative, oppositional, and aggressive. They may also develop significant internalizing symptoms of depression and anxiety.[90]

Exposure to trauma may also result in impaired memory and cognitive functioning in youth. There is also evidence showing that executive functioning may be significantly decreased. These deficits decrease the ability of youth to process and integrate information and make more reasonable decisions.[91] Trauma also often causes decreased self-esteem and distorts a youth's view of himself or herself in the world. Youth who have been exposed to trauma may also have many difficulties in interpersonal relationships including attachment, trust, developing appropriate boundaries, expectations in relationships, and potential for re-victimization.

Biological Changes

Many recent studies have revealed multiple and different biological changes in the brains and bodies of children exposed to trauma. There are differences in several different areas related to impulse control, cognitive processing and integration, memory, emotional expression and processing, and overall neural integrity. There are also neuroendocrine changes that have been well documented, mostly including the levels of cortisol, which are a hormone related to stress and the body’s response to stress.[92]

One of the hallmark symptoms of PTSD is a persistent change in levels of awareness and reactivity. This may result in irritable, aggressive, self-destructive, or reckless behaviors in response to perceived threats from the environment. People with PTSD tend to be hyper-vigilant and may appear to others to overreact to changes and stressors. They usually have significantly distorted perceptions and beliefs about themselves and the world around them, and perceived threats to their safety can be reminders of the trauma that they experienced.

Identifying Trauma

It is absolutely vital that staff in confinement facilities identify those youth who have PTSD or who have trauma exposure to avoid interactions that may activate a posttraumatic response or even re-traumatize them.[93] This knowledge is also very helpful in understanding what may appear to be irrational behavior and responses to even simple requests. Hopefully, staff can interact with mental health providers in facilities to identify these youth and create treatment plans and behavioral interventions that are effective in addressing their specific needs.

One major tool to help understand and prevent sexual trauma in confinement facilities is the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003.[94] (See Ch. 8: Management and Facility Administration: Staffing Adequacy)

Conclusion

Adolescence is characterized by tremendous growth and change. It is the passage between childhood and adulthood during which there are remarkable transformations in a youth's body and brain. These changes allow a youth to develop the skills and capabilities for becoming a competent and contributing adult in the world. Each phase of development entails certain risks; vulnerable youth can stray onto different and less hopeful paths by the many challenges they face. Although adolescent development usually occurs in a typical and expected manner; however, individual youth have their own strengths, difficulties, histories, and differences. Their uniqueness makes working with them both challenging and exciting.

This chapter has addressed numerous factors that contribute both positively and negatively to adolescent development. Each young person is a unique combination of biological, family, and social factors. Many of these characteristics are great strengths that will hopefully be identified and nurtured, by way of offering appropriate education, building stronger families, fostering healthy personal identity, and modeling appropriate social and interpersonal relationships in the face of sometimes powerful opposing forces.

It is a vital task of staff in confinement facilities to obtain a deeper understanding of adolescent development. Even typical youth behaviors such as pushing limits, taking risks, and exerting independence can be very hard to manage and contain. These behaviors will—and should, for the sake of development—continue in the context of confinement facilities. It is the role of the adults in these facilities to have and maintain the broader perspective to interpret behavior and guide the youth under their supervision and care in a positive direction.

 

References

Abram, K.M., L.A. Teplin, D.R. Charles, S.L. Longworth, G.M. McClelland, and M.K. Dulcan. 2004. “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma in Juvenile Detention.” Archives of General Psychiatry 61: 403–410.

Albert, Dustin, and Laurence Steinberg. 2011. “Peer Influences on Adolescent Risk Behavior.” In Inhibitory Control and Drug Abuse Prevention, edited by M.T. Bardo, D.H. Fishbein, and R. Milich. 211–226. New York: Springer.

Anda, R.F., V.J Felitti, J.D. Bremner, J.D. Walker, C. Whitfield, B.D. Perry, S. R. Dube, and W.H. Giles. 2006. “The Enduring Effects of Abuse and Related Adverse Experiences in Childhood: A Convergence of Evidence from Neurobiology and Epidemiology.” European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 256, no. 3: 174–186.

Bassareo, V., and G. DiChiara. 1999. “Differential Responsiveness of Dopamine Transmission to Food-stimuli in Nucleus Accumbens Shell/Core Compartments.” Neuroscience 89, no. 3: 637–41.

Baxter, Mark G., and Elisabeth A. Murray. 2002. “The Amygdala and Reward.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3, no. 7: 563–573.

Bell, C.C., and E.J. Jenkins. 1990. “Preventing Black Homicide.” In The State of Black America, 1990. New York: National Urban League.

Bell, C.C., and E.J. Jenkins. 1991. “Traumatic Stress and Children.” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2: 175–188.

Bell, C.C., and E.J. Jenkins. 1993. “Community Violence and Children on Chicago’s Southside.” Psychiatry 56: 46–54.

Butts, Jeffrey, Susan Mayer, and Gretchen Ruth. 2005. Focusing Juvenile Justice on Positive Youth Development. Chapin Hall Center for Children Issue Brief, #105. Chicago: University of Chicago.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research. “The Amygdala and its Allies.” https://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/a/a_04/a_04_cr/a_04_cr_peu/a_04_cr_peu.html.

Casey, B.J. and Rebecca M. Jones. 2010. “Neurobiology of the Adolescent Brain and Behavior.” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 49, no. 12: 1189–1285.

Casey, B.J. et al. 2005. “Imaging the Developing Brain: What Have We Learned about Cognitive Development?” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9, no. 3: 104–110.

Casey, B.J., Rebecca M. Jones, and Todd A. Hare. 2008. “The Adolescent Brain.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1124 (March): 111–126.

Casey, B.J., Sarah Getz, and Adriana Galvan. 2008. “The Adolescent Brain.” Developmental Review. 28(1):62–77.

Cauffman, Elizabeth. 2008. “Understanding the Female Offender.” The Future of Children: Juvenile Justice 18, no. 2: 119–142.

Cesario, Sandra K., and Lisa A. Hughes. 2007. “Precocious Puberty: A Comprehensive Review of Literature.” Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing 36: 263–274.

Chan, Raymond, David Shum, et al. 2008. “Assessment of Executive Functions: Review of Instruments and Identification of Critical Issues.” Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 23, no. 2: 201–216.

Christensen, D.N., L.B. Bowling, and J. Schauer. 1991. “Parents As Partners in Juvenile Corrections: Re-Thinking Our Relationships With Families.” Journal for Juvenile Justice and Detention Services 6: 37–40.

Curry, G.D., and S.H. Decker. 1998. Confronting Gangs: Crime and Community. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury.

Dahl, Ronald E. 2004. “Adolescent Brain Development: Vulnerabilities and Opportunities.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1021, no. 6: 1–22.

DeBellis, Michael D., Matcheri S. Keshavan, Duncan B. Clark, BJ Casey, Jay N. Giedd, Amy M. Boring, Karin Frustaci, and Neal D. Ryan. 1999. “Developmental Traumatology Part II: Brain Development.” Biological Psychiatry 45, no. 10: 1271–1284.

DeBellis, Michael D., Stephen R. Hooper, and Jennifer L. Sapia. 2005. “Early Trauma Exposure and the Brain.” In Neuropsychology of PTSD: Biological, cognitive, and clinical perspectives, edited by J.L. Vasterling and C.R. Brewin. 153–177. New York: Guilford Press.

DiChiara, G. 1998. “A Motivational Learning Hypothesis of the Role of Mesolimbic Dopamine in Compulsive Drug Use.” Journal of Psychopharmacology 12: 54–67.

DiChiara, G., and A. Imperato. 1988. “Drugs Abused by Humans Preferentially Increase Synaptic Dopamine Concentrations in the Mesolimbic System of Freely Moving Rats.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 85, no. 14: 5274–5278.

Elliott, Rebecca. 2003. “Executive Functions and Their Disorders: Imaging in Clinical Neuroscience.” British Medical Bulletin 65, no. 1: 45–59.

Erikson, Erik H. 1993 (reissue). Childhood and Society. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. “2011 National Gang Threat Assessment – Emerging Trends.” https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/2011-national-gang-threat-assessment.

Fiorino, Dennis F., and Anthony G. Phillips. 1999. “Facilitation of Sexual Behavior and Enhanced Dopamine Efflux in the Nucleus Accumbens of Male Rats after D-Amphetamine- Induced Behavioral Sensitization.” The Journal of Neuroscience 19, no. 1: 456–463.

Ford, J.D., J.F. Chapman, J. Hawke, and D. Albert. 2007. Trauma Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Critical Issues and New Directions. Research and Program Brief. Delmar, NY: National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice.

Gogtay, Nitin, J.N. Giedd, L. Lusk, et al. 2004. “Dynamic Mapping of Human Cortical Development During Childhood Through Early Adulthood.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101, no. 21: 8174–8179.

Goldstein, Arnold P. 1990. Delinquents on Delinquency. Champaign, IL: Research Press.

Goldstein, Arnold P. 1991. Delinquent Gangs: A Psychological Perspective. Champaign, IL: Research Press.

Grisso, Thomas. 2008. “Adolescent Offenders with Mental Disorders.” The Future of Children: Juvenile Justice 18, no. 2: 143–164.

Hawkins, J. David, Richard F. Catalano, and Janet Y. Miller. 1992. “Risk and Protective Factors for Alcohol and Other Drug Problems in Adolescence and Early Adulthood: Implications for Substance Abuse Prevention.” Psychological Bulletin 112, no. 1: 64–105.

Hayward, Chris et al. 1997. “Psychiatric Risk Associated with Early Puberty in Adolescent Girls.” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 36, no. 2: 255–262.

Howell, James C. 1992. “Program Implications of Research on Chronic Juvenile Delinquency.” Paper presented to American Society of Criminology, New Orleans, November 6, 1992.

Howell, James C. 1998, August. Youth Gangs: An Overview. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Howell, James C. 2010, December. Gang Prevention: An Overview of Research and Programs. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Insel, Thomas R., and Russell D. Fernald. 2004. “How the Brain Processes Social Information: Searching for the Social Brain.” Annual Review of Neuroscience 27: 697–722.

J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 564 U.S. ___,131 S.Ct. 2394 (2011).

Jenkins, E.J., and C.C. Bell. 1992. “Adolescent Violence: Can It Be Curbed?” Adolescent Medicine: State of the Art Reviews 3: 71–86.

Jenkins, Richard L., Preben H. Heidemann, and James A. Caputo. 1985. No Single Cause: Juvenile Delinquency and the Search for Effective Treatment. College Park, MD: American Correctional Association.

Kaltiala-Heino, Riittakerttu et al. 2003. “Early Puberty Is Associated with Mental Health Problems in Middle Adolescence.” Social Science & Medicine. 57, no. 6: 1055–1064.

Kaplowitz, Paul B. 2008. “Link Between Body Fat and the Timing of Puberty.” Pediatrics 121 (Supplement 3): S208–S217.

Kilpatrick, Dean G., R. Acierno, B. Saunders, H.S. Resnick, C.L. Best, and P.P. Schnurr. 2000. “Risk Factors for Adolescent Substance Abuse and Dependence: Data from a National Sample.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 68, no. 1: 19–30.

Lerner, Richard M., Jason B. Almerigi, Christina Theokas, and Jacqueline V. Lerner. 2005. “Positive Youth Development: A View of the Issues.” The Journal of Early Adolescence 25, no. 10: 10–16.

Mahoney, Karen, J.D. Ford, S.J. Ko, and C.B. Siegfried. 2004. Trauma-Focused Interventions for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System. National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Juvenile Justice Working Group.

Mendel, Richard A. 2011. No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation. https://www.aecf.org/resources/no-place-for-kids-full-report.

Miller v. Alabama, U.S., 132 S.Ct. 245, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012).

Moffitt, Terrie E. 1993. “Adolescence-Limited and Life-Course-Persistent Antisocial Behavior: A Developmental Taxonomy.” Psychological Review 100: 674–701.

Mueser, K.T., and J. Taub. 2008. “Trauma and PTSD Among Adolescents With Severe Emotional Disorders Involved in Multiple Service Systems.” Psychiatric Services 59: 627–634.

National Gang Center. “Review of Risk Factors for Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Gang Involvement: Research Review Criteria.” https://nationalgangcenter.ojp.gov/SPT/Risk-Factors.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Commonly Abused Drugs.” http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/most-commonly-used-addictive-drugs.

National PREA Resource Center. “PREA Essentials.” https://www.prearesourcecenter.org/implementation/prea-standards/overview.

Osher, Trina, and Pat Hunt. 2002. Involving Families of Youth Who Are in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System. Research and Program Brief. Delmar, NY: National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice.

Patton, L.H. 1995. “Adolescent Substance Abuse: Risk Factors and Protective Factors.” Pediatric Clinics of North America 42, no. 2: 283–293.

Pennell, Joan, Carol Shapiro, and Carol Spigner. 2011. Safety, Fairness, Stability: Repositioning Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare to Engage Families and Communities. Washington, DC: Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. https://www.juvenilecouncil.gov/materials/2011_5/Center%20for%20Juvenile....

Resnick, Michael D., L.J. Harris, R.W. Blum. 1993. “The Impact of Caring and Connectedness on Adolescent Health and Well-Being.” Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 29 (Suppl1): S3–9.

Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551, 125 S.Ct. 1183, 161 L.Ed.2d 1 (2005).

Roth, J.A. 1994a. “Firearms and Violence.” NIJ Research in Brief. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.

Roth, J.A. 1994b. “Understanding and Preventing Violence.” NIJ Research in Brief. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.

Sedlak, Andrea J., and Karla S. McPherson. 2010. Youth’s Needs and Services: Findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/227728.pdf.

Shader, Michael. 2003. “Risk Factors for Delinquency: An Overview.” Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Spear, L.P. 2000. “The Adolescent Brain and Age-Related Behavioral Manifestations.” Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 24, no. 4: 417–463.

Squeglia, L.M., J. Jacobus, and S.F. Tapert. 2009. “The Influence of Substance Use on Adolescent Brain Development.” Clinical EEG and Neuroscience 40, no. 1: 31–38.

Steinberg, Laurence, and Monahan, Kathryn C. 2007. “Age Differences in Resistance to Peer Influence.” Developmental Psychology 43, no. 6: 1531–1543.

Steinberg, Laurence, D. Albert, E. Cauffman, et al. 2008. “Age Differences in Sensation Seeking and Impulsivity as Indexed by Behavior and Self-Report: Evidence for a Dual Systems Model.” Developmental Psychology 44, no. 6: 1764–1778.

Steinberg, Laurence. 2007. “Risk Taking in Adolescence: New Perspectives from Brain and Behavioral Science.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 16: 55–59.

Steinberg, Laurence. 2008. “A Social Neuroscience Perspective on Adolescent Risk-Taking.” Developmental Review 28, no. 1: 78–106.

Steinberg, Laurence. 2009. “Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice.” Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 5: 47–73.

Teplin, L.A., K.M. Abram, G.M. McClelland, M.K. Dulcan, and A.A. Mericle. 2002. “Psychiatric Disorders in Youth in Juvenile Detention.” Archives of General Psychiatry 59, no. 12: 1133–1143.

U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health. “Puberty.” https://medlineplus.gov/puberty.html.

Wilson, J.J., and J.C. Howell. 1993. Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent and Chronic Juvenile Offenders: Program Summary. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Wilson, William J. 1987. The Truly Disadvantaged: the Inner City, the Underclass and Public Policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Wood, Jane, and Emma Alleyne. 2010. “Street Gang Theory and Research: Where Are We Now and Where Do We Go from Here?” Aggression and Violent Behavior 15: 100–111.

Young, Douglas W., Richard Dembo, and Craig E. Henderson. 2007. “A National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment for Juvenile Offenders.” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 32, no. 3: 255–266.

 

Endnotes


[1] B.J. Casey, and Rebecca M. Jones, “Neurobiology of the Adolescent Brain and Behavior,” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 49, no. 12 (2010): 1189–1285.

[2] Erik H. Erikson, Childhood and Society, (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1993).

[3] Richard M. Lerner et al., “Positive Youth Development: A View of the Issues,” The Journal of Early Adolescence 25, no. 10 (2005): 10–16.; Jeffrey Butts, Susan Mayer, and Gretchen Ruth, Focusing Juvenile Justice on Positive Youth Development, Chapin Hall Center for Children Issue Brief, #105 (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2005).

[4] Lerner et al., “Positive Youth Development: A View of the Issues,” 10–16.

[5] Nitin, Gogtay, J.N. Giedd, L. Lusk, et al., “Dynamic Mapping of Human Cortical Development During Childhood Through Early Adulthood,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101, no. 21 (2004): 8174–8179.

[6] U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health, “Puberty.”

[7] Chris Hayward et al., “Psychiatric Risk Associated with Early Puberty in Adolescent Girls,” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 36, no. 2 (1997): 255–262.

[8] Riittakerttu Kaltiala-Heino et al., “Early Puberty Is Associated with Mental Health Problems in Middle Adolescence,” Social Science & Medicine 57, no. 6 (2003): 1055–1064.

[9] G. DiChiara, and A. Imperato, “Drugs Abused by Humans Preferentially Increase Synaptic Dopamine Concentrations in the Mesolimbic System of Freely Moving Rats,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 85, no. 14 (1988): 5274–5278.; Dennis F. Fiorino, and Anthony G. Phillips, “Facilitation of Sexual Behavior and Enhanced Dopamine Efflux in the Nucleus Accumbens of Male Rats after D-Amphetamine-Induced Behavioral Sensitization,” The Journal of Neuroscience 19, no. 1 (1999): 456–463.; G. DiChiara, “A Motivational Learning Hypothesis of the Role of Mesolimbic Dopamine in Compulsive Drug Use,” Journal of Psychopharmacology 12 (1998): 54–67.; V. Bassareo, and G. DiChiara, “Differential Responsiveness of Dopamine Transmission to Food-stimuli in Nucleus Accumbens Shell/Core Compartments,” Neuroscience 89, no. 3 (1999): 637–41.

[10] Raymond C.K. Chan, David Shum, et al., “Assessment of Executive Functions: Review of Instruments and Identification of Critical Issues,” Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology 23, no. 2 (2008): 201–216.; Rebecca Elliott, “Executive Functions and Their Disorders: Imaging in Clinical Neuroscience,” British Medical Bulletin 65, no. 1 (2003): 45–59.

[11] Laurence Steinberg, “A Social Neuroscience Perspective on Adolescent Risk-Taking,” Developmental Review 28, no. 1 (2008): 78–108.

[12] B.J. Casey, Rebecca M. Jones, and Todd A. Hare, 2008. “The Adolescent Brain,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1124, (2008, March): 111–126.

[13] Laurence Steinberg, D. Albert, E. Cauffman, et al., “Age Differences in Sensation Seeking and Impulsivity as Indexed by Behavior and Self-Report: Evidence for a Dual Systems Model,” Developmental Psychology 44, no. 6 (2008): 1764–1778.

[14] Laurence Steinberg, “A Social Neuroscience Perspective on Adolescent Risk-Taking,” Developmental Review 28, no. 1 (2008): 78–106.

[15] Thomas R. Insel, and Russell D. Fernald, “How the Brain Processes Social Information: Searching for the Social Brain,” Annual Review of Neuroscience 27 (2004): 697–722.

[16] Dustin Albert, and Laurence Steinberg, 2011. “Peer Influences on Adolescent Risk Behavior,” in Inhibitory Control and Drug Abuse Prevention, (New York: Springer, 2011), 211–226.

[17] Steinberg, “A Social Neuroscience Perspective on Adolescent Risk-Taking,” 78–106.

[18] B.J. Casey, Sarah Getz, and Adriana Galvan, “The Adolescent Brain,” Developmental Review 28, no. 1 (2008): 62–77.

[19] J. David Hawkins, Richard F. Catalano, and Janet Y. Miller, “Risk and Protective Factors for Alcohol and Other Drug Problems in Adolescence and Early Adulthood: Implications for Substance Abuse Prevention,” Psychological Bulletin 112, no. 1 (1992): 64–105.

[20] Laurence Steinberg and Kathryn C. Monahan, “Age Differences in Resistance to Peer Influence,” Developmental Psychology 43, no. 6 (2007): 1534–1543.

[21] Steinberg, “A Social Neuroscience Perspective on Adolescent Risk-Taking,” 78–106.

[22] Mark G. Baxter and Elisabeth A. Murray, “The Amygdala and Reward,” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 3, no. 7 (2002): 563–573.

[23] Canadian Institutes of Health Research, “The Amygdala and its Allies.” The Amygdala and its Allies

[24] Steinberg, “A Social Neuroscience Perspective on Adolescent Risk-Taking,” 78–106.

[25] L.P. Spear, “The Adolescent Brain and Age-Related Behavioral Manifestations,” Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 24, no. 4 (2000).

[26] B.J. Casey et al., “Imaging the Developing Brain: What Have We Learned about Cognitive Development?” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9, no. 3 (2005): 104–110.

[27] Scott and Steinberg, 2008.

[28] Steinberg, “A Social Neuroscience Perspective on Adolescent Risk-Taking,” 78–106.

[29] Laurence Steinberg, “Risk Taking in Adolescence: New Perspectives from Brain and Behavioral Science,” Current Directions in Psychological Science 16 (2007): 55–59.

[30] Ronald E. Dahl, “Adolescent Brain Development: Vulnerabilities and Opportunities,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1021, no. 6 (2004): 1–22.

[31] B.J. Casey, Rebecca M. Jones, and Todd A. Hare, “The Adolescent Brain,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1124, (2008, March): 111–126.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Steinberg, “A Social Neuroscience Perspective on Adolescent Risk-Taking,” 78–106.

[34] B.J. Casey, Sarah Getz, and Adriana Galvan, “The Adolescent Brain,” Developmental Review 28, no. 1 (2008): 62–77.

[35] Dahl, “Adolescent Brain Development: Vulnerabilities and Opportunities," 1–22.

[36] Steinberg, “A Social Neuroscience Perspective on Adolescent Risk-Taking,” 78–106.

[37] Paul B. Kaplowitz, “Link Between Body Fat and the Timing of Puberty,” Pediatrics 121 (Supplement 3) (2008): S208–S217.; Sandra K. Cesario and Lisa A. Hughes, “Precocious Puberty: A Comprehensive Review of Literature,” Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing 36 (2007): 263–274.

[38] Steinberg, “Risk Taking in Adolescence,” 55–59.

[39] Douglas W. Young, Richard Dembo, and Craig E. Henderson, “A National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment for Juvenile Offenders,” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 32, no. 3 (2007): 255–266.

[40] National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Commonly Abused Drugs.”

[41] Young, Dembo, and Henderson, “A National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment for Juvenile Offenders,” 255–266.

[42] L.M. Squeglia, J. Jacobus, and S.F. Tapert, “The Influence of Substance Use on Adolescent Brain Development,” Clinical EEG and Neuroscience 40, no. 1 (2009): 31–38.

[43] Ibid.

[44] L.H. Patton, “Adolescent Substance Abuse: Risk Factors and Protective Factors,” Pediatric Clinics of North America 42, no. 2 (1995): 283–293.

[45] Dean G. Kilpatrick, R. Acierno, B. Saunders, H.S. Resnick, C.L. Best, and P.P. Schnurr, “Risk Factors for Adolescent Substance Abuse and Dependence: Data from a National Sample,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 68, no. 1 (2000): 19–30.

[46] Richard A. Mendel, No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration (Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2011).

[47] Michael D. Resnick, L.J. Harris, and R.W. Blum, “The Impact of Caring and Connectedness on Adolescent Health and Well-Being,” Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 29 (Suppl1) (1993): S3–9.

[48] Mendel, No Place for Kids.

[49] Richard L. Jenkins, Preben H. Heidemann, and James A. Caputo, No Single Cause: Juvenile Delinquency and the Search for Effective Treatment, (College Park, MD: American Correctional Association, 1985).

[50] James C. Howell, “Program Implications of Research on Chronic Juvenile Delinquency,” Paper presented to American Society of Criminology, New Orleans, November 6, 1992.

[51] J.J. Wilson, and J.C. Howell, Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent and Chronic Juvenile Offenders: Program Summary (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1993).

[52] Terrie E. Moffitt, “Adolescence-Limited and Life-Course-Persistent Antisocial Behavior: A Developmental Taxonomy,” Psychological Review 100 (1993): 674–701.

[53] Moffitt, “Adolescence-Limited and Life-Course-Persistent Antisocial Behavior,” 674–701.

[54] Michael Shader, “Risk Factors for Delinquency: An Overview,” (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2003).

[55] L.A. Teplin, K.M. Abram, G.M. McClelland, M.K. Dulcan, and A.A. Mericle, “Psychiatric Disorders in Youth in Juvenile Detention,” Archives of General Psychiatry 59, no. 12 (2002): 1133–1143.

[56] Arnold P. Goldstein, Delinquents on Delinquency, (Champaign, IL: Research Press, 1990).

[57] James C. Howell, Gang Prevention: An Overview of Research and Programs, Juvenile Justice Bulletin (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2010).; National Gang Center, “Review of Risk Factors for Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Gang Involvement: Research Review Criteria.”

[58] Jane Wood and Emma Alleyne, “Street Gang Theory and Research: Where Are We Now and Where Do We Go from Here?” Aggression and Violent Behavior 15 (2010): 100–111.

[59] G.D. Curry and S.H. Decker, Confronting Gangs: Crime and Community (Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury, 1998).

[60] James C. Howell, Youth Gangs: An Overview, Juvenile Justice Bulletin (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1998, August).

[61] Curry and Decker, Confronting Gangs.

[62] Howell, Youth Gangs: An Overview.

[63] Federal Bureau of Investigation, “2011 National Gang Threat Assessment – Emerging Trends.”

[64] Ibid.

[65] Ibid.

[66] Ibid.

[67] Ibid.

[68] Howell, Youth Gangs: An Overview.

[69] William J. Wilson, The Truly Disadvantaged: the Inner City, the Underclass and Public Policy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987).

[70] Howell, Gang Prevention: An Overview of Research and Programs.; National Gang Center, “Review of Risk Factors.”

[71] Andrea J. Sedlak and Karla S. McPherson, Survey of Youth in Residential Placement: Youth’s Needs and Services, SYRP Report (Rockville, MD: Westat, 2010).

[72] Howell, Youth Gangs: An Overview.

[73] Sedlak, and McPherson, Survey of Youth in Residential Placement.

[74] Howell, Youth Gangs: An Overview.

[75] Arnold P. Goldstein, Delinquent Gangs: A Psychological Perspective (Champaign, IL: Research Press, 1991).

[76] Howell, Gang Prevention: An Overview of Research and Programs.

[77] C.C. Bell and E.J. Jenkins, “Preventing Black Homicide,” In The State of Black America, 1990 (New York: National Urban League, 1990).; C.C. Bell and E.J. Jenkins, “Traumatic Stress and Children,” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2 (1991): 175–188.; C.C. Bell and E.J. Jenkins, “Community Violence and Children on Chicago’s Southside,” Psychiatry 56 (1993): 46–54.; E.J. Jenkins and C.C. Bell, “Adolescent Violence: Can It Be Curbed?” Adolescent Medicine: State of the Art Reviews 3 (1992): 71–86.; J.A. Roth, “Firearms and Violence,” (Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, 1994a).

[78] Joan Pennell, Carol Shapiro, and Carol Spigner, Safety, Fairness, Stability: Repositioning Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare to Engage Families and Communities, (Washington, DC: Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, 2011).

[79] D.N. Christensen, L.B. Bowling, and J. Schauer, “Parents As Partners in Juvenile Corrections: Re-Thinking Our Relationships With Families,” Journal for Juvenile Justice and Detention Services 6 (1991): 37–40.

[80] Trina Osher and Pat Hunt, Involving Families of Youth Who Are in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System, Research and Program Brief (Delmar, NY: National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, 2002).

[81] Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005).

[82] Miller v. Alabama, 132 U.S. 2455 (2012).

[83] J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 564 U.S. ____ (2011).

[84] Thomas Grisso, “Adolescent Offenders with Mental Disorders,” The Future of Children: Juvenile Justice 18, no. 2 (2008): 143–164.

[85] K.M. Abram, L.A. Teplin, D.R. Charles, S.L. Longworth, G.M. McClelland, and M.K. Dulcan, “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma in Juvenile Detention,” Archives of General Psychiatry 61 (2004): 403–410.

[86] K.T. Mueser and J. Taub, “Trauma and PTSD Among Adolescents With Severe Emotional Disorders Involved in Multiple Service Systems,” Psychiatric Services 59 (2008): 627–634.

[87] Elizabeth Cauffman, “Understanding the Female Offender,” The Future of Children: Juvenile Justice 18, no. 2 (2008): 119–142.

[88] J.D. Ford, J.F. Chapman, J. Hawke, and D. Albert, Trauma Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Critical Issues and New Directions, Research and Program Brief (Delmar, NY: National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, 2007).

[89] R.F. Anda, V.J Felitti, J.D. Bremner, J.D. Walker, C. Whitfield, B.D. Perry, S. R. Dube, and W.H. Giles, “The Enduring Effects of Abuse and Related Adverse Experiences in Childhood: A Convergence of Evidence from Neurobiology and Epidemiology,” European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 256, no. 3 (2006): 174–186.; Ford, Chapman, Hawke, and Albert, Trauma Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System.

[90] Grisso, “Adolescent Offenders with Mental Disorders,” 143–164.

[91] Ford, Chapman, Hawke, and Albert, Trauma Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System.; Karen Mahoney, J.D. Ford, S.J. Ko, and C.B. Siegfried, Trauma-Focused Interventions for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System (National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Juvenile Justice Working Group, 2004).

[92] Ford, Chapman, Hawke, and Albert, Trauma Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System.; Anda et al., “The Enduring Effects of Abuse and Related Adverse Experiences in Childhood,” 174–186.; Michael D. DeBellis, Matcheri S. Keshavan, Duncan B. Clark, B.J. Casey, Jay N. Giedd, Amy M. Boring, Karin Frustaci, and Neal D. Ryan, “Developmental Traumatology Part II: Brain Development,” Biological Psychiatry 45, no. 10 (1999): 1271–1284.; Michael D. DeBellis, Stephen R. Hooper, and Jennifer L. Sapia, “Early Trauma Exposure and the Brain,” In Neuropsychology of PTSD: Biological, Cognitive, and Clinical Perspectives (New York: Guilford Press, 2005): 153–177.

[93] Mahoney, Ford, Ko, and Siegfried, Trauma-Focused Interventions for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System.

[94] National PREA Resource Center, “PREA Essentials.” PREA Essentials

Ch.7 Evolving Issues

Ch.7 Evolving Issues web_admin Thu, 12/23/2021 - 16:12

Author: Charles J. Kehoe, ACSW, CCE

Internationally known futurist Edward Barlow, Jr. always began his presentations with this statement: “Eighty percent of what you need to know to be successful in your career is happening outside of your chosen field.” Mr. Barlow reminds us that it is not enough to know about trends only in our own profession, but we must also understand the global trends that are changing the world. Events outside the field are changing the way juvenile detention centers, juvenile correctional facilities, adult local detention centers (jails), and adult correctional facilities (prisons) do their work.

For instance, since the 1980s, many of the poorest areas on the planet, including Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia have suffered brutal civil wars and genocide. Thousands of men, women, and children have been murdered, died from the resulting famine and disease, or fled their homeland as refugees. Juvenile detention and corrections professionals might have had little awareness of the impact these distant events would have on their work lives.

Many churches and faith-based organizations reached out as humanitarians to the starving and disenfranchised refugees of this conflict and brought them to the U.S. In cities like Columbus, Ohio, Omaha, Nebraska, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the victims of these wars and rebellions were given an opportunity to start life over.

Over time, some of the children of the refugees became caught up in the juvenile justice system. Some had very limited English speaking ability. Communication between residents and staff became a challenge. In most juvenile detention and correctional facilities, resident handbooks are in English and Spanish, but in these communities, juvenile detention and juvenile correctional administrators published their handbooks in several different languages. Staff in these facilities received training on the different ethnic and cultural groups they were now exposed to in their jobs, but learning several languages was clearly beyond their reach. In addition, the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) these young people experienced challenged even the most experienced mental health professionals. The unintended consequences of bringing refugees out of a deadly environment into a much different world and culture had a significant impact on juvenile detention centers and juvenile correctional facilities.

In addition, documented and undocumented families from Central American nations and others continue to be swept up in enhanced immigration law enforcement. The crackdown on illegal immigration has resulted in more young people being held in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, including with some private providers. There is a small fraction of youth held in juvenile detention facilities if they have been taken into custody for a delinquent or criminal act. In some cases, foreign-born youth who commit serious crimes may be tried as adults and serve their sentences in adult correctional facilities.

Prior to 2000, juvenile detention directors, juvenile correctional administrators, and wardens and superintendents of adult facilities would not have predicted that their facilities would serve a multi-national resident population, but less than 15 years later, it is more common than not to have them doing just that.

Today, the administrators of confinement facilities for youth are fully engaged in strategic planning, which means they are regularly defining and redefining their facility’s purpose, mission, vision, and goals and identifying the best strategies to accomplish these goals and realize their mission. Strategic planning involves identifying and allocating precious resources.

Planning cannot be done in a vacuum. Administrators must understand that their facilities are a microcosm of the larger society; this applies to both the employee culture and the resident culture.

Environmental Scanning

One approach administrators should use is “environmental scanning.” Brown and Weiner define environmental scanning as “a kind of radar to scan the world systematically and signal the new, the unexpected, and the major and the minor.”[1] Management consultant, Ray Gagnon said, “There’s no doubt that defining the future for an enterprise is one of the most important obligations of leadership. There’s also little doubt that actually conducting the strategic planning process by which this takes place is one of leadership’s most challenging activities.”[2] According to James L. Morrison, the goal of environmental scanning is to alert decision makers to potentially significant external changes in time to formulate a response. Consequently, the scope of environmental scanning is necessarily broad.[3]

Environmental scanning requires an analysis of the organization’s mission, vision, strengths, weaknesses, customers, organizational wellness, employee turnover, and financial performance. The next level of analysis should be the larger profession or business to which the organization belongs. Understanding public attitudes about the profession, analyzing recent passed and failed legislation at the local, state, and federal levels, monitoring trade associations and what vendors are planning for the future all contribute to an a better understanding of the environment. It is also useful to identify key competitors, their performance, and competitive advantages. Juvenile detention and correctional facilities and adult facilities that serve youth should be aware of developments in the public and private sectors; creative ideas happen in both. An analysis of the external environment considers direct and indirect influences from the social, technological, economic, environmental, and political arenas (STEEP).

Scanning can take many forms. Some employees do a very passive or informal environmental scan as they read newspapers and magazines, listen to programs on the radio or television, or surf the internet. Unfortunately, the information learned from this passive approach is seldom incorporated into the strategic planning process, which means that events and trends that signal changes are often ignored or completely missed.

Active environmental scanning focuses on data, trends, and information from not just the immediate business or industry, but the larger global environment. For some organizations, scanning is more ad hoc and may focus on a specific issue that is a priority for the organization. As part of more regular planning process, some organizations periodically refresh their regularly scheduled environmental scanning process. Other organizations, however, are continuously scanning the environment to share with the administration and management information can be incorporated into the ongoing strategic planning process. Obviously, most juvenile detention and juvenile correctional facilities do not have the resources to conduct continuous environmental scans. Morrison states, “The rationale undergirding active scanning is that potentially relevant ‘data’ are limited only by your conception of the environment. These data are inherently scattered, vague, and imprecise and come from a host of sources. Since early signals often show up in unexpected places, your scanning must be ongoing, fully integrated within your institution, and sufficiently comprehensive to cover the environments important to your decision makers.”[4]

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Information Center assists correctional policy makers, practitioners, elected officials, and others interested in corrections issues.[5] Information Specialists who have professional experience in corrections provide expert research assistance with full access to materials in the NIC library collection.

The NIC Information Center began environmental scanning of social, technological, economic, and corrections issues in the late 1990s. The purpose of the scanning was to provide information and data to aid in the development of NIC programs. The related report—Environmental Scan 2012: 7th Edition—has become a valuable resource for juvenile and adult correctional administrators. Staff from the Information Center review corrections publications, as well as more popular newspapers, magazines, and websites and regularly monitor publications and reports from local, state, national, international, and independent sources.[6] Some of the report’s findings are described later in this chapter.

Another very valuable resource is the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Book. This annual report tracks trends along four domain levels based on what children need to survive. Those domains are economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. The findings from the Data Book will also be described in greater detail later in this chapter.

The number of scanning resources available on the Internet is virtually limitless, but the following are some that may be of value when considering a more global view of the future:

Arlington Institute https://www.arlingtoninstitute.org/

Brain Reserve https://www.faithpopcorn.com/

Now and Next https://www.nowandnext.com/

Pew Research Center https://www.pewresearch.org/

Shaping Tomorrow http://www.shapingtomorrow.com/

Strategic Business Insights http://www.strategicbusinessinsights.com/

The Tomorrow Project http://tomorrow-projects.com/

The World Future Society https://www.worldfuture.org/

Trend Watching https://www.trendwatching.com

Evolving Issues for Confinement Facilities

As previously stated, the evolving issues in confinement facilities for youth relate to those issues that are happening outside those facilities. Although there may be some issues that are evolving within the confinement facilities for youth, in the majority of cases, the forces that are creating and shaping significant changes are coming from the outside. The remainder of this chapter will review some of the issues that will directly impact confinement facilities for youth.

Birth Rates

Tracking birth rates is an important way to identify early trends for many different fields. Baby food companies, children’s clothing companies, pediatric healthcare organizations, toy manufactures, and theme parks are among the enterprises that closely monitor changes in birth rates. Most school districts, cities, counties, and states use this information in their strategic planning efforts. Juvenile detention and correctional facilities can easily find current trends for their state and locality by consulting the local health department and national websites. The birth rate forecasts dynamic aspects of the population as it matures, such as the future demand for the workforce in various sectors of the economy.

The U.S. birth rate hit an all-time low in 2012, with 63.0 births per 1,000 women ages 15–44. In 2011, the birth rate was 63.2. This represents the fifth consecutive year when the birth rate has declined and the lowest year since the government started keeping records in 1909.[7]

Falling birth rates create challenges for the economy and future labor pools, as there will be fewer young workers in about 20 years. Since 2007, U.S. birth rates have been below the level required to maintain a constant population. In 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported that “low fertility means less growth in a country’s population, barring a pickup in immigration. Fewer people can mean fewer workers to propel the economy and a smaller tax base to draw from to pay the benefits due retired Americans.”[8]

Peter Drucker, regarded as one of the foremost management leaders in the world, wrote about declining birth rates, saying that “politically, this means that immigration will become an important—and highly divisive—issue in all rich countries. It will cut across all traditional political alignments. Economically, the decline in the youth population will change markets in fundamental ways. Growth in family formation has been the driving force of all domestic markets in the developed world, but the rate of family formation is certain to fall steadily unless bolstered by large-scale immigration of younger people. The homogeneous mass market that emerged in all rich countries after the Second World War has been youth-determined from the start. It will now become middle-age-determined, or perhaps more likely it will split into two: a middle-age-determined mass market and a much smaller youth-determined one. And because the supply of young people will shrink, creating new employment patterns to attract and hold the growing number of older people (especially older educated people) will become increasingly important.”[9]

The Wall Street Journal went on to report, “Birth rates for women in their early 20s declined to a new record low between 2011 and 2012. The average age of a U.S. mother at first birth rose, again, to 25.8 years old, from 25.6 years in 2011.”[10]

The decline in the U.S. and global economies is causing many young people to delay getting married, to postpone having children, or to have fewer children. Many young couples simply cannot afford the cost of a family. In addition, there are also more young women in the workforce.

Teen Pregnancy

Teen births have shown significant declines over the last several decades. The decline began after 1991, falling by nearly half (61.8 births per 1,000 youth ages 15–19 in 1991 to 31.3 in 2011). There were over 329,772 births to teen mothers ages 15–19 in 2011, the lowest number since 1946, when 322,381 births to teens were recorded. For younger girls ages 10–14, the rate declined from 1.2 in 1970 to 0.4 in 2011.[11]

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Book for 2013 reported that, “at 56 births per 1,000 teenage girls, the teen birth rate for Latinos was the highest across major racial and ethnic groups. Although it remained high, the 2010 rate for births to Latino teens was the lowest on record.”[12]

According to the National Vital Statistics Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, birth rates for teens ages 15–19 declined from 68.3 in 1970 to 31.3 in 2011. Between 2010 and 2011, the teen birth rate declined 8%.[13] The 2012 birth rate for this group is estimated to be even lower. If 1991 teen births had prevailed from 1992 through 2011, there would have been an additional 3.6 million births to females ages 15–19.[14]

Implications for Youth Confinement Facilities

As previously stated, a declining birth rate can mean fewer future workers. With people living longer, the costs for entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare will also increase. With fewer people in the workforce, competition for talented workers will increase. Work in a correctional setting is not always seen as a desirable job, which means that juvenile and adult correctional programs will have to improve their recruiting strategies and find ways to keep older employees in the agency.

The KIDS COUNT Data Book for 2013 states, “Teenage childbearing can have long-term negative effects for both the mother and newborn. Teens are at higher risk of bearing low-birthweight and preterm babies. And, their babies are far more likely to be born into families with limited educational and economic resources.”[15] Because of all of the associated problems of teen pregnancy, the declining rate is encouraging and is evidence that prevention programs and contraceptive approaches are working, but more can be done.

Confinement facilities for youth are well positioned to do more to provide sex education programs for residents. The regular programming for youth should incorporate sex education for young men and young women. Often, idleness is a serious problem in confinement facilities. Programs that inform youth of the importance of pregnancy prevention are a constructive use of time that is not scheduled for other programs.

Programs that teach youth who are already parents about positive parenting skills are of critical importance. Several facilities have adopted programs at work in hundreds of high schools that use animated dolls to teach teens about childcare. Teaching young fathers about their responsibilities to their children can be very beneficial for both parent and child.

Poverty

According to the American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2000 and 2012, the percentage of people in poverty increased from 12.2% of the population to 15.9%. The number of people living in poverty increased from 33.3 million to 48.8 million.[16]

The poverty rate in 2012 for children under age 18 was 21.8%, the highest of any age group and the highest for children since the survey began in 2001. The poverty rate for people ages 18–64 was 13.7%, while the rate for people ages 65 and older was 9.1%. These poverty rates were unchanged from 2011.[17]

The Census Bureau’s Report, Child Poverty in the United States 2009 – 2010: Selected Race Groups and Hispanic Origin, found that the poverty rates for White children and Asian children were lower than the national average of 22%, while those for African American children (38.2%), Hispanic children (32.3%), and children of two or more races (22.7%), were all higher than the national average.[18]

The KIDS COUNT Data Book 2013 reported that the 2011 child poverty rate was 23%, and for those under age 3, it was 26%. From 2005 to 2011, the Casey Foundation reported that the child poverty rate rose from 19% to 23%, which represents an increase of three million children. The poverty rate for children age 5 and younger is 26%.[19]

Children growing up in poverty have the odds stacked against them. Poverty has an adverse impact on a child’s cognitive development and his or her ability to learn. A recent study from the University of Wisconsin at Madison found that “the research using brain scans suggests children in low-income families have a slower rate of growth in two key brain structures: the parietal lobe that serves as the network hub of the brain, and the frontal lobe, one of the last parts of the brain to develop. By age 4, children in families living with incomes under 200% of the federal poverty line have less gray matter—brain tissue critical for processing of information and execution of actions—than kids growing up in families with higher incomes, according to the research…One of the things that is important here is that the infants' brains look very similar at birth," professor and researcher Seth Pollack said. "You start seeing the separation in brain growth between the children living in poverty and the more affluent children increase over time, which really implicates the postnatal environment."[20]

Children growing up in poverty experience deprivation on several levels. Their nutrition does not meet minimum daily requirements. Healthcare is often unavailable or unaffordable. Sleep deprivation is not uncommon. Children who live in poverty may also live in violent or unsafe communities or neighborhoods. Educational materials that stimulate the brain are lacking. Even when parents are working, employment may not be secure or temporary. Many parents are forced to work several part-time jobs that still fall short of providing a stable income with benefits. Parents may themselves be lacking an education, which makes finding gainful employment even more challenging. The recession of recent years has exacerbated unemployment and poverty. The KIDS COUNT Data Book 2013 reported that, in 2011, nearly one-third of all children in the U.S. (23.8 million) lived in families where no parent had full-time, year-round employment. Half of all Native American children (51%) and African American children (49%) had no parent with full-time, year-round employment in 2011, compared with 25% of White children and 39% of Latino children.[21]

Implications for Youth Confinement Facilities

Administrators and staff in confinement facilities for youth see the adverse and destructive impact of poverty on youth every day. Low educational achievement scores, healthcare issues, a lack of social skills, and family stress are a few of the challenges residents will need to overcome to avoid relapsing into delinquent behavior after their release.

Confinement facilities can play a pivotal role in helping to inform youth of the importance of an education, life skills, and how to find and keep a job. Providing youth with high-quality healthcare—including dental care—can be of great value to a young person. Ensuring that youth understand where help is available in their communities and how to access it can be of considerable value to youth and their families.

Facility staff should understand the environment to which the youth will return. Working closely with the reentry or aftercare worker, facility staff can focus on program strategies that will build on community strengths and address community weaknesses. In some cases, the community or neighborhood may be so poverty stricken or unsafe that the youth would need other housing arrangements. Facilities that do not have reentry or aftercare workers may need to design a system that collects pertinent information and improves coordination and collaboration among juvenile probation officers, social services caseworkers, mental health professionals, and others to help young people through this difficult transition.

Education

Peter Drucker has said the “Next Society” will be a knowledge society. “Knowledge will be its key resource and knowledge workers will be the dominant group in its workforce. What is different this time is the need for the continuing education of already well-trained and highly knowledgeable adults. Schooling traditionally stopped when work began. In the knowledge society it never stops…Conversely, knowledge rapidly becomes obsolete, and knowledge workers regularly have to go back to school. Continuing education of already highly educated adults will therefore become a big growth area in the Next Society.”[22]

In the 21st century, formal education begins in preschool programs, where children can receive a strong start that will help them in their later education. Yet, the Casey Foundation found that, “from 2009 to 2011, more than 4.3 million 3- and 4-year-olds were not enrolled in preschool, representing more than half (54 percent) of all children in that age group.”[23]

High-performing preschool programs for children ages 3–4 prepare these children for the challenges and opportunities they will experience in elementary and secondary education. Probably the most famous of preschool programs is Head Start, which began in the mid-1960s with President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Head Start is intended to help children of low-income families by providing a comprehensive program to meet children’s educational, emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs. Nearly 50 years later, Head Start is respected as one of the most successful government-initiated programs for children. But, as the Casey Foundation pointed out, many children—especially 3-year-olds—continue to be left out of preschool opportunities, which worsens their likelihood of future socioeconomic success. The rate of children not enrolled in preschool programs is considerably higher for Latinos (63%) and Native American children (58%), compared to White and African American children (54%) and for Pacific Island and Asian children (48%).[24]

As children move through their education, certain milestones can forecast a child’s academic future. “Proficiency in reading by the end of third grade is a crucial marker in a child’s educational development. In the early years, learning to read is a critical component of education. But beginning in fourth grade, children use reading to learn other subjects, and therefore, mastery of reading becomes a critical component in their ability to keep up academically. Children who reach fourth grade without being able to read proficiently are more likely to drop out of high school, reducing their earning potential and chances for success.”[25]

In the 21st century, competency in mathematics is critical to success in every career. In many respects, automation has made math skills even more important. How proficient a young person is in math has a direct bearing on his or her earning power. The Casey Foundation reported that, “among public school students, math proficiency levels in eighth grade and reading proficiency levels in fourth grade were quite similar in 2011, but there was greater improvement in eighth grade math achievement. Nationwide, two-thirds (66 percent) of public school eighth graders scored below proficient math levels in 2011, compared with 72 percent in 2005.”[26]

When race was factored in to the data for eighth graders, 87% of African Americans, 83% of Native Americans, 80% of Latinos, and 57% of Whites were below proficiency levels for math. All groups did show improvements between 2005 and 2011. There was a 7% improvement for Latino eighth graders.

Poverty impacts math proficiency as well. While 53% of eighth graders from higher-income families were below proficiency in math, 83% of children in the eighth grade from low-income families were below proficiency.

Not finishing high school on time or dropping out has a huge fiscal impact on the individual over the course of his or her life. “In 2011, median annual earnings for someone without a high school diploma ($18,800) were 70 percent of those of a high school graduate ($26,700), and 39 percent of the median earnings of someone with a bachelor’s degree ($48,300).” Nationally, twice as many African American students do not graduate compared to non-Hispanic White students.[27]

Adolescents who dropout or leave school and do not have a job are at great risk of living in poverty as adults and being challenged by other socioeconomic and behavioral problems. These youth are often referred to as “disenfranchised” or “disconnected.” There are approximately 1.5 million such youth (8% of the juvenile population). Native American, African American, and Latino youth had the highest rates of not finishing high school and being unemployed.[28]

The educational levels of parents also directly impact their children; parents who have more education are better able to provide for their sons and daughters. Conversely, children in homes where parents have not completed high school are at greater risk of not being ready for school, which compromises their future educational achievement. “In 2011, 15 percent of children lived in households headed by an adult without a high school diploma. This represents 11.1 million children, compared with 12 million in 2005…More than one-third (37 percent) of Latino children lived in households headed by someone without a high school diploma. That’s more than two and a half times the rate for African American children (14 percent) and more than six times the rate for non-Hispanic white children (6 percent).”[29]

Implications for Youth Confinement Facilities

Implications for staff. Day care and preschool programs are important for all children. A facility administrator needs to be aware of the impact of work schedules on facility staff. A change from 8- or 10-hour shifts to 12-hour shifts will have an effect on an employee’s children. Single parents find it extremely difficult to find day care and preschool programs that will provide services on an extended schedule.

Implications for youth. Education programs for youth in confinement facilities need to have the very best teachers if the youth are to overcome their academic challenges. In some states, juvenile justice departments and local juvenile detention facilities are required to use local public education districts; in other states, state and local agencies may outsource the educational program. Regardless of the approach, confinement facilities for youth are in a position to make up for academic lost ground. Preparing youth for reentry is of critical importance, and preparing youth to return to school is an important part of reentry. The facility administrator and school principal must work as partners with a shared vision and commitment to provide unconditional support to a youth’s academic growth.

Providing parenting skills training for youth in confinement facilities, as previously mentioned, must include discussion groups on the importance of preschool programs for 3- and 4-year-olds and the benefits to them of having a parent with at least a high school diploma.

Healthcare for Children and Youth

Insurance Coverage

Children living in poverty or low-income families often have no health insurance coverage, are less likely to have a regular healthcare provider, and are less likely to receive care when it is needed, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Delayed treatment often results in hospitalization. Without health insurance, these families are exposed to treatment costs they cannot afford. There is the hope and expectation that the federal Affordable Care Act will reduce the number of uninsured by providing coverage for many families and children who are currently unprotected. In 2011, 7% of the nation’s children lacked health insurance; 17% of Native American children and 13% of Latino children were more likely to be uninsured than non-Hispanic White children (5%), African American children (6%), and Asian/Pacific Islander children (8%).[30]

Dental Care

A seldom-discussed area of children’s health is dental care. The PEW Charitable Trusts conducted a study of dental care for the nation’s children and found that “each year in the United States, tens of millions of children, disproportionately low-income, go without seeing a dentist. This lack of access to dental care is a complex problem fueled by a number of factors, with two different dentist shortages compounding the issue:

  • An uneven distribution of dentists nationwide means many parts of the country do not have an adequate number of these practitioners. As a result, access to care is constrained for people in these communities regardless of income or insurance coverage.
  • The relatively small number of dentists who participate in Medicaid means that many low-income people are not receiving dental care.”[31]

Even children who are receiving Medicaid are not getting dental care as required. Most dentists believe children should be seen every six months; however, PEW reported that 14 million children enrolled in Medicaid did not receive any dental service in 2011. According to the most recent comparison, in 2010, privately insured children were almost 30% more likely to receive dental care than those who were publicly insured through Medicaid or other government programs, even though low-income children are almost twice as likely as their wealthier peers to develop cavities.[32]

Many dentists do not accept patients who are covered by government-funded programs like Medicaid, citing low payment rates and the burden of bureaucracy. However, as the PEW Trust learned, the low reimbursement rates and the bureaucracy are just a small part of a complex issue. The actual shortage of dentists—especially in rural areas and poverty stricken areas—is the crux of the problem. There are simply not enough dentists to meet the demands of the country. Dental schools, dental associations, and other advocacy groups are requesting that state legislatures expand the role of midlevel dental assistants. It is believed that this is a more practical approach and has been shown to be very effective in the practice of medicine with the creation of physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners.

Teen Mortality

Teen mortality rates report that automobile and other accidents are the leading cause of death for children and youth ages 1–14. Accidents account for 32% of all childhood deaths. Recent research on the human brain has shown that the adolescent brain is underdeveloped until the early 20s. Because the brain is not “fully wired,” teens are especially likely to be involved in risk-taking behaviors. Mortality numbers confirm this. The Casey Foundation found that “in 2010, accidents, homicides, and suicides accounted for 73 percent of deaths to teens ages 15 to 19.”[33] Mortality rates for African American and Native American children and teens were considerably higher than for children and youth in other racial groups. The good news is that death rates for children and adolescents have declined. (See Ch. 6: Adolescent Development)

Substance Abuse and Other Risks

Alcohol and substance abuse take a heavy toll on today’s adolescents. Seven percent of the youth ages 12–17 have abused drugs or reported they were dependent on drugs or alcohol during the previous year. It should be noted that this is a 1% decline from 2005 and 2006. Asian/Pacific Islander and African American teens were the least likely to be dependent on or abuse alcohol or drugs.[34]

Lastly, providing healthcare to such an at-risk population is a matter of public health. Fifty years ago, this would not have been mentioned, but in the 21st century, the facts are clear—the people who find themselves caught up in the juvenile and criminal justice systems have histories of risky behaviors, which often results in sexually transmitted diseases and other blood-borne diseases, such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C. These can be transmitted inside the facility and can spread to the community if youth are not treated. Public safety includes protection from contagious disease, as well as protection from crime.

Implications for Youth Confinement Facilities

The U.S. Supreme Court case, Estelle v. Gamble, found that the failure of correctional administrators to provide for the healthcare needs of inmates constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and that deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners constitutes unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain, all of which is prohibited by the 8th Amendment.[35]

Some administrators of confinement facilities for youth may challenge the idea of providing comprehensive healthcare to its residents. This may be especially true of youth in juvenile detention facilities and in jails where comprehensive healthcare may be scarce and very expensive. However, the jurisdiction involved has the responsibility to provide healthcare, even when those in custody are children and youth, regardless of the type of facility in which they are being held. Confinement facilities have the unique ability to provide comprehensive services, because they have a “captive audience.”

Even in mid-sized urban areas, where medical schools are located, partnerships between universities and juvenile detention and correctional facilities or local jails have been created to provide pediatric healthcare to confined adolescents. Interns and resident doctors can gain considerable experience working with youth in confinement, while the facility gains well-supervised and affordable healthcare.

Teams in mobile dental units meet the needs of patients by traveling through low-income and poverty-stricken neighborhoods providing dental care. These fully equipped mobile dental offices are often available to correctional facilities, saving the time and expense of transporting youth and adults to an outside office.

It is highly likely that confinement facilities for youth will need to provide more medical and healthcare services in the future.

The Changing World of Juvenile Justice

The juvenile justice system in the U.S. has always been a changing landscape. Juvenile justice is not always high on the priority list of legislators, governors, or the public. The first juvenile court was established in Cook County (Chicago). More than a century later, that same juvenile justice system continues to reinvent itself with help from outside organizations, advocacy groups, and concerned legislators. Scandals, abuses, deaths, and official misconduct have resulted in litigation, legislative changes, and reforms. Since 2000, encouraging signs point to the dawn of a new day for juvenile justice services. Will these changes shape the juvenile justice system of the 21st century? Will the changes become the new normal for children who come in contact with the juvenile justice system? Only time will tell, but given the magnitude of recent changes, the chances are that many of them will be permanent.

In the mid-1900s, there was a public outcry that the juvenile justice system was soft on crime and young "super predators” would be roaming the streets preying on the innocent, the elderly, and the vulnerable. These fears were driven by headlines of tragic crimes and increases in juvenile arrests. Governors campaigned on platforms that promised juvenile reforms and overhauls of the juvenile justice system. Those who claimed the juvenile justice system was a failed experiment demanded that the age of jurisdiction in the juvenile court be lowered at the top end and that more juveniles be treated as adults. Legislators passed laws that established automatic waivers for certain crimes, regardless of the juvenile’s age at the time of the offense. In several states, prosecuting attorneys demanded and got the authority to prosecute youth as adults. The authority of the juvenile court judge to decide on waiver to adult court was greatly minimized through statutory exclusions (e.g., automatic waivers or offenses that have been excluded from juvenile court jurisdiction) and prosecutorial waivers (e.g., the prosecutor alone decides in which court he or she will file certain cases).

The super predators did not arrive as forecast, and recent trends give reason for hope that the juvenile justice system has weathered yet another “get tough” storm.

FBI Uniform Crime Report—Juvenile Arrests

The FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) is regarded as one of the leading indicators of crime and arrest trends in the nation. In Crime in the United States 2012, 10-year arrest trends for all ages declined by 9.1% between 2003 and 2012. For people over age 18, arrests dropped 3.9% in the same period. Arrests for youth under age18 plunged 37.2%.[36]

Percent change in crime rates chart

Source: FBI, “Crime in the United States, 2012.”

When comparing arrests for specific crimes, the differences are even more dramatic. According to UCR 2012 report, murder and non-negligent manslaughter decreased 3.9% for those ages 18 and over, and 37% for those younger than 18. Aggravated assaults decreased 9.4% for those 18 and over, but dove 42.7% for juveniles. Arrests for burglary for those under 18 dove 36.5%, but increased 11.3% for those 18 and over. Arrests for all violent crimes was down 8.6% for those 18 and over, but dropped 36.0 % for those younger than 18. Property crime arrests increased 18.9% over the ten-year period for people 18 and over, but declined 36.0% for those under 18.

The overall decline in juvenile crime of 37.2% meant that from 2003 through 2012, there were 521,969 fewer juvenile arrests.

The 2012 UCR also found that juvenile arrests also declined between 2011 and 2012. There was a 10.4% drop in arrests of those under 18, while arrests for those 18 and over only declined by 0.9%. Only arrests for embezzlement suspicion increased for those under 18.[37]

Declining Institution Populations in Juvenile Facilities: Is Dependence on Juvenile Institutions Declining?

Population trends and rates since 1997 are encouraging. In 1997, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) initiated a system to capture information regarding children and youth in custody. This survey, referred to as The Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP), collects information from secure and nonsecure juvenile facilities every two years. The CJRP defines a juvenile as a person who is younger than 21 years of age and in a residential facility as a result of his or her involvement with the juvenile justice system. It includes delinquent offenders and status offenders, both pre- and post-adjudicated. The CJRP does not count youth who may be in an adult jail awaiting a trial in adult criminal court or those who have been sentenced as adults and are in jail or prison. The survey also excludes federal facilities, mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities, and facilities for children and youth who have been abused. Jurisdictional age and the management of youth in state-run facilities varies significantly, making comparisons among the states very difficult.

The most recent one-day census was taken on February 24, 2010, and recorded 79,165 youth in 2,259 facilities. Since 1997, the number of juvenile offenders in juvenile detention and juvenile correctional facilities fell by 33%. The number incarcerated for status offenses plunged 52% in the same period, according to OJJDP.[38]

Young people ages 16 and 17 represented about 26% of the total number of youth ages 10–17 in 2010. However, youth ages 16 and 17 accounted for more than 50% of all arrests for youth under age 18, 40% of the juvenile court cases, and more than 50% of the juveniles in residential placements.

Youth in residential placement chart

Delinquent offenders represented 86% of all residents in juvenile placement. Status offenders represented approximately 4% and all other residents (youth who were 21 and older, and those uncharged and not adjudicated for an offense) equaled about 11% (because of rounding, the total is more than 100%).

Change in youth placement chart

In actual numbers, the number of youth in residential placement declined by 37,536 between 1997 and 2010. This is a 33% decrease in the actual number of youth in residential facilities. The number of juvenile offenders dropped by 31,037 (31.4%), and there were 3,226 fewer youth in residential care for status offenses—a decrease of 52%. Other residents declined by 3,273 (28%).

In 2010, the custody rate for youth was 225 for every 100,000 youth in the U.S. population. OJJDP defines the custody rate as the count of youth in custody per 100,000 youth in the population ages 10 years through the upper age of a state’s juvenile court jurisdiction. The overall custody rate varies among the states. In 2011, it ranged from a high of 575 in South Dakota to a low of 53 in Vermont. Nationally, the detention rate is 65 for juvenile detention facilities and 154 in commitment programs (e.g., group homes, juvenile correctional centers, ranches)—2.4 times the detention rate.[39]

By comparison, the population of youth ages 10–19 increased between 2000 and 2010 by 1,969,575 (4.8%).[40] This makes the decrease in juvenile arrests and youth confinement facility placements all the more encouraging.

Public vs. Private Facilities

Although there are more private than public facilities, public facilities hold a greater number of youth. Public and private facilities differ slightly in the populations they serve. Public facilities hold more youth who are being detained. Over 75% of those youth held for violent offenses are held in public facilities, as are 70% of the delinquent youth. Public facilities, on the other hand, hold fewer than 30% of the status offenders. Drug offenders are nearly evenly divided between private and public facilities.[41]

Technical Violations and Status Offenders

Between 1997 and 2000, the number of detained youth decreased by 26% for person offenses, 47% for property offenses, and 45% for drug offenses. The declines were not as low, however, for youth in residential facilities for public order offenses and technical violations. Pubic order offenses declined 21%, but technical violations only declined 6%. Private facilities held 26% more youth for technical violations in 2010 than in 1997. The Annie E. Casey Foundation found that 40% of the detentions and commitments are “due to technical violations of probation, drug possession, low-level property offenses, public order offenses and status offenses."[42] In other words, a significant number of youth are incarcerated for offenses that do not constitute a clear risk to public safety.

Technical violations are more often a function of the juvenile probation department and juvenile court. Because fewer youth have been arrested and processed through the juvenile court system, one might expect a commensurate drop in technical violations. The National Juvenile Justice Coalition’s campaign, Act 4 Juvenile Justice, has pointed out that the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) has not been significantly updated in over 20 years, despite the impressive gains in juvenile justice research and evaluation.[43] In particular, the Valid Court Order Amendment allows for the continued incarceration of children and youth for status offenses. A major review by Congress of the JJDPA would find that much has changed in juvenile justice in two decades. It is critical that these changes and advances be incorporated into the JJDPA to sustain a decreased reliance on youth incarceration.

The dramatic decline in the number of status offenders in juvenile residential care is an encouraging sign. After four decades of pushing to remove status offenders from juvenile detention and correctional facilities, it appears that there has been a genuine change in the belief that incarceration is good for status offenders. The number of youth in residential facilities for status offenses reached its lowest level in 2010. The number of status offenders in public facilities declined 46% between 2001 and 2010. In private facilities, the number increased in 2006, but then declined almost 38% by 2010. More work still needs to be done before the mission is truly accomplished, but there is no denying that the juvenile justice system is making progress in the removal of status offenses from facilities that serve youth.

Girls and Young Women in Residential Placement

Girls and young women make up 13% of the youth in residential facilities. Although the number of females in residential placement declined, young women maintained the same percentage overall. One-third of the females who are in residential placements are in private facilities. The vast majority (72%) of young women in placement for status offenses are in private facilities. Of those young women held for non-trafficking drug offenses, 55% were in private residential placements. Young women with less serious offenses were more likely to be placed in a private residential facility. Eleven percent of the females in residential care were status offenders in 2010, which was a decline from 21% in 1997. In spite of this progress, technical violations and status offenses were more common among females in placement than males.

The Challenge of DMC: Disproportionate Minority Care

Although there have been substantial gains made in reducing the number of youth in residential care, the overrepresentation of minorities—especially African American youth—remains a major challenge for the juvenile justice system in the U.S. In 2010, there were more than 47,000 minority offenders in residential placements in juvenile facilities across the country, which is 68% of the custody population nationwide. African American youth accounted for 41% of all youth in custody.[44]

Change in youth placement chart

The number of youth in residential placement dropped 33% between 1997 and 2010. The number of White youth declined 42% compared to a decrease of only 27% for minority youth. For African American youth, the decline was 31%, for Hispanic youth it was 19%, for Native American youth it was 23%, and for Asian youth it was 67%. The rate of incarceration (youth in confinement per 100,000 in the population) also declined.

Incarceration rates chart

In 1997 the incarceration rate was 356. In 2010 it dropped to 225. For African American youth, the rate changed from 968 to 605. The rate for Non-Hispanic White youth shifted from 201 to 127, and for Hispanic youth it declined from 468 to 229. For Native American youth, the rate declined from 490 to 367. Lastly, one of the largest declines was in the Asian and Pacific Islander population where the rate dropped from 195 to 47.[45]

Although the decline in all these rates is very welcome news, the fact remains that African American youth are still five times as likely to be confined as their White peers. Latino and Native American youth are between two and three times as likely to be confined. To address the DMC issue, researchers and policymakers must look beyond incarceration rates and examine the entire juvenile and criminal justice system, from prevention through arrest and disposition. To study only one piece of the juvenile justice system—the incarceration factor—and not delve into the decision-making around arrests, trial, adjudication, and disposition is irresponsible. Very few juvenile detention superintendents, juvenile correctional facility directors, jail administrators, or wardens have “gate keeping authority.” DMC will be addressed when police agencies, prosecutors, and judges embrace the fact that this is a systemic issue and not an institutional issue.

Implications for Youth Confinement Facilities

Many elected officials, adult and juvenile detention and corrections professionals, and youth advocates are surprised and encouraged by the declining numbers of youth in juvenile detention and correctional facilities. However, some in the juvenile justice system warn that the data are inconclusive; all of the trend information needs to be complete before a final analysis is possible. Still, the evidence is compelling; public policy on the incarceration of youth is changing in most states. Juvenile justice research is now better than it has ever been. Discoveries about the adolescent brain have played a significant role in shaping some decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. Evidence-based practices are imprinted on nearly every new program and federal grant for youth and adult offenders. Technology provides new pathways for understanding what works and why. However, challenges remain. Over a third of America’s incarcerated youth are in custody for offenses that pose little risk to public safety. There are considerable differences in the handling of juvenile offenders between states, which means that “justice by geography” is still a reality. Minority children and youth continue to be overrepresented in institutions compared to their proportion of the general population. All interested stakeholders must continue to closely monitor national and state incarceration trends in the quest to remove youth from confinement when it is not required for public protection.

Legislative Trends

After many years of get-tough legislation intended to make the juvenile justice system more like the adult criminal justice system, there is evidence that some legislative bodies are beginning to rethink some of the laws that were enacted in the past 20–30 years.

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) report, Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation: 2001-2011, states:

Today, more and better information is available to policymakers on the causes of juvenile crime and what can be done to prevent it. This includes important information about neurobiological and psychosocial factors and the effect on development and competency of adolescents. The research has contributed to recent legislative trends to distinguish juvenile from adult offenders, restore the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, and adopt scientific screening and assessment tools to structure decision-making and identify needs of juvenile offenders. Competency statutes and policies have become more research-based, and youth interventions are evidence-based across a range of programs and services. Other legislative actions have increased due process protections for juveniles, reformed detention and addressed racial disparities in juvenile justice systems.[46]

The NCSL making such a statement signals a tipping point.

The report pointed out that recent U.S. Supreme Court cases such as Roper v. Simmons, Miller v. Alabama, and Graham v. Florida were greatly influenced by the research on the adolescent brain. This has resulted in 12 states and the District of Columbia changing laws related to a sentence of life without parole for juvenile offenders.[47]

The NCSL reported another major trend as 38 states have now raised the maximum age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 17, with 10 additional states setting the upper limit at 16. States are moving away from lowering jurisdictional ages.[48]

Reforms have also been taking place in the waiver of youth to adult courts and direct file laws. In the last ten years, many legislative bodies changed the law related to treating youth as adult criminals, leaving only the most serious offenders to the adult courts. Still other states returned authority to juvenile court judges to determine what is in the best interest of the youth and public safety. Some states have implemented “blended sentences,” meaning that a youth tried and convicted in adult court can begin serving the sentence in the juvenile system. In many cases, credit is earned for time served while the youth is incarcerated in the juvenile facility. In other states, legislation has changed the direct file authority of prosecuting attorneys for less serious felonies. There is no doubt that the changes that are being made regarding the transfer of youth to the adult courts reflect a trend toward keeping youth in the juvenile justice system.

Other reforms are also addressing youth competency, due process and procedural issues, legal counsel, indigent defense, and confidentiality and expungement of juvenile records. Several states have taken aggressive steps to implement evidence-based programs that are clearly based on sound research and evaluations. Alternatives to incarceration and community-based services are being revitalized and funded with money saved as juvenile institutions are being downsized.

Juvenile Justice: The De Facto Mental Health Agency

The majority of children and youth who get caught in the web of the juvenile justice system have some type of mental health disorder. In the past ten years, more emphasis has been placed on the mental health needs of juvenile offenders by providing proper assessment and screenings and treatment services. State legislative bodies are making the connection between mental health disorders and juvenile offenders. The next step is for elected officials to adequately fund community-based mental health services for young people with serious mental health issues before their behavior brings them into the juvenile justice system. Juvenile detention and correctional facilities must not be the de facto community mental health program. It is simply not the mission of these facilities, nor is it that of adult facilities. Adult jails and prisons have a hard enough time providing mental health services for the adults in these facilities, much less youth—who often have greater needs and challenges. (See Ch. 9: Admission and Intake, Ch. 10: Effective Programs and Services, and Ch. 15: Service and Treatment Plans)

DMC Demands Effective Legislative Oversight

Some states have taken steps to require “minority impact statements” for proposed legislation related to crimes, sentencing, probation, and parole. The impact statements will help legislators understand the effect the legislation may have on minorities.

A number of states have taken steps in the past decade to redefine the juvenile detention mission and reduce the number of youth who are transferred to adult jails and prisons. The nationally recognized Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), created by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has demonstrated that the use of juvenile detention can be safely reduced with proper intake screening and risk assessment. Many legislative bodies have recognized this as one aspect of a viable approach to managing the state’s juvenile detention population and to controlling costs.

Simply looking at the numbers and demographics of incarcerated youth will not have a lasting impact on reducing minority contact and confinements. Communities, neighborhoods, schools, and community-based agencies must collaborate with the juvenile justice system to create significant and durable changes. Attempting to reduce DMC without addressing poverty, unemployment, school suspensions, dropping out of school, and other challenges is not a systemic approach.

Aftercare and Reentry

State legislators have focused on aftercare and reentry legislation that creates community-based services to help youth successfully return to the community. Many younger legislators and younger judges were in college when some of today’s reforms were in their infancy. They are open to new ideas and understand the importance of research-driven decision-making. By investing in community-based reentry programs and alternatives to incarceration, legislators in the majority of states are now seeing the fiscal impact of their decisions as juvenile residential facilities are closed or returned to the state for other purposes. By encouraging multi-agency collaboration and coordination, legislators can witness the transformation of a juvenile justice system that is better able to serve youth while preventing juvenile crime. (See Ch. 18: Transition Planning and Reentry)

Implications for Youth Confinement Facilities

Legislative bodies are better informed on the issues of youth now than in the past. Given credible, evidence-based data, many state legislatures understand what works and what does not work in juvenile justice, leading to better legislation. The laws passed in many states in the last decade indicate a movement toward better programs and services and away from harsh laws and programs that have not proven effective. Only time will tell if current trends will continue. Keeping legislators informed of the changing trends with regard to youth in confinement facilities is a proactive step to ensure the pendulum does not swing in the wrong direction.

Social Media and Juvenile Justice in the Age of Technology

Government agencies—especially those in the human services fields—have not kept up with technological advances of the last 25 years. Kathleen Feely, Vice President of Innovation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and CEO of Case Commons, Inc. wrote, “While the private sector has been transformed by the web-based technology revolution of the 1990s, government human services have not. Instead, human services technology—and child welfare technology, in particular—is mired woefully in the past, to the detriment of caseworkers and administrators struggling with out-of-date systems and at great cost to vulnerable children and families.”[49] Employees who are serving youth in confinement facilities at all levels can easily be included in this group. Feely refers to this as the “chasm between human services policy and technology.”

This technology discussion needs to go beyond the hardware, software, and latest device. Products change overnight. How the technology is blended with the policies that drive the facilities that hold youth is more important than the hardware and software that actually do the work. How technology can support effective and supportive services for youth and families is of critical importance to those who work in confinement facilities for youth.

Mobile devices that will have virtually unlimited access to vast amounts of information, in real time, will expedite the communication of data within an organization and to approved recipients. But the government lags behind the business world. This can only serve to frustrate and turn away highly talented younger workers. The technology field is changing so rapidly that governmental agencies—with their complicated procurement rules and limited budgets—cannot begin to compete with the private sector or maintain state-of-the-art equipment.

In April of 2011, the Annie E. Casey Foundation launched a new initiative called Case Commons, which uses a web-based application to link children in foster care with services that they need. The program’s main vehicle, called Casebook: A 21st Century Tool for Family-Centered Practice, uses social networking to help child welfare workers document, organize, and convey wide-ranging information vital to the child. If this system can be used in child welfare settings, it could be helpful in youth confinement settings as well. Mobility will be the key to the system’s success.[50]

The technology discussion must also include the ethical questions that will be asked of professionals in the field. How ethical is it to monitor the social networking sites and pages of clients? With fingertip controls, how can agencies protect confidential data, including HIPAA protected information? Breaches of confidential data have occurred and are cause for concern. What is the potential damage that could result from an employee making a video of a fight in a youth facility that is then posted to a domain or sent to a television network?

Implication for Youth Confinement Facilities

Administrators of facilities that confine youth must be prepared to answer these questions and to partner with information and technology professionals to insure that the rights of youth and victims are protected while also protecting an agency from costly litigation.

Technology that lacks safeguards for privacy protection can be a very serious problem. Achieving balance between the best tools to help youth and to protect confidential information is critical to successfully managing an organization. It is critical that all facilities that serve youth have plans for managing cyber-attacks or breaches of confidentiality. Through thoughtful planning and discussion, an administrator can better protect information and manage critical events.

 

References

Act 4 Juvenile Justice. “Importance of Reauthorization.” https://www.act4jj.org/resources.

Annie E. Casey Foundation. “Youth Incarceration in the United States.” Infographic. https://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-YouthIncarcerationInfographic-2013.pdf.

Brown, A., and E. Weiner. 1985. Supermanaging: How to Harness Change for PersonaI and Organizational Success. New York: Mentor.

Brown, Sarah Alice. 2012. Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation: 2001-2011. Washington, DC: National Conference of State Legislatures. https://www.ncsl.org/documents/cj/trendsinjuvenilejustice.pdf.

Case Commons. “Casebook: A 21st Century Tool for Family-Centered Practice.” https://casecommons.org/.

Drucker, Peter. 2002. Managing in the Next Society. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976).

Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Crime in the United States, 2012.” https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012.

Feely, Kathleen. “Meeting the Human Services Technology Challenge: A Vision for the Future.” .

Gagnon, Ray. 2012. "Strategic Planning: Laying the Foundation with a Solid Environmental Scan," The Huffington Post. September 28, 2012. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/strategic-planning-laying_b_1923937.

Gholipour, Bahar. 2014. “Teen Birth Rate Hits New Low.” Live Science, August 20, 2014. https://www.livescience.com/47455-teen-birth-rate-hits-new-low.html.

Herzog, Karen. 2013. "Poverty Conditions May Hinder Early Brain Development." Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel (blog), December 12, 2013. https://archive.jsonline.com/blogs/news/235473321.html.

Hockenberry, Sarah. 2013. Juveniles in Residential Placement 2010. NCJ 241060. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. https://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/241060.pdf.

Howden, Lindsay M., and Julie A. Meyer. 2011. “Age & Sex Composition 2010: 2010 Census Briefs.” Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2011/dec/c2010br-03.html.

KIDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation. 2103. KIDS COUNT Data Book 2013: State Trends in Child Well-Being. https://datacenter.kidscount.org/files/2013kidscountdatabook.pdf.

Macartney, Suzanne. 2011. Child Poverty in the United States 2009 – 2010: Selected Race Groups and Hispanic Origin. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2011/acs/acsbr10-05.html.

Martin, Joyce A., Brady E. Hamilton, Michelle J.K. Osterman, Sally C. Curtin, and T.J. Matthews. “Births: Final Data for 2012.” National Vital Statistics Reports 62, no. 9. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr62/nvsr62_09.pdf.

Morrison, James L. 1992. “Environmental Scanning.” In A Primer for New Institutional Researchers, edited by M.A. Whitley, J. D. Porter, and R. H. Fenske, 86–99. Tallahassee, FL: Association for Institutional Research. http://www.horizon.unc.edu/courses/papers/enviroscan/.

PEW Charitable Trusts. June, 2013. "In Search of Dental Care, Two Types of Dentist Shortages Limit Children's Access to Care." https://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2013/insearchofdentalcarepdf.pdf.

Shah, Neil. 2013. "Four Years into Economic Recovery, American Fertility Rate Remains Depressed." Wall Street Journal, December 31, 2013. .

 

Endnotes


[1] A. Brown and E. Weiner, quoted in James L. Morrison, “Environmental Scanning,” in A Primer for New Institutional Researchers, eds. M.A. Whitley and J. D. Porter,(Tallahassee, FL: Association for Institutional Research, 1992).

[2] Ray Gagnon, "Strategic Planning: Laying the Foundation with a Solid Environmental Scan," The Huffington Post, September 28, 2012.

[3] James L. Morrison, “Environmental Scanning,” in A Primer for New Institutional Researchers, eds. M.A. Whitley, and J. D. Porter (Tallahassee, FL: Association for Institutional Research, 1992),86–99.

[4] Ibid.

[5] For more information, see https://nicic.gov/im-looking-information-assistance-library.

[6] The electronic version of the Scan can be found at https://nicic.gov/environmental-scan-2012.

[7] Neil Shah, "Four Years into Economic Recovery, American Fertility Rate Remains Depressed," Wall Street Journal, December 31, 2013.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Peter Drucker, Managing in the Next Society, (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2002), 236.

[10] Shah, "Four Years into Economic Recovery.”

[11] KIDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2103. KIDS COUNT Data Book 2013: State Trends in Child Well-Being.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Joyce A. Martin, Brady E. Hamilton, Michelle J.K. Osterman, Sally C. Curtin, and T.J. Matthews, “Births: Final Data for 2012,” National Vital Statistics Reports 62, no. 9, (Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2013).

[14] Bahar Gholipour, “Teen Birth Rate Hits New Low,” (Live Science, August 20, 2014).

[15] KIDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Book 2013, 35.

[16] Lindsay M. Howden and Julie A. Meyer, “Age & Sex Composition 2010: 2010 Census Briefs,” (Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011).

[17] Ibid.

[18] Suzanne Macartney, Child Poverty in the United States 2009–2010: Selected Race Groups and Hispanic Origin, (Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011).

[19] KIDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Book 2013.

[20] Karen Herzog, "Poverty Conditions May Hinder Early Brain Development," Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, (blog), December 12, 2013.

[21] KIDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Book 2013.

[22] Drucker, Managing in the Next Society, 237, 258.

[23] KIDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Book 2013, 26.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ibid., 26.

[26] Ibid., 27.

[27] Ibid., 27.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid., 34.

[30] Ibid.

[31] The PEW Charitable Trusts, "In Search of Dental Care, Two Types of Dentist Shortages Limit Children's Access to Care," 1.

[32] Ibid.

[33] KIDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Book 2013, 31.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976).

[36] FBI, “Crime in the United States, 2012.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Sarah Hockenberry, Juveniles in Residential Placement 2010, (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2013).

[39] Hockenberry, Juveniles in Residential Placement 2010.

[40] Suzanne Macartney, Child Poverty in the United States 2009 – 2010.

[41] Hockenberry, Juveniles in Residential Placement 2010.

[42] Annie E. Casey Foundation, “Youth Incarceration in the United States,” Infographic.

[43] Act 4 Juvenile Justice. “Importance of Reauthorization.”

[44] Hockenberry, Juveniles in Residential Placement.

[45] KIDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Book 2013.

[46] Sarah Alice Brown, Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation: 2001-2011, (Washington, DC: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2011), 3.

[47] Ibid.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Kathleen Feely, “Meeting the Human Services Technology Challenge: A Vision for the Future.”

[50] Case Commons, “Casebook: A 21st Century Tool for Family-Centered Practice.”

Daily Practice

Daily Practice web_admin Thu, 12/23/2021 - 16:24

Ch.8 Management and Facility Administration

Ch.8 Management and Facility Administration web_admin Thu, 12/23/2021 - 16:25

Author: Anne M. Nelsen, MSW, MPA

Although confinement facilities are complex organizations that vary in purpose, size, and structure, the elements of effective management are universal. Certain strategies and practices promote success, whether a facility serves a few or many residents, and whether its function is as a juvenile detention center, a juvenile correctional facility, or an adult facility that also serves youth. The same principles, policies, and practices can work in federal, state, county, or regional systems, as well as in private and public operations. Regardless of the size and structure of the facility, effective performance begins with a clear vision and mission.

Vision and Mission

A cogent mission statement is the first step toward setting a clear direction and gaining a measure of control in the uncertain and changing environment of juvenile justice. Fully and clearly defined purposes become the foundation for decisions and consistent policies. A strong mission statement includes beliefs, values, and expectations about what will happen to confined youth in a particular facility.

The National Juvenile Detention Association (NJDA) definition captures the essence of juvenile detention.[1] That definition addresses the seven essential characteristics of juvenile detention identified by the American Correctional Association (ACA), Juvenile Detention Committee: temporary custody, safe custody, restricted environment, community protection, pending legal action, helpful services, and clinical observation and assessment.[2] Those elements can serve as the basis of a comprehensive juvenile detention program and a mission statement. (See Ch. 2: Types of Facilities: Juvenile Detention)

In 1992, the Academy Division of the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) (formerly referred to as the National Academy of Corrections [NAC]) assembled 30 juvenile detention and corrections experts to address the issue of vision and mission statements for juvenile detention and corrections. The NAC report from that meeting noted the common perspectives of the participating juvenile justice practitioners, particularly the high levels of consensus about the need for intervention before youth become institutionalized. The vision and mission statements promulgated by that group are still pertinent. They read as follows:

Vision Statement

Our vision is that every child experience success in caring families and nurturing communities that cherish children and teach them to value family and community. Our vision is guided by the fact that our decisions and actions affecting children today determine the quality of our life tomorrow.

Mission Statement

The mission of the juvenile corrections and detention system is to provide leadership for change for youth, family units, and communities. It operates by creating legitimate, alternative pathways to adulthood through equal access to services that are least intrusive, culturally sensitive, and consistent with the highest professional standards.[3]

These statements illustrate the broad underlying purpose of juvenile confinement facilities. They can serve as a foundation for a facility to develop its own mission statement—within its jurisdiction and as part of the juvenile justice system. They recognize the challenges faced by the young people the system serves. They point out the importance of professionals in that system asserting their influence in guiding the future actions of facilities and programs to better serve youth. They stress the importance of practices being built on evidence-based research. And, they emphasize the value that juvenile justice experts place on intervention to enhance the future for youth. A facility’s mission statement flows from the organization’s fundamental values, beliefs, and expectations regarding the treatment of youth and goals for their successful future. That mission statement will then influence the policies and procedures.

The External Environment

A central task for facility administrators is to address challenges from the external environment, including such issues as overcrowding or downsizing, commitments that are inappropriate or involve vulnerable or demanding youth, and lack of adequate resources. These issues may undermine the best-designed programs; however, they can be overcome through a variety of management tools, including:

  • Reliable information on population trends, delinquency and crime rates, and demographics.
  • Sound planning.
  • Admission criteria that are clear and understandable.
  • Mechanisms for prompt or regular review of detention or commitment decisions.
  • Availability of an adequate array of non-secure alternatives—such as a continuum of care. Mechanisms for timely disposition, transition, and release—including adequate community and residential resources.
  • A means to constantly monitor the facility population and to ensure that court scheduling, placement assessment and referral, and transportation are timely and do not become obstacles to transition and release. (See Ch. 18: Transition Planning and Reentry)

All of these techniques demonstrate the importance of the relationship between the confinement facility and the broader juvenile or adult criminal justice environment, including courts, probation and parole, placement agencies, law enforcement, and transporting authorities.

One way to meet the challenges and overcome the problems of managing a confinement facility is to build coalitions. Building coalitions means making connections with individuals, groups, organizations, and agencies that can make a difference. Sometimes coalitions are forged through formal means—reports on goals, accomplishments, and shortcomings of the program; speeches and brochures that interpret the philosophy and goals of the program; tours and educational events that open the facility to the community; and advisory boards, committee membership, and public meetings that involve key people from outside the organization. Coalition building is also achieved informally—responsiveness to inquiries from the community; sensitive handling of telephone calls and letters from parents, victims, and concerned citizens; and regular contacts with judges, commissioners, legislators, and other key decision makers.

Although the examples of coalition building presented above apply to the local level, the process is just as critical on the state and national levels. Facility practitioners can build coalitions with one another; with representatives from other parts of the juvenile and criminal justice system and from different levels of government; with the research and academic communities; and with leaders of churches, businesses, corporations, and foundations. Coalitions that have a purpose can help to build support and promote positive change.

Responsibilities of Facility Management

Among the responsibilities of facility managers are four key tasks: 1) development and communication of sound policies, procedures, and standards; 2) acquisition, allocation, and monitoring of resources; 3) selection, training, and development of staff; and 4) evaluation of organization performance and planning for the future.

Policies and Procedures

Effective policies and procedures are discussed in detail later in this chapter. Those written guidelines can help ensure consistent practice.

Resource Management

Resource acquisition, allocation, and monitoring are critical to building a successful program. The physical plant and operating funds are primary resources. Design and maintenance of the physical plant must acknowledge the relationship between space and the objectives of the facility. In addition, designated funding sources and the public in general must be willing to pay the costs of security, safety, health, and well being. Facility administrators have the obligation to define what constitutes adequate funding and to make the case for its allocation. They also have the responsibility to manage those funds with rigorous efficiency and integrity. (See Ch. 3: Physical Plant Design and Operations)

Competent Staff

Competent, conscientious staff are more important than any other element for ensuring quality and achieving the mission of any confinement facility. The most important tasks for management are selecting and training staff. Through the hiring process, administrators and managers seek to identify people with the knowledge, skills, and qualities of character needed to achieve the purposes of the facility. Training supports the development of knowledge and skills, expands understanding of the aims of the organization, and integrates staff into the process of sustaining the values and accomplishing the goals of the program. (See Ch. 4: Developing and Maintaining a Professional Workforce)

Evaluation and Planning

The management responsibilities of evaluation and planning are two sides of the same issue. Evaluation asks how well the organization is doing; planning asks what the organization can improve for the future. Both functions are based on understanding what constitutes organizational performance. A highly performing organization is successful in the following five areas:

  • The organization’s relationships to its environment. How effective are the relationships with the court and with placement or parole agencies? Are admission criteria in place and respected? Can some measure of predictability and control be exercised over admissions and release? What are the organization’s relationships with external stakeholders (e.g., law enforcement and educational institutions)?
  • Acquisition and use of resources. Is the organization able to secure and retain financial and human resources? Is the building or physical plant adequate in size and design? How well does the building or physical plant serve the purposes of safety, security, health, and development? Is funding adequate and managed efficiently? Are the staff scheduled and assigned to work effectively?
  • Internal processes. How many clients are being served? Do activities support goals? How well do support services such as purchasing, food service, and clerical work function?
  • Achievement of purposes and goals. Are the purposes of safety, security, health, and development or rehabilitation being met? To what extent are there escapes, injuries, assaults, or other indicators of performance failure?
  • Satisfaction of clients and employees. To what extent do youth and staff feel safe? Do youth feel that the staff cares about them? Do employees show signs of trust, respect, and loyalty? What is the state of employee morale? How effective are processes for communication, problem solving, and conflict resolution among youth and staff? To what degree are opportunities afforded for innovation, self-expression, and autonomy?

Leadership and Capacity Building

Building Leaders from Within

Effective leaders have many valuable qualities, one of which is the willingness and the ability to build current and future leaders from within the organization. Willingness requires having confidence enough to not be threatened by developing leaders within the organization. It entails recognizing the skills and potential in others and acknowledging their benefit to the facility. The ability to build leaders within the facility, like most leadership traits, is learned. Cebula and colleagues discuss this notion:

When employees are able to put their talents, skills, and knowledge to use, frustration and complacency are rare. Continuous learning also includes giving staff opportunities to build self-confidence through practice. Leaders who build self-confidence in their staff give them the foundation to deal with unexpected events and to make the tough choices this field often requires. Higher performing leaders know that building an organizational culture based on openness and trust encourages employees to suggest how to improve processes, propose innovative ways of dealing with issues and problems, and engage in improving the organization’s effectiveness.[4]

Developing employees involves helping them to achieve their goals at the organizational, unit, or individual levels. It is important to remember that people meet different personal needs as they realize their goals. Some people need to stretch and prefer a challenge, knowing that they may not fully succeed but that they will grow and progress. Some people need more readily achievable goals to foster confidence, raising the bar as objectives are reached incrementally. An effective leader must be aware of and sensitive to those individual needs and work styles and consider them in coaching and mentoring their employees. (See Ch. 2: Types of Facilities and Ch. 4: Developing and Maintaining a Professional Workforce)

Coaching helps leaders increase their effectiveness. And, when they coach others, “they can increase the capacity of the organization by bringing out the best in people: their willingness to be responsible for results, their engagement in solving problems, and their ability to deal with change and complexity.”[5] Coaching skills are enhanced by three primary techniques.

  1. Listening without judgment helps to improve trust and encourage communication.
  2. Asking powerful, open-ended questions rather than directing or giving advice helps to challenge staff members to examine their behavior.
  3. Setting up a system of accountability can lead to changes in old behaviors that are ineffective and establish long-term goals that staff adopt as their own.

In addition to coaching, mentoring is an important technique in developing leaders within any organization. Mentoring can be described as the “transfer of knowledge about the work, the organization, and the network of contacts within it from an experienced, knowledgeable person to someone who has less knowledge.”[6] Mentoring may be formal or informal. Informal mentoring occurs when two individuals agree to work together with the goal of leadership development. Formal mentoring involves structure and may include specific goals, schedules, and oversight. Some juvenile and adult correctional agencies establish formal mentoring relationships for new employees or for new supervisors or managers. That system benefits both the new staff member—through the guidance that is provided—and the established staff member—through opportunities to practice leadership skills and to examine the organization and his or her own knowledge. In some cases, professional organizations may provide mentors. This underscores the value of networking with professional organizations (e.g., National Partnership for Juvenile Services [NPJS], ACA, Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators [CJCA]), through which a professional may acquire knowledge from peers. (See Ch. 1: Historical Perspective)

Participation in Professional Organizations and Networking

Building and using networks helps leaders at all levels become more effective. Upper-level leaders who learn to develop networks when they are novice supervisors or as they progress through middle management have the benefit of that support system, because they have access to resources at the leadership level. They can turn to the relationships they have developed through professional and interpersonal networks to address challenging issues. Also, through those professional networks, leaders are positioned to be aware and take advantage of current research and innovations and embrace effective practices tested in other facilities and programs.

Staffing Adequacy

Confinement facilities are unique organizations in that they never close; they must be staffed by trained, competent staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This makes the need to develop individual leaders—as well as leadership capacity in all employees—even more important. Facilities must have assigned leader decision-makers on duty at all times, and, if the facility has a system for developing them, leaders will be available to make decisions on a routine basis or in unusual, critical situations. In addition to recognized leaders, the facility must also have a sufficient number of qualified line staff who have received training in an accepted juvenile justice curriculum and in facility-specific expectations. The staffing plan must meet accepted staff-to-youth ratios. Those ratios may be based on a variety of factors, which the Prison Rape Elimination Act Standards (PREA) delineate specifically:

  1. The agency shall ensure that each facility it operates shall, develop, implement, and document a staffing plan that provides for adequate levels of staffing, and, where applicable, video monitoring, to protect residents against sexual abuse. In calculating adequate staff levels and determining the needs for video monitoring, facilities shall take into consideration:
    1. Generally accepted juvenile detention and correctional/secure residential practices;
    2. Any judicial findings of inadequacy;
    3. Any findings of inadequacy from Federal investigative agencies;
    4. Any findings of inadequacy from internal or external oversight bodies;
    5. All components of the facility’s physical plant (including “blind spots” or areas where staff or residents may be isolated);
    6. The composition of the resident population;
    7. The number and placement of supervisory staff;
    8. Institutional programs occurring on a particular shift;
    9. Any applicable State or local laws, regulations, or standards;
    10. The prevalence of substantiated and unsubstantiated incidents of sexual abuse; and
    11. Any other relevant factors.
  2. The agency shall comply with the staffing plan except during limited and discreet exigent circumstances, and shall fully document deviations from the plan during such circumstances.
  3. Each secure juvenile facility shall maintain staff ratios of a minimum of 1:8 during resident waking hours and 1:16 during resident sleeping hours, except during limited and discrete circumstances, which shall be fully documented. Only security staff shall be included in these ratios.”[7]

PREA Standards serve as a useful tool in clearly enumerating a range of factors to consider in establishing a staffing plan. PREA Standards must be adhered to; however, to ensure safety and security of both staff and youth while delivering specific treatment programs, a facility may need to exceed those standards. For example, a facility that serves sex offenders may need to increase staffing to provide adequate supervision and programming. A juvenile correctional facility that has a robust treatment component may need a staffing plan that includes a strong clinical staff in addition to the security staff outlined in the PREA requirements.

Long before PREA Standards were finalized, the NJDA promulgated a position statement on staffing adequacy by supporting “regulation, policy, procedure and practice ensure a minimum ratio of one staff to no more than eight (1:8) juveniles during the day, and a ratio of one staff member to no more than sixteen (1:16) juveniles during the night.”[8] That position statement intentionally emphasized the need for those ratios to reflect minimal numbers to ensure the safety and security of the facility and the provision of necessary programming for juveniles. (See Ch. 9: Admission and Intake: PREA Screening)

Evaluating Performance of the Facility and the Staff

There are two basic types of performance management in a confinement facility: Management and evaluation of 1) the performance of the entire facility or one of its components, such as a particular treatment unit or the school program, and 2) the performance of individual staff members. Both types of evaluations are important and are interrelated; their goals and objectives are mutually dependent.

Performance Management and Organizational Performance

The use of performance measures is important for any organization, and it is critical for a publicly funded program. Accountability in the use of tax dollars is the responsibility of the facility, its parent agency, and of each employee. “Few public sector programs are evaluated systematically to determine whether they are achieving their objectives and doing so in a reasonably efficient fashion. Informal judgments of program effectiveness and efficiency tend to be subjective, based on anecdotes of program success or failure, the glowing testimonials of program proponents, or the harsh criticisms of program opponents.”[9] Accountability and, as a corollary, productivity in a public agency have been defined as “responsiveness to the needs, desires, and resources of the community, client, user, or customer.”[10] In confinement facilities that serve youth, this refers to the expectation of improved public safety through effective confinement and the transformation of youth into contributing, law-abiding citizens through the prudent use of resources. And, the “needs, desires and resources of the client, user, or customer” refers to the needs of young people and their families for such services as treatment and education and successful reintegration home, while considering their skills, abilities, and personal and environmental assets.

To measure the performance of an entire facility or one of its components, leaders must help staff set meaningful, specific, measurable, and achievable goals. Goal setting should be a shared activity that provides participants—including all members of the staff—with a clear understanding of their purpose. “It is not the responsibility of management to set goals. Rather, it is management’s responsibility to create an atmosphere where workers set their own goals and feel committed to achieving them.”[11] In addition to establishing organizational goals, the group must also determine how those goals will be measured. Measurement consists of tracking both process or tasks and products or accomplishments. For example, a school program in a facility might count the proportion of youth who attend class at least 90% of the days held, which would be a process measurement. Then, they might count the number of youth who pass their GED exam, receive enough credits to graduate, or enroll in college and complete a full semester. Those would be product measurements. The two types of measurements complement each other and contribute to the success of the facility. Reliable measures of performance in organizations that serve people in any way are rare, and measures of group performance are even rarer, despite the need to evaluate group performance. It is arduous but important to develop relevant criteria to use in evaluating the performance of a group, unit, or facility. The fact that measuring and evaluating a facility’s performance is difficult should not be an obstacle to doing so.

Performance of Employees

A more familiar type of evaluation for most practitioners is the measurement of individual employee performance. Unfortunately, all too often, many managers view employee evaluation as an interruption of their primary duties, rather than an essential one of those duties, and, as a result, conduct it in a perfunctory manner, if at all. If a manager fails to recognize the importance of honest feedback and tries to avoid the sometimes emotional process of evaluating performance, neither the employee nor the organization benefits. Employees should expect constructive criticism, guidance, and training for their continued growth and development as professionals.

An effective performance-evaluation system begins with a comprehensive job description on which the evaluation criteria are based. A job description should include the major objectives of the particular position and then list specific tasks to be completed in accomplishing each objective. For example, an objective might be “to maintain safety and security for detained youth.” Tasks would then be identified for the employee(s) in that position for that objective. In this example, tasks could include such things as, “complete visual, random room checks of all confined youth no less frequently than every 15 minutes” or “complete head counts of all youth before and after any group movement within the facility or its grounds.” In addition, the accomplishment of those tasks would be documented in specific ways. The first task might require the completion of room check logs, and the second task might require the completion of unit logs that document head counts. (See Ch. 4: Developing and Maintaining a Professional Workforce: Hiring Professional Staff)

Related to job descriptions are performance plans, which refine the job description and provide levels of ratings, which relate to the employee’s performance. The performance plan uses the major objectives from the job description and defines levels of assessment. For example, if an objective in the job description is to provide quality programming for confined youth, the performance plan would designate the kind and the amount of programming (dosage) to result in a rating of “exceptional,” “above standard,” “standard,” “below standard,” “and unsatisfactory” on a five-level scale. An “exceptional” rating may be achieved if “the employee keeps youth engaged in mentally and physically stimulating activities for the entire programming period and introduces at least six new programming activities during the one-year evaluation period. When surveyed, youth report a positive response to these activities.” An “above-standard” rating may be earned if the “employee keeps youth engaged in mentally and physically stimulating activities for at least 75% of the programming period and introduces at least three new positively reviewing activities.” A standard rating may be earned if “the employee provides moderately stimulating programming on all shifts but introduces no new activities.” A below-standard rating may be earned if the employee fails to provide programming on some shifts and introduces no new activities.” And, an unsatisfactory rating may be earned if “the employee fails to provide programming on most shifts.” Of course, there are limitless variations, but it is important for performance objectives to be as specific as possible and relate to the mission and goals of the facility. In addition, performance plans should be negotiated between the supervisor and the employee. In general, all employees in a particular job category would have identical or similar performance plans that are individualized based on the employee’s experience, performance goals, and training needs. Performance plans should be reviewed at least annually and updated as needed.

The final step in employee performance management is the actual performance evaluation. Often, agencies have a designated form for evaluating performance, but that form should allow for the flexibility to consider the employee’s performance plan. In evaluating employee performance, “most criteria fall into the following general categories: output quality, output quantity, work habits and attitudes, accident rates, learning ability, and judgment and problem-solving ability.”[12] Many performance evaluations “tend to concentrate too much on subjective personality traits or on the peripheral aspects of the worker’s performance (e.g., attitude, punctuality, orientation to managers) and not enough time examining the degree of attainment of specific outcome criteria for the job.”[13] Closely tying the performance appraisal to specific expectations in a negotiated performance plan can also mitigate the impact of the “halo” or “horns” effect. The halo effect occurs when an employee receives unreasonably high ratings based on such things as past performance, pleasant personality, or friendship. The horns effect occurs when an employee receives arbitrarily low ratings based on a tendency to disagree with management, membership in a poorly performing team, or weak past performance.

A successful employee performance appraisal occurs when the supervisors and employees have jointly developed performance plans that spell out specific tasks to be accomplished, based on major objectives that draw from the mission of the facility. That job description informs a performance plan that is negotiated by the employee and supervisor and that clarifies the levels of performance required for designated ratings. The evaluation is based on the performance plan and includes quantifiable measurements that are fair and are perceived as being so. Such a system should not result in surprises at the annual evaluation. It is advisable to meet at least one time mid-year to review the performance plan to help keep the employee on track and focused.

Labor Law Issues

Union and Nonunion Staffing

Confinement facilities may have unionized or nonunionized staff; there are advantages to each model. However, the most significant issue in an effectively operating facility is not whether or how the staff is represented, but whether there is a positive culture that encourages collaboration between management and direct care staff and between staff and youth. Unions have tended to oppose differential treatment of employees based on varying levels of productivity, employee reductions, civilianization, contracting out government functions, innovations in personnel deployment, and use of technology when the result is considered disruptive or threatening to employees.[14] On the other hand, “in some instances, adversaries have become allies with major productivity gain achieved through the cooperative efforts of management and organized labor.”[15]

One successful superintendent at the country’s largest juvenile detention center in Cook County, Illinois, has worked well with employee unions by viewing them as partners and “bringing them to the table.” Teresa Abreu says that believing that there is a shared goal—“a safe and secure environment for kids”—has helped her and facility employees to address concerns and deal with real or potential conflicts.[16] Abreu reports that the union representatives often have very good ideas, and it is helpful to have them involved in as many issues as possible. They are experienced workers who can provide insight and identify issues that management may not see. Unions and the collective bargaining agreements that they negotiate with management can help establish clear rules for employees, can help ensure fairness and due process when management fails to consistently do so, and can encourage management to meet with and address difficult issues with employees that they might otherwise be able to sidestep.

Union representatives in high functioning facilities also acknowledge that it is important to have a healthy working relationship with management. Shop Steward George Sanchez, of Cook County states that it is important to “remember that each side has an assigned role and it is a professional relationship, not personal.”[17] Sanchez points out that a union can be an asset to employees in representing their position by presenting their perspective to management and helping to examine a situation in comparison to similar situations. Both Abreu and Sanchez agree that a disadvantage of unionization is that the political aspect of the union can lead to losing sight of the ultimate goal of the facility as serving youth. In addition, the average union member might say they want more of a voice, especially when the union is large and influential, and some employees feel that if they do not get their individual needs met, the union is not representing them. A union has to represent all of its membership. It has to consider long-term needs that may only be achieved by short-term sacrifices. To serve its membership, the union may need to compromise in the short term and work with management in the process. Unions can protect their employees from capricious and unfair decisions by management while cooperating to achieve shared goals.

Many facilities operate in jurisdictions that have no or limited union involvement. When these facilities are government operated, and there is typically a civil service system that provides protections for employees, based on federal and state statute and case law. Even when there is no collective bargaining agreement, employees have protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and civil rights laws enforced by the Equal Employee Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In addition, states and localities have related laws and ordinances that protect employees. Generally, states have employee indemnification laws that shield government employees who do not act with maliciousness or negligence. Those laws vary, and it is wise for practitioners to be familiar with protections available in their own states. Even in the absence of union representation, employees have rights, and they should be aware of those rights while meeting the obligations of their jobs.

FLSA Exempt Salary, Hourly, and Contracted Employees

Another element of facility staffing is the use of salaried employees, employees who are paid by the hour, and contracted employees. Generally, administrators, managers and—usually—supervisors are paid by salary and are classified as “exempt” under the FSLA. The exempt status basically means that those employees are not eligible for pay at a time-and-a-half rate for hours worked above 40 each week. The U.S. Department of Labor classifies jobs as either exempt or non-exempt based on a number of factors, including salary level and professional or administrative duties. Under the FLSA, exempt employees have “ ‘no rights at all’ ” other than the right to receive “the full amount of the base salary in any work period during which s/he performs any work.”[18]

Employees who are non-exempt under the FLSA are entitled to be paid time and one-half for every hour they work above their regular work period, usually a seven-day week. Normally, overtime pay is due after an employee works 40 hours in the workweek. Most employees in a juvenile or adult confinement facility are classified as non-exempt and must be paid overtime. That includes direct care staff, many supervisors, clerical employees, and support staff. It is often necessary to have employees work extra hours to ensure that a facility is adequately staffed.

Some agencies also have part-time employees who work a limited number of hours or who work exclusively in place of full-time employees who have time off. Those part-time employees are limited by law and policy in the number of hours they may work and generally are not allowed to accrue overtime pay.

Many facilities also use contract employees to meet specific staffing needs. There may be services that do not require a full-time employee, and it is more cost-effective to contract for that service. For example, a small confinement facility may need only occasional or part-time psychiatric services, and—rather than hire a psychiatrist as an employee with a salary and accompanying benefits—that facility may contract only for the number of hours of service provided. In many cases, entire programs within a facility may be contracted such as food services or custodial services. Again, that relieves the facility of the costs of hiring employees. When contracting for any type of service, it is important to balance the monetary value of the contract with the benefits of having committed, loyal employees as part of the organizational team.

Foundations for Sound Facility Operations

Policy and Procedure Manual

Experience has shown that direct care staff members who work with youth are best able to perform their jobs and provide the services those youth most need when they work in an environment that includes:

  • A clear mission statement.
  • Goals and objectives.
  • A departmental code of ethics.
  • Written standards that meet requirements for state or national accreditation or certification.
  • Comprehensive training and continuing education.
  • An ongoing program of personnel evaluations.
  • Written policies and procedures.

What Is a Policies and Procedures Manual?

The NIC discussed the importance of all juvenile and adult correctional agencies having “clear and concise written directives for staff, offenders, and the community. Given the issues of administrative liability, accreditation standards, case law, and the need to support professional behavior, written policy and procedure is a necessity.”[19] That NIC statement goes on to say that “well-written policy and procedure is the core of modern correctional operations. It informs and governs staff behavior, sets clear expectations, and confirms that the administration has performed its role. It is also the basis for staff supervision, training, and supporting a defense when things go wrong.”[20] Policy should be based on defensible rationale and legitimate correctional outcomes, such as safety, security, sanitation, resident programs, and legal rights. Sources of policies may be established standards such as those promulgated by the ACA. Policies must address applicable case law in the jurisdiction. The procedures that accompany written policies offer more detail to help the practitioner implement the policy.

A policy and procedure manual contains the department’s or the facility’s mission statement, goals and objectives, code of ethics, and guidelines that facility staff require in performing both their routine and nonroutine tasks. The manual is intended to be a tool that makes the job of the confinement facility professional easier. It contains an accumulation of information handed down from previous juvenile professionals—information that the field believes is good practice.

What are the benefits for staff?

Staff members in confinement facilities for youth are entrusted with the responsibility of supervising troubled young people and must have common sense and knowledge about interacting with challenging youth in a secure environment. Acquiring a good command of the information in the policies and procedures manual is the first step for staff to gain that knowledge and fulfill their responsibilities.

Specifically, a policy and procedure manual may provide:

  • Parameters for making decisions. Facilities usually develop written policies that govern the use of discretion in decision-making. Within the policy guidelines, staff members are able to make informed decisions about relating to and providing for the juveniles. Guidelines help ensure that staff will not handle juveniles based on personal values, working conditions, or other factors that may lead to arbitrary decisions.
  • An overall picture of the connection between one unit and another and between each unit and the facility’s mission. As staff members see their part in the picture, they will be more willing to work as a team and be more accountable for their own actions.
  • A method for communicating more effectively with other staff, board members, families, youth, placing agencies, and other involved agencies and individuals. The policies and procedures manual provides a common language and reference points.
  • Consistency in the program, especially among the staff in their actions and behaviors. Consistency is crucial for the safety and the mental well-being of the youth and staff.
  • Assurance of compliance with legal requirements, including respect for the legal rights of youth in custody.
  • Protection from liability, audit exceptions, and criminal procedures. The threat of liability is reduced when staff members function in a proactive manner, using sound principles.
  • Assurance that emergency procedures will be carried out effectively.
  • Protection from any sanctions for noncompliance that may be built into the personnel policies of the agency.

Definitions

Policies. In general, a policy reflects the facility’s philosophy about a particular issue. For example, each facility should have policies that cover a range of issues, from the security of the building (key and tool control, the use of official vehicles, and emergency procedures) to the discipline of youth (rules and regulations for resolving minor violations).

Policies are statements of the general course of action a facility wishes to take. They give staff the reasons and the directions needed to function effectively in the facility. Policies tend to be general and goal oriented. For example, a policy statement on “Visitation” might read:

“To encourage healthy family and community ties and to increase the likelihood that a youth will succeed after release, visits with family members and others who may have a positive influence are encouraged. Visits shall occur in a manner that allows maximum contact between the youth and the visitor while ensuring the safety and security of the facility.”

In a few limited instances, however, an item of specific information, such as a time or location, may be of such importance to the understanding of the policy that it should be included in the policy statement. Timing in an emergency is critical; therefore, emergency procedures should be highly specific, although staff members may have to make some on-the-spot judgments. In most instances, however, such detail should be left out of the policy statements and included only in related procedures.

The policy answers the question, “what?” as if to say, “This is what we stand for, this is what we do.” The format of the policy and procedure manual may have a statement of Purpose or Rationale component for each policy or that may be included in the policy statement. The purpose answers the question, “Why?” “It is the rationale and basis for the policy, documenting that it is grounded in more than preference or administrative whim.”[21]

Procedures. A procedure is the detailed, step-by-step description of the sequence of activities necessary to implement the policy and achieve the stated goals. The procedure answers the questions who?, where?, when?, and how? In the example above, the procedures would describe who is able to confine the youth, where the youth would be confined, how long the youth can be confined, how the confinement should be documented, and what information should be recorded.

Because procedures usually involve a series of actions to be performed by certain responsible persons under certain circumstances, include the following information in the procedure:

  • The steps involved in completing the action in the order in which they occur.
  • The individual (by title) or operational unit responsible for the actions described by the procedure.
  • The times and locations relevant to the operating procedure.
  • The relevant forms to be completed.
  • The form of communication involved (telephone, written notice, etc.) in completing the procedure.
  • When and to what extent discretion is allowed.
  • Provisions for handling major problems or emergencies that may occur during the implementation of the procedures.

In addition to the policy and procedure, a section that lists “References” is often included. References provide the background and sources behind the policy and serve as supporting documentation. References might include information like a national or state standard or a court order.

Content Sources for the Policy and Procedure Manual

Ideally, the development of policies and procedures should flow from the fundamental agency philosophy. That philosophy generates the facility’s vision and mission discussed above. Therefore, before the first draft is written or before the manual is revised, the agency leadership should set aside time for defining and reviewing organizational philosophy, vision, and mission.

A workable philosophy statement should include:

  • The purpose of the facility.
  • The facility’s responsibility to its youth, the funding sources, the community, and other agencies and organizations with which it has a legal or professional relationship.
  • The short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals or the direction in which the facility is or should be headed.

In general, policies and procedures are also based on a variety of other sources, including:

  • The facility’s charter or bylaws.
  • Existing written policies and procedures.
  • Administrative rules, regulations, and memoranda.
  • Recommendations of staff, unions, and youth (when appropriate).
  • Existing but unrecorded practices.
  • Problems encountered in the past.
  • Local codes for fire, building, safety, sanitation, and health.
  • Standards issued by a variety of groups, including the ACA, National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC), American Bar Association (ABA), American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI); the Performance-based Standards (PbS) of CJCA, the U.S. Attorney General; state agencies; and others.
  • Model policies and procedures manuals from the ACA, other states, agencies, or institutions.
  • Issues identified in audit reports.
  • Suggestions from the community and involved agencies.
  • Legal and professional requirements, including:
    • Court decisions that determine the legal criteria for facility operations. Because courts in various areas may rule differently on particular issues, it is advisable to rely on decisions from State and Federal courts in one’s jurisdiction, keeping in mind that federal law supersedes state law.
    • Federal statutes and administrative rules and regulations relevant to the operation of confinement facilities that serve youth.
    • State statutes and administrative rules and regulations relevant to the operation of confinement facilities.
    • National and state corrections standards.

Key Content Areas

Although policy and procedure manuals will differ slightly in their format, ACA identified the following four areas commonly addressed: administration, support services, programs, and security.[22]

Administration includes:

  • General facility administration.
  • Fiscal affairs, including purchasing.
  • Personnel services.
  • Public information.

Support services include:

  • Food.
  • Health care.
  • Laundry.
  • Supplies and storeroom.
  • Maintenance.
  • Communication—mail, visiting, telephone.

Programs include:

  • Court liaison.
  • Intake and admission procedures.
  • Programming—education, recreation, counseling, nutrition, reading, communications, religious, medical, and health care services.
  • Release preparation.
  • Community volunteers.

Security includes:

  • Security and control.
  • Youth supervision.
  • Rules and discipline.
  • Emergency preparedness.

These four areas can be further sub-divided into sections of the policy and procedure manual. Major sections of the manual may be selected to meet the needs of the facility’s operation. Often facilities use the table of contents from the related standards manual—usually ACA or state standards—to set up a policy manual to ensure that policies and procedures are written to meet those standards. Policies and procedures are then written on each topic within the major headings.

A policy and procedure manual should be a fluid document that evolves as issues arise or change. All policies and procedures should be reviewed on a regular basis—at least annually—and updated as necessary.

The Policy and Procedure Format

A number of jurisdictions use the following format, which is based upon ACA standards, to provide structure for the development of facility policies and procedures manuals.

Administration. The administration section formally sets the direction for the facility and includes admissions, goals, staff patterns, and critical program accountability. Sections cover the following topics:

  • Vision, mission, and values. Policies should clearly state the philosophy and goals of the organization, which flow from the overall mission.
  • Policies and procedures. Procedures should be set forth that detail staff access, training, and opportunities for revising policies and procedures.
  • Incident reporting. A system should be in place to ensure the timely reporting and documentation of such issues as major behavior violations, emergency medical situations, threats to the security of the facility, and professional misconduct. Additional procedures should be in place to report child abuse allegations, address sexual abuse allegations as required under PREA, respond to new crimes, and preserve evidence of crimes that may have occurred within the facility.
  • Organizational staffing. The facility should define staff responsibilities, assign staff to units to promote efficiency, and provide a clear chain of command.
  • Population accountability. Maintain a daily population roster as an accountability system that notes changes in the population status or in the physical or emotional condition of youth.
  • Referral, screening, and placement of youth. Procedures should define placement criteria so that youth are placed in the least restrictive level of supervision. Placement may involve the use of a risk-assessment tool. The requirements of PREA should be considered in screening and classification decisions.
  • Program reporting. An effective information system must include the opportunity for reporting and monitoring the program activities at every level of the organization. Reporting may include shift reports, monthly reports, or statistical reports.

Fiscal Management. General accounting practices should be detailed, including a specific protocol for small and large purchases and an annual audit process of all facility finances. Guidelines should delineate how resident funds and cash income are to be handled within the facility. Strict accounting procedures should be in place to protect the integrity of those handling such funds. Also, information should be available on employee liability insurance, insurance for volunteers, and vehicle insurance.

Personnel. Although most facilities are part of a larger organization (e.g., county or state government), personnel guidelines should include compensation and benefits, performance evaluations, codes of ethics, and an employee grievance process. Employees should be aware of procedures to access personnel files, and they should receive training in how to report harassment in the workplace.

Facility Management. Guidelines should be in place to demonstrate compliance with zoning and building ordinances. In addition to specific procedures on how the facility space is to be used, policies should define the following:

  • Rated bed capacity. Procedures should address the licensed, rated bed capacity of the facility, which provides optimum operation for a safe, secure environment and meets the standard for conditions of confinement. Procedures should clearly define strategies to maintain the rated capacity of the facility and offer guidelines when that capacity is exceeded. Procedures should address sleeping arrangements, activity areas, dayrooms, population movements, and staff responsibilities when the facility is under or over capacity.
  • Facility utilization and access. Clear procedures should detail use of the facility’s resources (e.g., recreation equipment), specific access, and perimeter control.
  • Hazardous chemicals and materials control program. Standards should be in place to coordinate the identification, use, and storage of any hazardous chemical within the facility. Potentially hazardous materials may be found in maintenance areas, storage areas, the kitchen, the arts and crafts area, and general supply. All containers of hazardous chemicals should be properly labeled and inventoried. Material safety data sheets contain manufacturer’s cautions, ingredients, and usage guidelines should be prominently displayed on each container. Strict control should be in place to prevent unauthorized access by the youth. All staff should be trained in the use of hazardous materials.
  • A cleaning or housekeeping schedule. Procedures should detail a schedule for routine and specialized cleaning of every area in the facility, detailing the responsibilities of direct care staff, maintenance staff, and youth.
  • Risk management program. Regular inspections of the facility should review the hazardous chemicals and materials control program, health standards throughout the facility, fire prevention measures, and facility maintenance. Findings should be reported to the director and key staff responsible for addressing these concerns. Routine inspections ensure ongoing compliance with critical quality of life issues.

Security and Control. The security and control sections of the policy and procedure manual should address the following topics:

  • Perimeter control and surveillance. Procedures should identify staff and visitor access, control of contraband, guidelines to address visitor problems, and public access to the facility (e.g., tours).
  • Key control. Staff should be assigned security keys according to specific work assignments. Key control should include a process for signing regular inventories in and out on each shift.
  • Searches. To maintain security of staff and the population, frisk searches of the resident population or strip searches, when needed, should occur as established by protocol that has been reviewed by legal counsel. The use of strip searches should be restricted, and the policy and procedure manual should include specific guidelines for the protection of the youth and staff. Search policies should include schedules for regular room and property searches, guidelines for the use of metal detectors, and procedures for handling uncovered contraband.
  • Fights, disturbances, and use of force. Specific procedures should be established to address emergencies related to behavior, using only the minimum amount of force necessary to control a youth or situation within the facility. Guidelines should detail the use of mechanical and humane restraints, including authorization for use, duration of use, and documentation of use. Safe physical management approaches, use of facility and external resources available to address major disturbances should be included in training.
  • Escape and absence without leave (AWOL). Guidelines should be established to identify measures that prevent escapes or attempted escapes. In the event of a completed escape, procedures should detail staff response, guidelines for apprehending escaped youth, notification of administration, and guidelines for returning to normal programming.

Emergency Procedures. An emergency procedures section of the policy and procedure manual should be posted at each work site and easily accessible to staff at all times—physically, electronically, or in both forms. Emergency procedures should detail the fire and other emergency evacuation plan, routinely documented drills, emergency notification procedures for facility administration, the community response, and specific guidelines for natural disasters (e.g., snow, tornado, earthquake, and flood). Annual training for staff and review of these procedures with the local fire marshal can help ensure staff readiness. Procedures should identify responsibilities for all staff members during an emergency situation. (See Ch. 19: Complex Issues and Vulnerable Populations: Facility Emergency Preparedness)

Healthcare. The mental and medical healthcare sections in the policies and procedures manual should address the following topics:

  • Access to medical and mental health services. All facility staff should be aware of the process of access and notification for routine and emergency medical care.
  • Health hazard and exposure control plan. Employees have a right to know about potential health hazards associated with their work. However, information available to employees may not include specific facts about health hazards or risks protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).[23]An exposure control plan should include policies, procedures, and responsibilities involved in eliminating or minimizing employee exposure to hazards. Employees should have access to applicable safety information and appropriate personal protective equipment to avoid potential risks. These are federally mandated guidelines.
  • Health services delivery. All staff should be aware of and trained in the initial medical screening process and youth access to medical services, including sick call. Specific procedures and training should occur for the distribution of medication.
  • Suicide prevention plan. A detailed plan reviewed by mental health and social service professionals should address levels of risk identified during the initial screening. For each level of risk, staff should be trained in behavior indicators, monitoring guidelines, housing guidelines, referral guidelines, counseling, and reporting notification.
  • Communicable disease precautions. Procedures should address the prevention and handling of any potential communicable disease within the facility.
  • Medical emergency response. Staff should be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and standard first aid.
  • Staff health responsibilities. All facility staff members must meet proper health guidelines as specified in policy. Food service handlers must meet special guidelines.

Communications. The communications section in the policies and procedures manual should address the following topics:

  • Internal staff communication. Procedures should include staff guidelines for primary communication within the facility. Clear lines of communications and authority ensure timely reporting during emergency situations.
  • Resident communication. Procedures should address youth access to staff, the court, their attorney and probation officer, mail, and telephone. Detailed visitation guidelines should also be in place.

Youth Rights and Responsibilities. Policy should grant youth personal, programmatic, and environmental rights, including the right to nutritious meals, the right to exercise, the right to be housed in a safe environment, the right to be treated fairly, and the right to privacy. The youth rights and responsibilities section of the policies and procedures manual should address the following topics:

  • Youth complaints. Policy should detail a youth’s right to file a grievance about services, and should offer youth at least one level of appeal.
  • Reporting rights. Written policies should describe multiple means of reporting allegations of abuse in a safe manner and should protect the individual from retaliation. That includes the reporting of sexual abuse as required by PREA.
  • Responsibilities. Staff should communicate the general responsibilities of youth during the orientation process.

Resident Behavior Management. Policy should address the following guidelines to properly manage resident behavior:

  • Orientation. An orientation process should include general youth rules, expected behavior in different areas of the facility and at different times of the day, access to medical services, staff-youth relations, and access to all basic youth rights.
  • Encouraging positive behavior. The behavior management program may include specific behavior levels in achievement, offering privileges and opportunities at each level. Youth should be well informed of what options they have related to their positive behavior within the facility.
  • Discipline. Policy should include specific training and guidelines for staff on verbal intervention, the use of time out, and the use of minor and major behavior consequences. Due process hearings are required for major facility infractions prior to imposing discipline. The use of isolation, which refers to separating youth from other residents during non-sleeping hours by placing them along in a room or cell, and should be used only when no other means can reasonably be used to accomplish the safety and security of the youth and staff. (The use of isolation is under intense scrutiny at present; therefore, the current thinking about what constitutes best practice is in flux.) Policies and procedures should identify specific reasons for use, options for early release, and strict staff monitoring guidelines
  • Program variety. Staff and residents should be aware of schedules and opportunities to access a variety of programming features, such as education, religious services, libraries, social services, and recreation. (See Ch. 15: Service and Treatment Plans and Ch. 18: Transition Planning and Reentry)

Youth Records. Procedures should detail a record management and accountability process that includes official records content, signatures, monitoring of record content, release of information, and confidentiality.

  • Admissions and intake. Procedures should address the initial legal authorization for confinement, the process for medical and mental health screening, and a youth’s basic rights during the admission and intake process. The youth orientation should include immediate access to medical services, the nature of the charge, the opportunity for a phone call, and details of the intake process. Procedures should detail property control.
  • Food services. Procedures should detail access and the use of dietitian-certified cycle menus. Specialized procedures for training food services staff should include food service preparation and handling, meal service, and equipment control.

Optional Materials. Policy and procedure manuals may also include materials of administrative interest, such as organizational charts, personnel rules and regulations, and copies of relevant forms. These optional addenda should be carefully selected so that the manual does not become a catchall of miscellaneous or marginally valuable materials.

Evaluating Policies and Procedures

Before policies and procedures are finalized or placed in the manual, they should be evaluated for their effectiveness. In terms of policies, the following test questions may be helpful:

  • Does this policy conform to overall agency philosophy?
  • Does this policy conform to the general policy guiding a special operational unit?
  • Is this policy consistent with other policies, or are there contradictions?
  • Is this policy repetitious, unnecessary, or trivial?
  • Does this policy conform to relevant laws, codes, and standards?

In terms of procedures, further checks should be made by acting out the various steps involved (when needed) and by asking the following questions:

  • Is the information needed to carry out the procedure complete?
  • Are the steps in a logical sequence?
  • Could the procedure be simplified or made more efficient?

Format of Policy and Procedure

There are many possible variations in the format for presenting policy statements and procedures. Any format must include certain key elements and facts. The following list includes information that should be included and placed either in a masthead or in the body of the document:

  • A classification or policy number that uniquely identifies and distinguishes each policy and procedure.
  • A date to indicate when the policy was issued or revised.
  • An indication of whether the policy or procedure supersedes another policy or procedure document, memorandum, or directive.
  • A chapter title that covers a particular area, such as “Budget and Finance” or “Personnel.”
  • A subject title that describes or identifies the specific subsection of the chapter, such as “Budget Request and Justification” or “Personnel Records.”
  • A signature that indicates that the policy or procedure has the approval of an issuing authority.
  • A citation that references the official document, law, regulation, or opinion (including the specific article, chapter, or section) that served as the foundation of the policy. The appropriate authority for the policy could be a federal or state law, regulation, or guideline; a court decision; an attorney general’s opinion; or an executive order.
  • A briefly stated purpose or goal of the policy.
  • An indication of the division, department, or personnel to whom the policy is directed.
  • A list of definitions for key terms and phrases that have a specific meaning in the policy or procedure or that could be misinterpreted.
  • A statement that indicates when the policy will be put into effect and how frequently it will be reviewed and updated.

Performance-Based Policies

When policies, procedures, or standards are not based on performance or results, they fail to connect to identifiable practice and fail to help the facility improve that practice. A 1993 Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) study pointed to the lack of a clear relationship between complying with standards and improving conditions of confinement, reflecting the need for further study in this area. [24] After that study, the field recognized the need for outcome or Pbs to improve accountability and the quality of data and to enhance conditions of confinement for youth. In 1995, OJJDP funded the CJCA to develop and implement PbS in juvenile jurisdictions and facilities.[25] The ACA has also promulgated PbS for several of the facility and program types for which it sets standards and is in the process of updating other standards manuals to a performance-based format.

Pbs is designed to ensure regular and consistent data collection, to use that data to develop performance reports and outcome measure analysis, and to create a facility improvement process that focuses on conditions of confinement for youth. When a facility has adopted PbS, its policies and procedures should be modeled after those standards so that daily practice and expectations are motivated by continuous improvement efforts. Experience with PbS has indicated that this internal quality assurance approach can lead to safer conditions for youth in custody and the promotion of public safety, offender accountability, and rehabilitation. (See Ch. 17: Quality Assurance)

Who Develops the Policy and Procedure?

The manual is usually developed by the facility’s administration. However, to ensure that the manual is useful and meets legal and professional standards, it is important to have input from a range of stakeholders, including the governing body; its legal consultant; its human resources advisor; its fiscal and budget specialists; its citizens advisory board or other community volunteers; and key representatives from the court, probation, child welfare, local colleges or universities, law enforcement, and medical and mental health agencies. In addition to these subject matter experts, policies and procedures should have input from staff at all levels and even—where appropriate and possible—from the facility’s youth.

How are the Policies and Procedures Communicated?

After policies and procedures are developed, written, and signed by the appropriate person, they become the basis for all activities and programs carried out in the facility. For this reason, communicating the policies becomes essential for putting them into effect. Administrators need to be sure that many avenues of communication are used, especially when they change policies or introduce new ones. These avenues might include individual memos, posted memos, email distribution, staff meetings, supervisory sessions, or formal training sessions. There also should be a special announcement of the policy or policies on the effective date.

The policy and procedure manual must be easily accessible to all facility staff and other relevant parties. A small agency may find it feasible to issue a copy to each staff member. In most cases, however, if the manual is large, the cost of printing a large number of copies may be prohibitive. The agency can provide access to electronic copies of the manual by using agency intranet systems or issuing manuals to staff on data storage devices. At the very least, distribution should include the following:

  • Each agency working directly with the facility.
  • Each administrator and section chief within the facility and all staff in the section.
  • At least one copy in each area of the facility including the school, the mental health office, and the medical office or clinic.
  • Several additional copies in a central location for staff and public access.

Usually, staff members who receive a manual must sign for the manual. In most facilities, direct supervisors are responsible for ensuring that their staff members are familiar with the contents of the manual, particularly with those sections that relate directly to a staff member’s tasks and duties. However, the facility administrator has the ultimate responsibility for training on new and revised policies and procedures. Direct care workers should receive initial as well as ongoing in-service training on the content of the policies and procedures manual.

Process for Making Changes

Because the manual provides the framework for facility operations, the policies and procedures need to be sound, realistic, and current, which means that the manual is never a finished document. Sometimes, agencies will discover changes in the philosophy that guides existing policies and procedures. Sometimes—especially with changes in the administration or with shifts in the current belief systems—facility mission statements, goals, and policies that reflect those goals also shift. For example, the goals of the juvenile justice system historically have fluctuated with regard to the philosophies of justified punishment (let the punishment fit the crime) and parens patriae (the State takes the place of the parents). In addition, current legislation and case law may require changes in specific procedures. When the philosophy of a department or facility changes, policies and procedures may also need to be changed.

Furthermore, as laws change, as legal decisions are made, and as research reveals new and better ways to run the facility or relate to the youth, the administration (with input from the staff) needs to revise the policy and procedure manual. In fact, every facility should have a policy for ongoing review and revision of their policy and procedure manual on both an annual and an ad-hoc basis. At least once a year, the administration and all staff should review the manual formally. Non-administrative staff, especially, should be urged to provide criticism and suggestions for its improvement, because only through active staff participation of everyone does the manual become a truly useful aid or guidebook. Supervisors need to ensure that each staff member is familiar with the facility’s procedures for making changes, additions, and deletions.

During the review, policies and procedures should be rewritten if they are not clear, complete, or representative of what the staff are actually required to do in certain situations. Other policies and procedures that have become outdated should be removed. Also, policies that reflect new or expanded agency operations and practices should be written, evaluated, and added to the manual.

After the revisions are completed and approved, all staff must be notified immediately about changes. Bulletins should be distributed to all staff, telling them which pages in the manual have been revised, removed, or added. Staff should be asked to sign a form indicating that they have received the updates. These measures ensure that all staff members are aware of changes, revisions, and deletions as soon as they are made.

In the final analysis, putting what a facility does into writing is a definite and necessary stage in the development of a quality program. The policies and procedures manual must be treated as a living organism, responsive to change, growth, and refinement. The review process ensures a level of continuing creativity and flexibility in identifying and meeting the needs of the staff and youth.

Policy Cycle

The policy cycle is more than writing or developing policies and procedures. The cycle includes additional steps to ensure that policies and procedures are meaningful and workable for a specific facility; are consistent with accepted juvenile justice philosophy, theory, research and practice; and retain relevance and applicability. To maximize the manual’s effectiveness and relevance, staff must be trained on its contents, and thoroughly understand how to implement the manual’s directives.

The implementation of policies and procedures requires monitoring by administration or, if available, outside reviewers to ensure that practice is consistent with policy—that the written policy is doing what it is intended to do. Daily monitoring requires administrators to review documents, observe activities, and interview both youth and staff. Administrators should expect implementation of new or revised policies to take time and consistent effort. Customary practices and habits do not change readily. To facilitate that process, it is important to involve staff in the development of policies to the extent possible. And, it is essential that staff understand the purpose and rationale behind each policy and procedure to achieve their buy-in. Monitoring of implementation may also be done through an established, structured quality-assurance process using individuals or bodies that are either internal or external to the facility. (See Ch. 17: Quality Assurance)

A parent agency or facility may also conduct a formal or informal policy analysis through which individual policies are scrutinized to determine whether there are other alternatives to that policy and procedure. If statute, case law, or research findings recommend changes to practices outlined in written policies, a formal analysis can be of help in determining more appropriate, permissible, or effective approaches. For example, when research on suicide in juvenile confinement facilities became available in 2009,[26] many juvenile facilities in the country revised their suicide prevention policies to limit isolation and ensure that youth were observed more frequently than had previously been the case. As discussed above, the entire policy and procedure manual should be reviewed annually, and individual policies and procedures should be analyzed more frequently—if necessary—as new information becomes available.

Adult facilities that serve youth will follow the same procedures described here in implementing and updating their policy manual. In addition, it is important that those facilities also have specific policies and procedures that address any and all issues involving youth, including instructions for staff members who work directly with those youth. Those policies and procedures may be in a separate manual or in a distinct section of the facility’s general manual.

Effective Communication

Effective internal and external communication is essential in a confinement facility of any kind. “Organizational survival is related to the ability of management to receive, transmit, and act on information. The communication process links the organization to its environment as well as to its parts.”[27] It is important to establish numerous lines of communication, both formal and informal. Communication should occur vertically between management level staff and line staff and horizontally, among or within workgroups. Communication must be two-way and open.

Vertical communication may be downward or upward. The former type “flows downward from individuals in higher levels of the hierarchy to those in lower levels. The most common forms of downward communication are job instructions, official memos, policy statements, procedures, manuals, and other publications.”[28] An effective organization needs upward communication as much as it needs downward communication. In such situations, the communicator is at a lower level in the organization than the receiver. Direct care staff members can offer feedback on the effectiveness of a policy and procedure when it is implemented on a trial basis. Based on that feedback, the procedure may be modified to achieve its stated purpose. For example, a facility’s grievance procedure states that youth may submit grievance forms to any staff member of their choice, assuming that a youth will feel safe delivering those forms to at least one staff member. But, the direct care staff members recognize that youth often distrust that system and recommend that a locked grievance box be available where youth can place completed forms. That information can result in a process that is more effective for both youth and for the facility.

Horizontal communication is often overlooked in structuring facility operations, which can result in silos of activity wherein specialty groups do not integrate and, as a result, youth are not fully served. For example, unless key staff who work in the facility’s education and mental health units, and staff in the living units (who spend upwards of 40 hours each week with the youth) share information regularly, youth needs may go unmet or be dealt with inappropriately. Or, unless routinely and timely communication occurs across the various components of the facility, security breaches may occur. As communication improves within or among groups in a facility, confidence is enhanced and communication increases even further.

The effective communication process includes “who says what, in what way, to whom, with what effect?” Those elements break down as the communicator sends the message through a selected medium to the receiver and gets feedback.

Feedback Loop: Communicator, Message, Medium, Receiver, and Feedback

When the structure does not include a feedback loop, the communicator or sender cannot know how effectively the message was received or how it was interpreted. Too often, confinement facilities use communication systems that are exclusively downward, which do not provide feedback. That can be frustrating for the sender and cause confusion for the staff. That frustration can be aggravated when the medium used to communicate does not readily allow for feedback. Memos, written policies and procedures, and emails, as methods of communication, may not provide feedback unless the sender—usually an administrator—actively solicits it. Feedback must occur if internal communication is to be effective. And, it is important to be alert to “noise,” or factors that distort the intended message. Noise can occur in any of the elements of communication—in the sender, the message, the receiver, or the feedback. Noise can occur in written communication that is ambiguous and unclear. Noise may occur through nonverbal communication. Nonverbal factors include such things as head, face, and eye movements; posture; distance; gestures; and tone of voice. It is important to be aware of one’s nonverbal cues and not let that distort or confuse the intended message.

Effective communication requires appropriate timing and means of delivery. Ideally, material will be communicated in more than one way with enough advance notice for the receiver to fully absorb and utilize the information. Advance notice is not always possible, but every effort should be made to at least ensure the message was received as intended. Using multiple instruments and tools of communication can help to ensure understanding and is always advisable. Information may be relayed in a staff meeting where minutes are taken; copies of those minutes go to each attendee either in hard copy or electronically. Follow-up of formal communication occurs through informal means, such as staff meetings or memos, to see if staff understand what is expected of them.

External communication is also an important aspect of effective leadership. The facility director or a designee should be assigned to provide official information to community stakeholders and the media. Press releases or press conferences are useful ways to respond to questions or concerns about ongoing or crisis-related issues. Media relations should also be cultivated when the facility is not in an emergency situation and there are positive events and news items. An astute administrator develops relationships with members of the local media and calls on those professionals when there is a human-interest story. It is wise to reach out in a proactive way to representatives of the local press rather than expect them to make the contact. Media outlets often want ideas for stories and can easily be persuaded to provide positive publicity. When an administrator fosters relationships with members of the media, they are more likely to treat the facility honestly and fairly if and when problems arise. A representative of local media on the facility’s advisory board or council can be helpful in this process.

In addition to the media, a wise leader will maintain open lines of communication with other community stakeholders such as judges, law enforcement officials, school district administrators, religious leaders and community groups. Operating in an insular, secretive manner fosters mistrust. Open and straightforward communication with the public can facilitate support and advocacy for the youth at the facility. One way of developing that kind of support is through a citizen advisory board or council that brings together a group of interested parties to advocate on behalf of the facility and the young people it serves. The fact that such a group is advisory does not negate its potential influence. Listening to a citizen board’s advice does not necessarily translate into compliance, but it can bring new ideas and a fresh perspective. This will only work, however, if the administrator is willing to listen while reminding the board that its function is advisory rather than governing.

Finally, the most critical communication that a facility leader engages in and encourages in his or her staff is communication with family members. It is important for youth to maintain contact with the people who are important to them during periods of confinement. Family members, particularly parents or guardians, often feel that they are held responsible for their child’s problem behavior. When the facility staff deal with family members in a supportive and non-judgmental manner, that family is more likely to reinforce the facility’s efforts on behalf of the youth. Effective family engagement can help a youth successfully reenter the community after release. Family engagement should occur through flexible and generous visitation, phone, and mail policies and procedures. (See Ch. 12: Healthcare; Ch. 15: Service and Treatment Plans: Engaging Families and the Community)

Critical Incident Debriefing

A final aspect of sound accountability in facility operations is the need for critical incident debriefing to review any errors that may have occurred and to promote improvement going forward. It is a reality that human beings learn in many different ways, including visually, auditorily, and through action (experientially). People can also learn indirectly from the experiences, mistakes, and failures of others. A critical incident “can involve any situation or event faced by emergency, public safety personnel (responders) or employees that causes a distressing, dramatic or profound change or disruption in their physical (physiological) or psychological functioning.”[29] Debriefing following a stressful incident can “mitigate fall-out and enhance recovery and sustainability in the event of an acute or short-term, man-man or natural workplace stoppage.”[30] Debriefing is also recommended for events that are less dangerous in nature but which create a disruption for the facility.

Critical incidents that result in psychological trauma can result in either immediate or delayed emotional and physical reactions. They may “include such diverse symptoms as shock, denial, anger, rage, sadness, confusion, terror, shame, humiliation, grief, sorrow and even suicidal or homicidal ideation.”[31] A trained, crisis response specialist must conduct such a debriefing. Timing is important to achieving effectiveness. Initial debriefing may occur soon after the event, but it will likely need to be followed by multiple subsequent sessions, usually with individual staff members. A facility or its parent agency should have clinical staff available or a contract or other arrangement with an agency or clinician who will be available for debriefing a crisis incident.

In addition to considering the psychological or emotional damage experienced by staff involved in critical incidents, youth may also experience trauma. The emotional and mental health needs—both acute and ongoing—of those youth must be addressed as well. In addition to debriefing the critical incident with youth to examine what occurred, it is essential to provide group and individual clinical intervention to address the emotional impact on each youth. Those clinical services should occur as soon as possible after the incident. In addition, staff and clinical consultants should attend to subsequent behaviors and reactions of youth to ensure that their ongoing mental health needs are addressed through appropriate treatment services.

Debriefing following incidents that are deviations from normal operations should also occur to analyze the event and better prepare for the future. The key questions in that debriefing session are:

  • What did we do well?
  • What did we do poorly?
  • What did we learn from this?
  • How can we do better the next time?[32]

There must be established rules for such a debriefing session. Everyone must check his or her ego “at the door.” All staff members—including management—must be comfortable talking about errors they might have made, be ready to provide constructive criticism, and be willing to accept it.[33] The debriefing session must have a designated leader, who might be selected specifically for that assignment from either within or from outside the facility. The facility director or other administrator might also lead the session. In that case, the leader must maintain an atmosphere of safety and openness for all participants. A facilitator who was not involved in the incident has the advantage of being perceived as fair and objective. The leader should present a process to the participants. The session should have attainable goals and should ensure that thorough notes are taken and subsequently distributed to all participants. The leader should use group work techniques to encourage participation and draw out quieter staff members. Most important, the debriefing session must not be used as an occasion for assigning blame or creating divisiveness. It is an important aspect of ensuring facility and staff accountability and should be an opportunity for team growth and cohesiveness.

Facility Security

Security (secure) is defined as: “being free from danger or risk of loss; safe, free from fear or doubt, anything that gives or assures safety.”[34]

Security is an intricate and essential component of every confinement facility. Historically, security was limited to locks, blocks, and bars. As the field of juvenile and adult corrections has grown, security has also moved beyond the “hardware” definition of security and incorporated the notion of safety of the confined youth. Today, security is incorporated in budgets, specific policy and procedure manuals, training seminars, and the daily operation of every shift.

Facility security is a combination of personal security, youth security, and building security. In addition to the security issues discussed in a facility’s policy and procedure manual, the following suggestions may be helpful.

Personal Security

The notion of personal security may seem unimportant at first, but the most basic of security precautions starts at home, before the employee even gets to the job.

Clothing. When uniforms are not required, the articles of clothing an employee chooses for the job are important. Just as one would not wear a tuxedo to change motor oil, an employee should not wear certain articles of clothing to work. The following concepts apply:

  • Tight-fitting clothing may restrict movement in crisis situations.
  • Loose-fitting clothing may get in the way during emergency situations or be easy for a youth to grab and hold.
  • Revealing clothing may elicit from youth inappropriate advances and comments or distract other staff from doing their job.
  • Slogans on T-shirts can be very troublesome. The agency’s policies and procedures manual should offer guidance, but staff should not wear clothing that contains words or graphics that advertise or promote alcohol, drugs, sex, violence, or political positions.
  • Clothing should be comfortable, neat, clean, and professional.

Hair and Hygiene. The length and style of a staff member’s hair may affect job performance. Long hair (shoulder length and longer) worn loosely may interfere with vision, specifically peripheral vision. Long hair may also be grabbed more easily by a youth and tangled in his or her fingers. If the employee chooses a longer hairstyle, the hair should be pulled back and secured. However, shorter hairstyles are often recommended. Good personal hygiene is also very important to demonstrate professionalism and individual and professional pride. Poor hygiene can result in ridicule from both youth and staff.

Accessories. Employees should be familiar with agency policies and procedures on wearing jewelry on the job. Jewelry is also potentially dangerous.

  • Necklaces are the most dangerous because of the ease with which they can be grabbed by a youth, damaged, broken, or used for strangulation. The same principles apply to neckties and scarves.
  • Pierced earrings pose a significant danger of being ripped out.
  • Rings pose a danger to both youth and to staff. Large rings and rings with raised stones or insignias can scratch or cut youth or other staff members during restraint maneuvers.

Whenever possible, staff should wear minimal jewelry. It is recommended that any jewelry should be small, not raised or exposed, and not valuable. Staff should understand that they wear jewelry at their own risk.

Position. The position that a staff member takes when interacting with youth is essential. Staff should always know where the nearest exit is located and how to get help in case of emergency. It is wise for the staff member to keep his or her back to the wall or at least keep youth in the line of sight to prevent them from getting behind the staff person. Staff should also be careful not to allow youth to surround them and not to become separated by youth from other staff working on the unit. (See Ch. 14: Behavior Management and Ch. 16: Behavior Observation, Recording, and Report Writing)

Shoes. Shoes should be comfortable, fit securely, and have rubber soles for good traction. Leather-soled shoes tend to slip when staff need a strong foothold. Clean athletic shoes are very effective but should not be worn unlaced or untied. Inappropriate and potentially hazardous footwear include sandals, flip-flops, loafers, high heels, and combat boots.

Note that the initial letters from these items—clothing, hair and hygiene, accessories, position, and shoes—spell CHAPS, which makes it easier for employees to remember a checklist for personal security.

Youth Security

Youth security is the most important component of facility security. A line worker will be with the youth at least eight hours per shift. In some facilities, staff work ten- or twelve-hour shifts or even back-to-back eight-hour shifts. In addition to knowing the facility’s policies and procedures, employees should also know the individual youth under their supervision. The more staff members know about the youth they supervise, the better they will be able to ensure youth safety. Furthermore, staff should know the rules that govern youth behavior to enforce the rules consistently and create and support a secure environment. The following basic guidelines apply to youth security:

Smell. Alert staff use their sense of smell as they make the rounds (routine checks) among the youth. Staff should immediately investigate smoke from cigarettes, fire (paper, clothing, or electrical), marijuana, or anything else that can burn.

Observe. The critical part of youth security in any type of confinement facility is observation of the youth. Every youth will have a particular pattern of behavior, and any deviation in this pattern should prompt the staff’s increased attention. Suicidal thoughts, intimidation by other youth, depression, and other factors associated with confinement cause youth to act differently. Any deviation from an established behavior pattern should be reported immediately to a supervisor, social worker, or mental health professional. (See Ch. 16: Behavior Observation, Recording, and Report Writing)

Youth often intimidate each other for various reasons and in many different ways. Several youth crowding around a single youth usually indicates some form of intimidation, and it is staff’s responsibility to investigate and intervene appropriately. Gang members often try to recruit new members, exact revenge against rival gang members, or enforce gang rules on recruits who do not conform. In an adult facility, despite the requirement of sight and sound separation, there may still be times when youth are in the presence of adult offenders. In those instances, staff should always be present and closely observe and limit any interactions between youth and adults.

In addition, the alert staff will always be looking for anything out of the ordinary in a youth’s clothing. Unusual bulges may be caused by contraband and should be investigated immediately. Staff should also notice a youth’s movement and body positioning, which could also indicate that the youth is concealing something under his or her clothing.

Because youth in confinement facilities possess numerous risk factors, self-mutilation and youth-on-youth assaults are an unfortunate part of life in a confinement facility. Surveys by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) also reveal that staff-on-youth sexual assault is even more prevalent than youth-on-youth.[35] Staff should always be observant of a youth’s physical appearance and affect for this reason and should ask questions and investigate whenever they suspect that a youth has been injured or abused or may be in fear of harm.

Listen. One of the greatest tools a staff member has, other than vision, is the sense of hearing. Staff should always be listening for plans of illegal activity, such as assault or escape. Eavesdropping on youth conversations is viewed by youth as a sign that staff mistrust them, but security requires that youth in confinement facilities forfeit some of their privacy. Listening closely to what youth are saying will help to keep staff informed of youth plans and activity. Staff should make it clear to all youth that listening is a part of the job.

Youth will often tell each other about some illegal or harmful activity in a voice loud enough for the staff to hear. In these cases, preventive action should be taken. When staff members develop a relationship that is based on mutual honesty and when staff demonstrate genuine concern for the young people they work with, the youth will often come directly to them to offer information about planned illegal activity. Listening for key words and tone of voice—not just surface content—will also alert the staff about how youth are feeling or what they are experiencing. Such listening during telephone calls with parents and others will tell staff if the youth is upset, depressed, or angry.

The alert staff will get to know the normal sounds of the institution. An increase or decrease in noise levels may be an indication that something is happening. Other sounds offer clues about the proper functioning of security equipment. For example, security locks usually have a distinctive click when they shut, or hand-held room monitoring devices may beep to indicate that a check has occurred.

Explore. Walking around the area where youth are present is called “exploring.” While exploring, the alert staff will use the senses of smell, sight, and hearing as described above. Exploring should be random and frequent. Staff presence should not be predictable or anticipated. Certainly, when a staff member feels something is wrong, he or she should explore and take appropriate action to prevent or resolve an incident.

Note that the initial letters from these items—smell, observe, listen, and explore—form the acronym SOLE, which makes it easier to remember youth security.

Building Security

The last component of facility security is building security. All staff members must be familiar with all aspects of the physical plant itself. Building security includes the following:

Building. Every employee must know the physical layout (floor plan) of the facility. In the event of an emergency, all employees must know how to get from any point to any other point using the most direct path. Fires, bomb scares, and other emergencies that require building evacuation must be practiced on a regular basis. Staff must also know where emergency equipment is stored and what is contained in closets, offices, and rooms.

For the safety of the staff and youth, all employees should know:

  • Where the boiler room and maintenance areas are located.
  • Where hazardous materials are stored.
  • Where electrical panels and controls are located.
  • Where exit doors are located and whether they are clear of hazards and obstructions.
  • Where basic maintenance tools (screwdriver or pliers) are located.
  • How to shut off water supplies to rooms or commodes.
  • How to loosen a stuck (water control) valve.
  • How to summon maintenance staff on weekends and evenings.

It is always a good idea for the staff member to walk through the facility, or at least the area of his or her responsibility, prior to beginning a shift.

Utilities. In the event of emergencies, staff should know where all utility shutoff controls are located—for example, the main shutoffs for water, gas, electricity, and lights as well as the alarm panels for fire and door alarms. Staff should know where the emergency generator is located and how to operate it. The telephone numbers of utility companies should also be readily available to all staff in case of emergencies.

Illumination. Lights are critically important for safety and security. All staff should know the location of the switches for all lights needed for security. All staff should also be familiar with the emergency generator for lighting. Emergency flashlights should be readily available in strategic locations throughout the facility.

Locks and Keys. Security always depends on adequate, well functioning locks. All staff members must know the purpose for every key on the set they carry. In the event of an emergency, staff should know where the keys are for various “off limits” sections of the facility. All locks must be in proper working order. If a staff member discovers a lock that is in disrepair, that should be reported immediately to the designated maintenance staff person. Keys should be checked at the beginning of every shift to ensure that they are all accounted for and that they are in good condition (not cracked or bent).

Doors and Windows. The most frequent breaches of security come from unlocked doors and windows. Many people use the doors and windows during the day, including maintenance workers, probation officers, social service staff, and administration. However, it is every staff member’s responsibility to make sure that doors and windows are secure at all times. It is a good habit to physically check each door and window as one walks by. It is always best practice for a line staff or the shift supervisor to check them prior to every shift.

Individuals. Many individuals are in the facility at various times during the day and night. All staff members on duty must be aware of the location of youth, staff, and visitors in the facility, particularly in their own area of supervision. The following are helpful strategies:

  • Each employee should have some form of identification.
  • Visitors should have some form of identification so that line workers can determine who belongs in certain parts of the facility and who does not.
  • Head counts are suggested at regularly scheduled intervals, including after each group movement in the building or on campus, after shift changes, and after evacuations or fire drills.

Notations. Because of the amount of information facility staff need to track, careful note-taking is essential. If an employee notices faulty equipment, fixtures, or other hazards in the facility, he or she must make written notation (often in the form of a Work Order) to inform fellow staff, administration, and maintenance staff as soon as possible. Staff should regularly document head counts, youth schedules, activities (e.g., court, social worker interview, medical services), locations of staff or visitors, and youth disciplinary actions, using the agency’s forms and following the facility’s policies. Most facilities have requirements for regularly recording occurrences during the shift by making log entries. Doing so helps to effectively communicate important information about a group or an individual to other staff on subsequent shifts. Those logs notes are also a record for supervisors, mental health clinicians, and others who need essential information to meet a youth’s needs and to ensure the smooth operation of the facility. Staff must record their information leaving his or her shift, in addition to any information they provide verbally. Even if the staff member’s notations are just feelings based on observing or listening, they should be noted to inform other staff. (See Ch. 16: Behavior Observation, Recording, and Report Writing)

Grounds. The alert staff member must also be familiar with the grounds (outdoor area) of the facility. The most basic perimeter security should include a patrol of the outside yard before the youth enter the area. Staff should check for contraband that may have been thrown over the fence or planted (hidden).Facilities may also have surveillance cameras to monitor perimeter security. Staff must know directions (north, south, east, and west) to describe the location of an incident or problem, to give directions about an escaped youth, or to pinpoint the location of a stranger approaching the outside of the facility.

Note that the initial letters from these items—building, utilities, illumination, locks and keys, doors and windows, individuals, notations, and grounds—spell BUILDING, which makes it easier to remember building security.

Searches

Searches are an integral component of a facility’s overall security program. By conducting searches judiciously and conscientiously, facility staff can help to provide an environment that is safe and to minimize incidents. There are several types of searches that may be conducted in a confinement facility. Some searches are intended to discover any contraband that may be concealed. In addition, regular searches can serve as a deterrent to youth who might be otherwise tempted to bring contraband into the facility. (See Ch. 9: Admission and Intake)

Searches must always be conducted in accordance with the facility and the parent agency’s rules, regulations, policies, and procedures. Those policies and procedures must adhere to state and local laws and to relevant case law. Administrators should become familiar with current statutes and case law and be aware of any changes that could impact policy. Search policies and procedures must be written specifically to provide clear guidance to staff and to ensure that a youth’s constitutional rights are not disregarded. Policies and procedures should designate when searches occur, who is responsible for conducting them, and how they must be documented.

Types of searches and guidelines for each of them include:

Frisk Search. The frisk search, or clothed-body search, is a thorough pat-down of a youth’s body and outer clothing. The frisk search does not require a youth to remove any clothing, except a coat or jacket and, sometimes, shoes. A frisk search should be conducted anytime that a strip search is not allowed, either by case law, statute, or policy. Generally, youth should be frisk searched immediately upon entry to the facility for admission, upon return to the facility from outside, after contact visits, and in some cases subsequent to movement from one area of the facility to another, such as return from school or recreation. PREA Standards prohibit cross-gender frisk or pat-down searches in juvenile facilities except in exigent circumstances.[36] A frisk search may also be accompanied by a wand search.

Wand Search. A search using a magnetometer, often referred to as a “wand” search, involves the use of a hand-held device that detects metal. That device may be used alone or in conjunction with other types of searches. Wand searches do not involve touching the person and are not intrusive, so they are often used to search visitors at confinement facilities.

Strip Search. Strip searches are more invasive and are subject to closer scrutiny. Court rulings regarding strip searches of youth in juvenile facilities have varied around the country, and it is essential that the facility policy be consistent with the relevant court’s rulings and state statute. Court rulings and well-crafted policies often require that strip searches may only be conducted when staff have reasonable suspicion that contraband may be found. Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard that “exists when a reasonable person under the circumstances, would, based upon specific and articulable facts, suspect that contraband will be found or that a crime has been or will be committed.”[37]

Rules regarding strip searches of youth in adult facilities vary, depending on whether the youth has been transferred or certified as an adult for purposes of prosecution or whether that youth is considered a juvenile under state statute. In the latter case, the youth may still be under juvenile court jurisdiction and subject to relevant juvenile facility PREA Standards. Administrators and line staff members in adult facilities that serve youth should be familiar with both juvenile and adult PREA Standards and ensure that policies, procedures, and practices are in compliance.[38]

Some juvenile facilities conduct strip searches on all youth immediately upon admission; others have more limited criteria, such as the seriousness of the admitting offense. Limitations are often the result of court rulings or legal advice mandating or recommending the “reasonable suspicion” criteria. Adult facilities that serve youth often have a single procedure for their inmates, regardless of their age; they commonly strip search both youth and adults in the same way. However, some adult facilities also adhere to the “reasonable suspicion” criteria for all inmates, either at the time of admission or at other times.[39]

When the admission staff of a juvenile or adult facility are authorized to conduct a strip search, they should observe following guidelines for the protection of both the staff and the youth:

  • A strip search may occur only by staff members who have had training on how to conduct a strip search.
  • Only staff of the same gender may conduct strip searches. Policy may require that two staff members be present for all strip searches.
  • Strip searches must be conducted in a private area of the facility.
  • Staff must maintain a professional demeanor throughout the process.
  • Youth should be asked to remove all of their clothing, and staff should refrain from inappropriate comments and staring.
  • Staff must not touch a youth during a normal strip search.
  • Strip searches must be documented as required by agency policy, including documenting the justification for the search, such as reasonable suspicion. Justification may include unusual, visible, or partially visible bruising when fully clothed, and cuts or marks or other concerns that could indicate abuse; a medical professional should examine the youth. Strip searches may require administrative approval, which also should be documented.

Body-Cavity Search. Body-cavity searches are extremely invasive, should rarely be necessary, and should occur only within strict guidelines. If a body-cavity search must be conducted, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • Only a licensed healthcare provider with authorization from the responsible physician and facility administrator should ever conduct a body-cavity search.
  • The facility’s policy and procedure must require that body-cavity searches be allowed only if there is reasonable suspicion that contraband will be found.
  • Body-cavity searches may only be performed by same gender medical staff and must be conducted in private. It is generally advisable that two professionals be present during a body-cavity search.
  • The primary role of facility healthcare staff is to serve the health needs of their patients. Conducting body-cavity searches for contraband can create an ethical conflict. Therefore, some agencies’ policies require that body-cavity searches be conducted by outside professionals or someone on the facility staff who is medically trained but not involved in a therapeutic relationship with the juvenile.
  • Body-cavity searches must be documented as required by agency policy, including the justification for the search, such as reasonable suspicion.[40]

Inventory Search. The inventory search is a thorough search of a youth’s clothing or personal property that they have brought into the confinement facility at the time of admission, visitation, or official activity outside the facility. The youth’s property is itemized, and the written inventory is stored securely with the property until the youth is released. Youth should be asked to sign the property inventory sheet to confirm that all items brought into the facility are listed in the inventory.

Room, Cell, or Dormitory Search. The living quarters of confined youth should be searched regularly to discover any hidden contraband and to deter efforts to conceal unauthorized items. Such searches shall also address maintenance needs such as the operation of doors, locks, lights, plumbing, intercoms, and graffiti or other damage. The facility should have a regular schedule for such searches (such as daily) and should conduct random searches as well. In doing random searches, staff must not discriminate or appear to discriminate against any individuals or groups.

Searches of the living quarters should generally be conducted by two staff members with the youth present or in the vicinity, to avoid false accusations by youth that a staff planted items or damaged property. Searches of the living quarters should be documented on the facility’s designated forms, including notification of maintenance personnel of any needed repairs.

Perimeter Check or Grounds Search. Searches outside the building or buildings (for a campus-based facility), should also occur regularly and after any unusual occurrence at the facility. Minimally, perimeter checks should always occur before youth are allowed to go outside for recreation. A staff member should visually inspect the security fence and the ground near that fence for any potential contraband. If the employee discovers any contraband or damage or if it appears that there has been an intruder or that fencing or equipment has been tampered with, he or she should report it to administration and to maintenance staff.

Vehicle Search. Before any youth is transported in an official vehicle, the transporting officer should search that vehicle to ensure that no unauthorized objects or potential contraband is present.

Staff should document all searches of property and youth as specified in facility policy and procedure and in accordance with any statutory or other legal requirements.

(See Ch. 9: Admission and Intake)

Conclusion

Leadership in a confinement facility that serves youth requires a range of skills that are developed through training, experience, supervision, coaching, and mentoring. Effective facility management and administration requires ongoing attention and dedication to broad issues such as the establishment of a philosophy and mission, resource management, evaluation and planning, and staff and leadership development. However, an effective facility administrator must also emphasize operational details such as the implementation of a current, comprehensive policy and procedure manual and a safety and security program. The effective administrator must be engaged with the staff and with confined youth while also maintaining active communication with outside stakeholders. No leader can succeed without the involvement and participation of key individuals and groups. The success of a facility and its programs requires commitment from its administration as well as internal and external participants.

 

References

American Correctional Association. 1992. Guidelines for the Development of Policies and Procedures: Juvenile Detention Facilities. Laurel, MD: Author.

Ammons, David N. 1992. “Productivity Barriers in the Public Sector.” In Public Productivity Handbook, edited by Marc Holzer. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.

Beck, Allen J., David Cantor, John Hartge, and Tim Smith. 2013. Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2012. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics. https://bjs.ojp.gov/redirect-legacy/content/pub/pdf/svjfry12.pdf.

Cebula, Nancy, Elizabeth Craig, John Eggers, Marge Douville Fajardo, James Gray, and Theresa Lantz. 2012. Achieving Performance Excellence: The Influence of Leadership on Organizational Performance. Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections.

Davis, Joseph A. February 12, 2013. “Critical Incident Stress Debriefing from a Traumatic Event.” Crimes and Misdemeanors: The World of Forensic Psychology (blog). https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/crimes-and-misdemeanors/201302/critical-incident-stress-debriefing-traumatic-event.

Epstein, Paul D. 1992. “Measuring the Performance of Public Service.” In Public Productivity Handbook, edited by Marc Holzer. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). “Coverage under the FLSA. (Exempt or Nonexempt).” http://www.flsa.com/coverage.html.

Guy, Mary E., 1992. “Managing People,” In Public Productivity Handbook, edited by Marc Holzer. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.

Hayes, Lindsay. 2009. Characteristics of Juvenile Suicide in Confinement Facilities. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

<