Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform
“Determining how to provide effective mental health treatment for youth involved in the juvenile justice system – and ensuring that it continues after they exit detention – is one of the most complex challenges facing this system. This report examines how one jurisdiction, Bernalillo County, New Mexico, has taken extraordinary steps to address this challenge by ensuring Medicaid eligibility for detained youth and establishing a licensed, free-standing community mental health clinic adjacent to it detention facility. The report also provides an overview of how the county became an active site in Casey’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and details how their new mental health clinic is being operated and financed, and the lessons emerging from their innovative approach.” Nine chapters make up this report: understanding the mental health challenge for juvenile detention reform; Bernalillo—becoming a model JDAI site; Bernalillo’s mental health challenge; organizing and building a mental health clinic; nuts and bolts of the clinic; assessing the clinic’s impact; key advantages of the onsite clinic; issues and challenges for Bernalillo County and lessons learned; and questions and implications for other jurisdictions.
"The [Annie E. Casey] Foundation has issued this revised version of the [Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)] standards to acknowledge and incorporate regulations that affect the full range of facility operations. This includes the U.S. Department of Justice regulations for the prevention, detection and response to sexual misconduct in juvenile facilities as part of its implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act." Five sections are contained in this guide: introduction; about the revised JDAI Detention Facility Assessment Standards; guidelines to conducting a facility assessment; facility assessment "How To" tools which provide practical recommendations for reviewing written documents and other materials, observing, and interviewing youth and staff at the facility according to each section of the standards; and JDAI Detention Facility Assessment Standards (Revised June 2014)—classification and intake, health and mental health care, access, programming, training and supervision, environment, restraints/room confinement/due process and grievances, safety, and glossary.
This practice guide will stress that efforts to safely reduce the inappropriate detention of low-risk girls must be rooted in JDAI’s [Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative’s eight] core strategies, but with an added intentional focus on applying those core strategies to girls’ unique needs and circumstances. These efforts require a strong and collaborative leadership team with the will and capacity to undertake meaningful reforms in the treatment of girls at the detention stage. The work must be rooted in careful analysis of detention management reports and individual case files to pinpoint policies or practices that may result in girls’ inappropriate or unnecessary detention, and they must lead to action as local leaders design, test and continually revise new strategies to meet girls’ needs (p. 2-3). Four chapters comprise this publication: understanding the challenge—the importance of focusing on girls in detention; getting started; using data to reduce inappropriate detention of girls; and developing a Girls Detention Reform Work Plan. Appendixes provide: Barnes County quantitative data analysis, Barnes County case file review, Girls Detention Facility Self-Assessment, and Making Detention Reform Work for Girls Research Question Worksheet.