Ch.9 Admission and Intake

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Admission and intake into confinement facilities that serve youth varies considerably, depending on the type of facility. The function of each type of facility within in the justice system determines the range of activities and types of services available. This chapter discusses admission and intake as both an event and as a process in 1) juvenile detention facilities, 2) youth correctional facilities, and 3) adult confinement facilities that hold youth on both a short-term (jail) and long-term basis (prison). This chapter presents a separate section for each scenario.

Admission and Intake to Juvenile Detention—An Event and a Process

Decision to Detain and Legal Authority

Admission to juvenile detention is an event that involves the act of taking physical and legal custody of a juvenile on the basis of the statutory authority specified in the juvenile code of a particular state. Admission is a legal matter involving the physical transfer of custody of the juvenile into a detention facility.

According to the National Juvenile Detention Association (NJDA):

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, 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.[1]

This definition is intentionally broad to blend the concepts of nonsecure detention alternatives with secure confinement. However, the focus of this chapter and this publication is on facilities that confine youth not the confinement continuum defined in the NJDA definition. It is also important to address the screening and assessment process that must occur as well as the policies related to the admission and intake event. (See Ch. 2: Types of Facilities)

Practices and policies used in determining whether the detention facility has the legal authority to admit a youth to detention vary by jurisdiction and may involve a screening or assessment instrument. There may also be specific written admissions guidelines. There may simply be an informal requirement that any youth brought to a detention facility by a law enforcement officer, subsequent to the alleged commission of a delinquent offense, shall be admitted. Or, a youth may be detained based on an order from a judge. The legal authority to detain, as well as other admissions-related matters is often based on state statute. The facility’s written admission and intake policies and procedures should include the following:

  • Determination that the youth is legally committed to the facility.
  • Complete search of the youth and his or her possessions.
  • Inventory and disposition of personal property.
  • Shower and hair care.
  • Issue of clean clothing.
  • Issue of personal hygiene articles.
  • Medical, dental, mental health, and safety screenings.
  • Assignment to a housing unit.
  • Recording of basic personal information to be used for the mail and visiting lists.
  • Assistance to youth in notifying their families or guardians of admission and procedures for mail, phone calls, and visiting.
  • Provision of written orientation materials to the youth.[2]

Admission to juvenile detention in many jurisdictions does not occur until a risk assessment has been completed. The risk assessment instrument (RAI) is generally designed and validated for a particular jurisdiction to determine two primary factors: 1) the youth’s risk of reoffending pending adjudication if not detained and 2) the youth’s likelihood of appearing for a court hearing without secure detention in the interim. An RAI may also be completed at various times—at the time of referral to court, prior to and to aid in dispositional decisions (such as out-of-home placement), and in preparation for release from a facility or program. Risk assessment often precedes or occurs in conjunction with needs and strengths assessments and risk management decisions, which help to identify and employ methods for inhibiting risk factors and enhancing protective factors.

Screening using a validated RAI must meet three primary goals:

  1. Objectivity—the need to base detention decisions on neutral and objective factors rather than on the screener’s subjective bias or opinion about an individual youth.
  2. Uniformity—the application of criteria equally to all youth referred for the detention decision.
  3. Risk based—the measurement of specific detention-related risks posed by the youth.[3]

The application of these key concepts helps to ensure fairness and equality, to minimize racial bias resulting in disproportionate minority detention, and to achieve cost-effective services by not confining youth unnecessarily, while still enhancing public safety

Not all jurisdictions, base the decision to detain on a risk assessment or other screening tool. Many jurisdictions have written guidelines for admission to detention on which decisions are based, often including such things as the seriousness of the alleged current delinquency offense. Many jurisdictions simply detain any youth with an alleged delinquency offense who is brought to the facility by law enforcement or any youth who is ordered detained by the court. Such facilities lack any real control over the number or type of youth they hold, which may result in unnecessary overcrowding. These same facilities may be required to house low-risk youth together with high-risk youth, often resulting in deteriorating behavior and attitudes among the former. Facilities may not have the option of diverting youth to nonsecure alternative programs that can serve low-risk youth more effectively and less expensively. In many detention facilities, the authority to make the decision to detain is generally defined in statute and assigned to the court. (See Ch. 2: Types of Facilities)

Many jurisdictions around the country have been visionary in the management of their juvenile detention facilities and other resources for at-risk youth and have participated in detention reform efforts. These efforts have included the development and implementation of RAIs to support detention decisions that more successfully meet the needs of the community as well as individual youth.

Initial Information Gathering

Staff responsible for the admission and intake process should focus attention immediately on the youth to establish contact and to determine the youth’s physical and mental condition. Staff should also use the transporting officer as a source of information. As part of the transfer of custody, detention staff should ask the officer if there is any vital information about the youth that the detention facility staff should be aware of or that would affect the youth’s immediate safety.

Juvenile detention staff members often face situations at intake that present significant challenges. An intoxicated youth is a prime example. Direct care detention staff members generally lack the expertise to determine whether a youth may be admitted safely or if that youth requires medical care, such as detoxification, before admission to detention. It is important to know what a youth may have consumed, in what quantity, and over what period of time.

Only adequately trained medical personnel should manage detoxification. Detention facility staff members are usually not trained to evaluate a youth’s need for medical care or to provide the necessary intervention. In the best situations, the detention facility has trained medical and mental health staff available at all times to determine whether a youth is safe to admit and to provide necessary care such as detoxification from alcohol or drugs. In the absence of such staff, a detention facility should provide written policy and procedure accompanied by training to guide staff decision-making. However, in many institutions, the policies, procedures, and training do not exist, forcing juvenile detention staff to make some very important decisions based on their own instincts.

Preliminary Safety and Security

The first moments of the admission process are important to establish the legal authority to detain the youth, to make an initial assessment of his or her physical and mental condition, and to begin establishing a rapport. It is also a time to begin implementing security measures. For example, conducting an immediate frisk search will assist in making sure that a youth has no contraband or weapons that could be used to hurt himself or herself or others. The transporting officer may have already completed a frisk search, but the detention facility staff should also do so.

Any kind of search is invasive and a potential violation of the youth’s sense of well-being. Continuously orienting a youth to the admission process and explaining what is going to happen next may mitigate feelings of violation. This technique reduces fear and anxiety, while placing the admission staff member in a nonthreatening and helpful role during an important security function.

As part of the frisk search, the detention worker should have the youth remove coats and other outer clothing and anything from his or her pockets so those items may be inventoried and secured. (See Ch. 8: Management and Facility Administration: Searches)

Rapport and Information Gathering

The process of admitting a youth to detention is equally important. Although admission procedures are often hastily completed under adverse conditions, admission is critically important, because it is the first encounter the facility staff have with the youth and the youth with the staff. It is the first impression, it sets the tone for the entire stay in detention, and it is likely to affect outcomes. There is an art to engaging youth in the detention process. Each detention facility should establish clear policies and procedures to ensure that the admission experience is as positive as possible.

Confinement in detention is a complex situation, placing troubled youth together in a restricted environment with high levels of uncertainty. The risk of problems is very high for both the youth and staff. The mission of juvenile detention is the health, safety, and well-being of both the youth and the staff, and achieving these objectives requires good information, which is the foundation of good decision-making. To get this information, staff must be able to establish positive rapport with the new juvenile to ask the questions that will uncover the key bits of information.

The first moments after the youth comes through the door are critically important, because they set the tone—which is why well-trained and skilled staff should be assigned to perform admission and intake duties. It is a mistake to assume that the process consists simply of a list of tasks to be completed. The quality of the intake process is just as important as the duties involved.

For an effective process, staff must quickly establish that they are concerned for the youth’s well-being. Rapport and information are the twin goals at admission and intake and are entirely complementary. To make sure that the process operates as effectively as possible, staff must gather good information. Staff decisions about what is in the best interest of the youth are no better than the information they acquire, and to get good information, staff members have to be able to establish rapport very quickly.

Effective detention facilities establish procedures to ensure that staff have as much information at admission as possible from the arresting officer or other individual delivering the youth to the facility. It is also important to acquire as much information as possible from the youth. Although delinquent youth are often remarkably candid, it is important to obtain information that can be very embarrassing to discuss, such as history of violence, drug use, depression and other mental health concerns, suicidal behavior, evidence of victimization, and sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, the better the relationship, the easier it is for the youth to be truthful and forthcoming with staff.

Admission Interview

The information-gathering process should begin with informal conversation. Through a relaxed and casual exchange, staff can uncover and address many of the youth’s fears and apprehensions that can cause serious anxiety. After this initial informal conversation, the youth moves on to the more structured admission interview. During this process, the interviewer will collect much of the information necessary to manage the youth during his or her stay at the facility. One helpful technique is to establish positive patterns of responding.

To establish positive patterns, it is helpful to have some accurate information about the new detainee before his or her arrival at the detention facility or immediately thereafter, from the youth’s facility file, from the agency’s computer-based record, or from the transporting officer. Throughout the initial information-gathering process, the admissions staff member asks questions that confirm existing facts about the youth. In other words, staff should ask simple, non-threatening questions that require a simple yes or no answer, with the intention of getting mostly yes answers.

An example of a confirming question is: “You are 15 years old?” (Staff may have that information in the record.) Using the information available, staff should construct as many simple “yes” questions as possible to get the youth into the pattern of affirmative responses.

Next, the staff member asks questions that require very short and simple answers. “Where do you live?” “How many brothers and sisters do you have?” “What are their names and ages?” “What school do you attend?” “What grade are you in?” The positive pattern of responding is emphasized as youth continue to answer questions successfully and cooperatively. As this occurs, staff should reinforce this cooperative behavior through increased interaction, informal conversation, eye contact, smiles, and attention. This establishes the relationship and helps to build trust.

Once cooperation is established, staff can ask tougher questions to find out the key pieces of information that are critical to safeguarding the youth during his or her stay in the institution. Specific tools or instruments are used for that purpose to ensure that all vital topics are addressed. In addition, instruments that have been validated for a juvenile population (often normed for the specific jurisdiction) provide useful information. These instruments are designed to identify such issues as current feelings, emotional states, unusual behaviors, and potential for physical harm by asking questions such as, “Have you ever hurt yourself?” or “Have you ever tried to commit suicide?” Other questions relate to drug and alcohol abuse, such as “Do you use alcohol?” and “If so, how much, and how often?”[4] (See Ch. 5: Rights and Responsibilities, Ch. 12: Healthcare, and Ch. 15: Service and Treatment Plans)

Admission Documents

Admission intake form. Each facility has documentation that must be completed as part of the admission process. Required paperwork usually includes questionnaires or instruments (see Admission Screening and Assessment), designed to gather information about a youth’s physical and mental health, drug and alcohol use history, suicide potential, and risk for violence or victimization. In addition, a general admission or intake form should be completed for every juvenile admitted to the detention facility and should contain at least the following information:

  • Name, age, sex, date of birth, and place of birth.
  • Race or ethnic origin.
  • Name of person to notify in case of emergency.
  • Date and time of admission.
  • Social history.
  • Special medical problems or needs.
  • Personal physician.
  • Height, weight, hair color, and eye color.
  • Address and telephone number.
  • School and grade.
  • Employer, if applicable.
  • Driver’s license and Social Security and Medicaid numbers, if applicable.
  • Name and relationship of the person with whom the youth lives.
  • Parent or guardian’s name, address, and telephone number.
  • All identifying marks, scars, and tattoos.
  • Name of the probation officer, if applicable.
  • Religion.
  • Referral (person that brought the youth to admission).
  • Name and signature of the admitting official.
  • Offense (charge indicated on police record, petition, court order, or bench warrant).
  • Assigned identification number from the admission log book.
  • Name of the person authorizing admission.[5]

Case record. The youth’s case record is established at admission. All entries made into the case record should be dated and initialed or signed. If the case record is computer based, the staff member entering the information should include his or her own identifying information. At a minimum, the case record should include the following information:

  • Initial intake information.
  • Individual plan or program.
  • Documented legal authority to accept the juvenile.
  • Record of court appearances.
  • Completed screening and assessment forms.
  • Medical history.
  • Signed receipt from the youth indicating acceptance of the facility’s rules and policy handbook.
  • Signed informed consent form.
  • Notations of temporary absences from the facility.
  • Visitors’ names and dates of visits.
  • Record of telephone calls made and received.
  • Progress and counseling reports.
  • Daily behavior logs.
  • Grievance and disciplinary reports.
  • Referrals to other agencies.
  • Psychological and/or psychiatric evaluations.
  • Educational assessments.[6]

Confidentiality laws and regulations may require that a juvenile’s case record consist of more than one file. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, 1996 (HIPAA)[7] establishes privacy requirements that generally mean that only medical professionals may access much of a youth’s medical information. A medical file should be established and safeguarded from access by non-medical staff. In addition, a facility may establish a legal file with documentation of court information and admission authorization that is maintained centrally and separately from the unit file that contains such things as screening and assessment information, behavior and disciplinary reports, and daily logs. Any files or records from prior admissions must be readily accessible at the time a youth is readmitted to a juvenile detention facility. The case record consists of all official files compiled on behalf of a youth in detention.

Admission Screening and Assessment

Targeted screening and assessment. In addition to the facility’s basic admission or intake form, other screening and assessment paperwork must be completed as part of the admission process. Grisso and Underwood, noted experts in juvenile screening tools, describe the process as relatively brief and “designed to identify youth who are at increased risk of having disorders that warrant immediate attention, intervention or more comprehensive evaluation. Screening, therefore, is a triage process, often employed with all youth entering a particular component of the juvenile justice system.”[8] Screening is usually brief (10 to 30 minutes) and is not intended to provide psychiatric diagnosis. Screening is designed to suggest where there is a need for further assessment and indicate relatively immediate responses, such as suicide watch. All youth admitted to juvenile detention should be screened.[9]

Grisso and Underwood defined assessment as “a more comprehensive and individualized examination of the psychosocial needs and problems identified during the initial screening…and recommendations for treatment intervention.”[10] Assessment is more time consuming and expensive and requires the expertise of a mental health professional. Assessment is usually reserved for a subset of screened youth.

Behavior screening. A behavior screen, which inquires about recent changes in behavior patterns in relation to social stressors, allows staff to make informed judgments about the youth’s potential adjustment to the facility and its programs.

Suicide screening. All youth must be screened for suicide potential “immediately upon confinement and housing assignment.”[11] Suicide screening policies must include referral for further mental health assessment as indicated by the screen.

Drug and alcohol screening. A drug and alcohol use screening is important for all youth as part of the admission process. Staff need to be alert to possible withdrawal symptoms or other drug-related effects. The effort extended in establishing rapport with the youth will pay off greatly at this point to help the youth respond honestly during this screening.

Initial medical screening. Comprehensive detention intake incorporates an initial medical screening that gathers basic, preliminary information such as recent hospitalization or other medical care, recent injuries or illnesses, current medications, allergies, and the name of the youth’s primary healthcare provider. This screening is often completed by a non-medically trained staff member who can then provide the information to the medical staff for further assessment.

Other specialized forms or screening instruments are used to determine a youth’s needs and to ensure youth and facility safety and security. Those instruments effectively and efficiently screen for issues such as substance abuse, symptoms of disorders, problems/strengths/needs, and cognitive abilities.

PREA screening. The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) requires intake screening for a detainee’s potential as a perpetrator or a victim of sexual abuse. PREA Standard 115.341 states:

a)     Within 72 hours of the resident’s arrival at the facility and periodically throughout a resident’s confinement, the agency shall obtain and use information about each resident’s personal history and behavior to reduce the risk of sexual abuse by or upon a resident.

b)    Such assessments shall be conducted using an objective screening instrument.

c)     At a minimum, the agency shall attempt to ascertain information about:

1)    Prior sexual victimization or abusiveness;

2)    Any gender nonconforming appearance or manner or identification as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex, and whether the resident may therefore be vulnerable to sexual abuse;

3)    Current charges and offense history;

4)    Age;

5)    Level of emotional and cognitive development;

6)    Physical size and stature;

7)    Mental health or mental disabilities;

8)    Intellectual or developmental disabilities;

9)    Physical disabilities;

10) The resident’s own perception of vulnerability; and

11) Any other specific information about individual residents that may indicate heightened needs for supervision, additional safety precautions, or separation from certain other residents.

d)    This information shall be ascertained through conversations with the resident during the intake process and medical and mental health screenings; during classification assessments; and by reviewing court records, case files, facility behavioral records, and other relevant documentation from the resident’s files. Some of this information is already obtained as part of the standard admission and intake process.[12]

In addition to the requirement that each youth admitted to a confinement facility be screened during intake (defined in the PREA Standards as within 72 hours of arrival,) PREA Standard 115.342 requires:

e)     The agency shall use all information obtained pursuant to §115.341 and subsequently to make housing, bed, program, education, and work assignments for residents with the goal of keeping all residents safe and free from sexual abuse.[13]

There are validated instruments available for this required assessment.[14] Detention is intended to be short term. Timely completion of the mandatory PREA screening and assessment can be a challenge. Staff at the detention facility should use the critical period of admission to obtain at least initial self-report evidence along with any other details that may be immediately available, such as anecdotal information from prior admissions. The full screening must then be completed as expeditiously as possible to ensure appropriate classification as well as to offer essential services. The PREA screening is part of the admission process and must be completed within 72 hours. Other detention screening can and usually does occur within the first 24 hours. (See Ch. 12: Healthcare: Sexual Behaviors and the Prison Rape Elimination Act)

Classification and Housing

In some contexts, “classification refers to the process of determining at what level of custody an offender should be assigned.”[15] Generally, the RAI is used to help make that determination, and the youth may be placed in a nonsecure detention alternative program based on an objective assessment of risk of reoffending or of absconding. In this chapter, however, classification refers to placement in particular housing units and programs within the juvenile detention facility.

Most juvenile detention facilities use some kind of classification system at admission. From the perspectives of conditions of confinement and legal liability, juvenile detention facilities have a constitutional mandate to protect the safety of youth in detention, which generally means the establishment of a classification system that identifies and separates violent youth from nonviolent or vulnerable youth. That separation primarily affects housing assignment and sleeping arrangements. It does not require an entirely separate program during waking hours.

When all rooms in a detention facility are single occupancy, initial classification is somewhat simplified. Unless the facility is over its rated bed capacity, each youth is assigned to an individual room. However, if the number of detainees exceeds the capacity of the facility or of a living unit, special housing arrangements must be made. If the facility has double- or multiple-occupancy rooms, or the need to double bunk in single-occupancy rooms arises due to overcrowding, the detention facility must have a clear system of classification to ensure the safety of residents and the facility. That system must be designed to protect low-risk, nonviolent, or vulnerable youth from others who are identified as potentially violent.

Even if a detention facility has all single-occupancy rooms and does not exceed its rated bed capacity, it should still implement a classification system that addresses each youth’s individual issues and needs. Just as teachers assess new students to determine the level of their schoolwork, detention facility staff are responsible for determining how a new detainee fits into the group living environment of the detention facility. Classification systems are used to assign detainees to particular programs and housing units. A classification system should evaluate the following information:

  • Sex and age.
  • Physical characteristics.
  • Prior sexual victimization or abusiveness.
  • Any gender nonconforming appearance or manner or identification as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex.
  • Nature of the offense.
  • Prior offense history.
  • Behavioral reports and summaries from prior detentions.
  • Social history.
  • Psychological assessment.
  • Conversations with admitting police officers.
  • Information from probation officer or caseworkers.
  • Status of gang membership.
  • Physical indicators of violence (scars from fights or gunshots).
  • Reports from other agencies.
  • Self-reported data.

This information acquired during the admission process is also used to alert program staff to the need for additional information and assessment.

At admission, the first classification decisions are housing or group related. In medium or large facilities that have more than one housing unit and various program groups, classification usually involves the following issues: 1) separation of violent from nonviolent detainees, 2) separation of male from female detainees, and 3) separation of detainees based on level of sophistication and maturity. Classification may also be based on objective criteria such as age or size or on more arbitrary conditions such as mental maturity. Additional classification decisions are based on the number and range of programs offered at the detention facility and the varying needs of detained youth.

Another distinction among the youth held in custody is their status vis-à-vis the court. The role of juvenile detention facilities in the juvenile system has typically been to hold youth that are awaiting court adjudication or a long-term placement. In most states and jurisdictions, the function of detention has broadened; it is used as a post-adjudicatory placement as a consequence or punishment for delinquent behavior. This use has expanded as other secure placement options, such as antiquated training schools, have been closed or downsized.

Detention facilities have also become de facto mental health placements. The mental health system is often unable to meet the needs of dual diagnosis youth—those youth who have histories of delinquency along with mental health issues or serious drug or alcohol abuse problems. Detention facilities are often required to accept these youth based on their delinquency charge and then must step up to the challenge of addressing mental health or substance abuse concerns. Detention facilities end up providing diagnostic and treatment interventions on a crisis basis, while arrangements are made for a more appropriate placement and corresponding treatment. The need to address these diverse issues begins at intake through appropriate classification. (See Ch. 2: Types of Facilities)

Because detention staff usually have very little information about youth at the time of admission, the distinction between violent and nonviolent offenders is often based solely on the current offense. This can be misleading; some violent youth are charged with nonviolent offenses. In these cases, admitting staff members run the risk of mistakenly mixing violent and nonviolent detainees, with potentially detrimental results. In the absence of adequate information at admission, all new detainees should be housed in single-occupancy rooms until more information is assembled. When the facility exceeds capacity or when multiple-occupancy rooms are involved, the risk is increased. At this point of intake, accurate self-reported information is critical.

Property Inventory, Showers, and Searches

Inventory. The property inventory is an essential part of the admission process. Explaining clearly how the facility will safeguard the youth’s property helps establish the interviewer and the institution as being trustworthy. The detention staff must list in detail any items that the youth has in his or her possession at admission, including the youth’s clothing when that youth changes into facility clothing. The youth should be asked to sign the inventory form and be given a copy of it. Securing and storing the inventory in the presence of the youth will increase the youth’s trust.

Showers. Youth admitted to detention should be required to shower before being placed in the housing unit to ensure the hygiene and health of the new youth as well as other youth in the facility. The shower should include the youth thoroughly shampooing his or her hair. Some facilities require that all youth use head lice shampoo during their admission shower. Although that may be a good precaution, head lice shampoo does not guarantee that the youth will be free of lice or nits. In either case, medically trained professional should follow up with a thorough examination for head lice.

After the youth showers, he or she should dress in facility clothing. A youth also receives basic hygiene items and is informed of the facility’s system for replenishing those items.

Searches. Searches are a legitimate part of the admission process, because they ensure safety and order in the detention facility by controlling access to contraband. Several types of searches are used in confinement facilities, including inventory search, frisk search, strip search, body-cavity search, room or cell search, perimeter search, and vehicle search. The first two searches are always part of the admission and intake process. The other types of searches are conducted in detention facilities as required and authorized by state statute, applicable case law, and policy.

The inventory search is a thorough search of a youth’s clothing or personal property brought into the detention facility at the time of admission, visitation, or official activity outside the detention facility. The youth’s property is itemized, and the written inventory is stored securely with the property until the youth is released.

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 outer clothing such as a coat or jacket and, sometimes, shoes. A frisk search may also be accompanied by a wand search using a metal detecting, hand-held device.

The strip search and the body-cavity search are much more invasive and are subject to closer legal and professional scrutiny. The courts and professional associations have set guidelines for strip searches and body-cavity searches.[16] A line staff runs a substantial risk when conducting a strip search without the authorization of the facility administrator or supervisor. A common guideline adopted by courts and agencies in determining the appropriateness of admission strip searches is whether there is reasonable suspicion that contraband will be found. Facility policy, procedure, and training should define and explain “reasonable suspicion,” including examples. Strip searches should always comply with applicable statute, case law, and agency policies; facility staff members should be familiar with those.

Strip search. When authorized to conduct a strip search, the admission staff should observe these guidelines for the protection of both the staff and the youth:

  • Only specifically-trained staff may conduct a strip search.
  • Only same gender staff 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 the justification for the search, such as reasonable suspicion. Documentation may include notations about unusual bruises, cuts, marks, or other concerns that could indicate abuse. This information should be passed on to the appropriate medical professional.

Body-cavity search. If a body-cavity search is to be conducted, staff should follow these guidelines:

  • 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 staff members 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 properly trained but not involved in a therapeutic relationship with the juvenile.[17]
  • Body-cavity searches should be extremely rare and must be documented as required by agency policy, including the justification for the search, such as reasonable suspicion.

(See Ch. 8: Management and Facility Administration: Searches)

Orientation and the Resident Handbook

As a final step in the admission process, the youth should be oriented to the expectations of the facility. It is recommended that this orientation be done through a verbal review of a resident handbook, which contains information about the facility rules, sanctions, and rewards available for cooperative behavior; the youth’s rights including visitation, mail, telephone use, and grievance procedure; how to access services such as medical, mental health, and clergy; and facility programs such as education, recreation, and volunteers. The handbook may be supplemented with video information, but neither should replace the process of a staff member explaining the rules verbally to the youth. The resident should sign a statement indicating that he or she has received a copy of the handbook and understands the staff member’s explanation. During the orientation process, staff should be sensitive to the youth’s educational level. If help reading the handbook is necessary, it should be provided in a nonjudgmental manner that does not embarrass the youth. If the juvenile does not speak English, an orientation should be conducted in the juvenile’s native language and, if possible, a copy of the written handbook should be provided in that language as well.

An adequate amount of time is necessary for the orientation to be thorough and effective. The admission staff may not have time to complete that process thoroughly with their other duties. Therefore, orientation is often assigned to a direct care worker in the living unit to which the youth is assigned.

Special Concerns at Admission to Detention

Fear and apprehension. When youth come to detention and are clearly apprehensive and fearful, staff should take the time to convey several important messages to them. First, staff should explain that they are concerned about the youth’s health, safety, and well-being, and should show concern directly by asking them how they feel and what has happened to them. Such expressions of concern are important in establishing a sense of trust on the part of new detainees. It is also important to verbally walk youth through the whole admission process when they are apprehensive. Staff can reduce a young person’s sense of uncertainty by simply telling them in detail with calm reassurance what is going to happen next, at each step in the admission and intake process. Fear and apprehension are typical feelings for a youth admitted to a detention facility for the first time. And, an adolescent may attempt to mask that fear through anger or hostility.

Hostility. Hostile or belligerent youth behavior presents a number of different problems. If the youth’s hostility is verbal bravado and not a physical assault, the admission staff member need not change strategy. The strategies that work with apprehensive youth apply to most other types of youth as well. Some of the more difficult youth require staff to be more patient and persevering in this approach. Establishing the positive patterns of responding discussed above can be helpful in dealing with a hostile youth.

To ensure an effective admission process, staff must get past the youth’s anger and calm the youth so that the admitting staff member can ask the questions on the admission intake form and complete other necessary paperwork. For example, an admitting staff member can persist in asking questions without becoming personally involved with the insults or name calling commonly associated with hostile youth. Staff must put that kind of expression of anger in its proper perspective. When a youth is truly angry, hostile, and belligerent, staff should expect venting. When this venting occurs, staff need to calm the youth to achieve necessary goals—establishing the relationship, getting good information, and making sure that the youth is successfully integrated into the program.

Anger and hostility at admission is not uncommon and should be expected. That emotional response may be the natural result of harsh and punitive treatment by an arresting officer. Such an interaction can escalate an already tense situation. However, many law enforcement officers are very skilled in defusing a youth’s antagonism. A youth may also behave uncooperatively and aggressively because of being angry with himself or herself for committing an offense that resulted in arrest. The youth could be upset with parents, teachers, or peers for reporting an incident. If the detention staff responds in a calm and neutral manner, recognizing that the youth’s reaction is not personal and perhaps not unreasonable, the intake can proceed.

Some institutions require or allow staff to confront anger and uncooperative behavior to immediately try to establish control, authority, and power—which may explain why so many detention facilities use solitary confinement or locked-room confinement as part of the admission process. Using confrontation with verbally inappropriate and hostile behaviors is unnecessary as a means of establishing control or authority. Doing so can aggravate a situation. A youth will notice the cinder block and concrete construction, the security hardware and locks, the wire glass, the metal doors, the steel handcuffs, or the security furniture. Control and security permeate most detention environments so pervasively that staff do not have to remind a youth who is in charge. Furthermore, it is rare for a youth to physically challenge the staff or the facility’s security at the time of admission.

Depression and suicidal behavior. Another condition that requires each staff member’s special attention is despondency or depression. Although despondency occurs at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum from hostility, the despondent or depressed youth can be more dangerous than the overtly hostile youth. During the admission process, staff must watch for signs that alert them to the risk of self-inflicted injury. As discussed earlier in this chapter, all youth must be screened for suicide potential during the intake process, “immediately upon confinement and housing assignment.”[18] For purposes of suicide screening, the admission process may involve more than one staff member. There may be a staff member who is responsible for making the legal decision to detain and a different staff member assigned to complete the suicide and other specialized screening instruments. If the initial screening signals a suicide risk or if the staff learns that a youth has tried to hurt himself or herself, the facility must have policies and procedures in place that ensure a follow-up assessment by a mental health professional. If a suicide screening indicates that the youth is a risk for potential self-harm, staff should observe the youth constantly until a mental health professional conducts an assessment. (See Ch. 11: Mental Health)

Admission and Intake to a Youth Correctional Facility—An Event and a Process

Admission and intake to a juvenile correctional facility differs from juvenile detention admission, as the two types of institutions have different roles and purposes within the juvenile justice system. However, juvenile correctional facilities also have necessary tasks to accomplish as part of the event and process of admission.

The juvenile correctional facility usually has much more information about committed youth than detention facility staff have, and a great deal of that information is available prior to admission. Ideally, the juvenile correctional facility has information on each youth prior to that youth’s arrival. Most youth placed in a juvenile correctional facility are transferred there from a juvenile detention facility where screening and assessment should have already occurred. In many states, youth come to a juvenile correctional facility from an intake and diagnostic unit. The juvenile court, a youth’s probation officer, case manager, the detention facility, and others may provide formal information about a youth before he or she is transferred for long-term commitment. The availability of information on each committed youth helps the facility to individualize the admission process and facilitates prompt provision of essential programs and services.

The American Correctional Association (ACA) recommends that the facility’s written policies include at least the following:

  • Determination that the juvenile is legally committed to the facility.
  • A thorough and complete search of the juvenile and of his or her possessions.
  • Inventory, storage, or disposition of personal property.
  • Shower and hair care, if necessary.
  • Issue of clean, laundered, properly fitting clothing, as needed.
  • Issuance of personal hygiene articles.
  • Medical, dental, and mental health screening.
  • Assignment to and brief tour of the housing unit.
  • Recording of basic personal data and information to be used for mail and visiting lists.
  • Assistance to youth in notifying their families of their admission and procedures for mail and visiting.
  • Assignment of a registered number to the youth.
  • Provision of written orientation materials to the juvenile and verbal or multi-media orientation to the facility and program.[19]

Legal Authority

Although the decision to accept a youth to a juvenile correctional facility is much less complicated than to a juvenile detention facility, the facility must still ensure it has written legal authority to accept each youth. That documentation may arrive in advance of the youth’s transfer, or it may accompany the youth. Legal authorization to place a youth in a juvenile correctional facility is usually in the form of a court order committing the youth. That order may be for commitment to a specific facility but is more often an order of commitment to the state agency responsible for long-term juvenile correctional facilities.

Depending on the state, the agency that receives the court’s commitment order will then assign the youth to a specific facility. Placement decisions are based on a variety of factors that may include:

  • Geography—the desire to place youth close to his or her home and family.
  • Gender—facilities that program specifically for males or females.
  • Security—ranging from maximum to staff secure.
  • Treatment needs—such as programs to serve sex offenders.

Information Gathering

The event of admitting a youth to a juvenile correctional facility is similar to what occurs in a juvenile detention facility. The staff members involved should employ similar techniques, which are intended to defuse any potential anxiety or hostility. Staff have the opportunity at this point to ease a youth’s fears and build trust. These are skills that staff can learn and develop and that can help to reduce problem behavior during admission. However, the court has committed these youth to a juvenile correctional facility, and the youth know in advance that long-term, secure confinement has been mandated for them. They have generally been in a detention facility or diagnostic unit prior to transfer and are more accustomed to institutional practices and expectations than those youth being admitted to a juvenile detention facility. A juvenile correctional facility is the most restrictive placement option in a juvenile justice system. Although many youth placed in a detention facility are experiencing their first out-of-home placement, many youth entering a juvenile correctional facility have had previous placements, making the commitment experience less intimidating for them.

Just as with the detention admission process, establishing rapport while gathering information can and must be done simultaneously. As with intake in detention, this process creates the initial impression and sets the tone for the youth’s subsequent adjustment. Each juvenile correctional facility should establish clear policies and procedures to ensure that the experience is a positive one.

Systematic information gathering helps to ensure youth safety, facility security, and that the juvenile correctional facility is providing services and treatment designed to meet each youth’s individual needs. As indicated above, this process may begin before the youth arrives. All information about a youth must be included in the youth’s facility case record. In some state systems, youth may have a permanent case record that follows them to any placement to which the agency assigns them. When this is the practice, the juvenile correctional facilities are able to use that information in making classification decisions and developing treatment and service plans. (See Ch. 15: Service and Treatment Plans)

Even if the facility receives written information on a committed youth in advance of placement, or if the facility receives a traveling file with extensive historical material, each youth must have a case record established at intake that contains information about the youth prior to placement, currently and on a continuing basis. The youth’s individual service or treatment plan is based on all available information. The file will incorporate details about the youth’s progress in achieving the goals and objectives in that plan.

The case record should include current health and medical information that may be recorded and maintained securely and available only to appropriate medical staff. The case record will include the youth’s service or treatment plan (or both), educational information such as testing and credit details, and behavior logs that are linked to the service or treatment plan. Other information, such as family history, drug and alcohol use history, and treatment history will also be in in the case record.

Preliminary Safety and Security

Similar to the detention admission process, it is imperative that the admission event includes tasks that will aid in ensuring safety and security. Primary to that goal are searches of the youth and his or her property. As with admission to detention, an immediate frisk search should occur to make sure that the youth has no contraband or weapons that could be used to hurt himself, herself, or others. The frisk search is often accompanied by a wand search, using a metal detecting, hand-held device. A more invasive strip search or body-cavity search should only be conducted in accordance with applicable statute, case law, and agency policy.[20] As with youth admitted to juvenile detention, a strip search or a body-cavity search of a youth entering a juvenile correctional facility may occur only if there is reasonable suspicion that the youth may be concealing contraband. The case law regarding strip searches or body-cavity searches in juvenile correctional facilities is less clear than in juvenile detention facilities. However, juvenile PREA Standards that address strip searches are applicable to both types of juvenile facilities.

As with admission to juvenile detention, any kind of search is invasive and a potential violation of the youth’s sense of well-being. A youth’s feelings of violation may be mitigated by continuously orienting a youth to the intake process and explaining to the youth what is going to happen next. This technique reduces fear and anxiety, while placing the admitting staff member in a nonthreatening and helpful role during an important security function.

When a youth is admitted to a juvenile correctional facility his or her personal property is usually delivered securely and is not in the youth’s possession. Even so, any personal property that a youth arrives with should be inventoried in his or her presence and stored securely.

Basic Needs

All youth should be required to shower and wash their hair upon admission if they are entering the facility from the community. Some facilities allow youth to forego that requirement if they are transported directly from another secure facility.

Some facilities allow youth to wear their personal clothing, but most require a uniform. Juvenile correctional facilities require youth to wear uniforms for several reasons—to ensure hygienic clothing; to avoid any inappropriate expressions through the choice of clothing, such as gang colors; to help identify a youth, such as requiring all youth in a particular unit to wear the same color tee shirt; and to eliminate theft or trading of clothing items. During intake, youth are issued uniform clothing that is clean and that fits properly. Youth should not be required to wear shabby or damaged clothing. A youth also receives basic hygiene items and is informed of the facility’s system for replenishing those items.

Screening and Assessment

Although the juvenile correctional facility usually has information on a committed youth in advance of his or her arrival, it is important to conduct an initial screening or assessment on all youth for consistency and to have a baseline from which to establish service and treatment plans. Screening is a relatively brief effort conducted, as described by Grisso and Underwood, to obtain information indicating the need for immediate attention.[21] Initial screening usually occurs before a youth is committed to a juvenile correctional facility, and the facility should focus on the need for subsequent assessments. These may include suicide assessments; drug and alcohol assessments; current medical and dental assessments; updated mental health assessments; vocational interests, if appropriate; educational assessment; religious background and interests; recreational interests; and other assessments as needed.[22] In addition, a PREA Screening and Assessment must be completed on all newly admitted youth.[23]

Classification and Housing Assignment

Similar to a juvenile detention facility, a juvenile correctional facility must make classification and housing assignments based on each youth’s treatment and safety needs and on the facility’s specialized programs. Typically, facilities have a written classification plan or policy that contains detailed procedures to aid in decision-making related to a youth’s placement within the facility. These may include but are not limited to:

  • Method of determining level of risk presented by the youth.
  • Type of housing required.
  • Criteria for youth participation in facility and community programs.
  • Criteria for changing the status of the juveniles with procedural safeguards when there is an increase in custody level or transfer.
  • Staff authorized to make classification or reclassification decisions.

Institutional classification systems frequently identify factors related to the need to separate specific youth from one another. Classification helps staff make decisions regarding placements of youth in housing units, in beds within these units, or for classroom assignments. Information to be considered would include whether the youth has any known enemies in the facility, whether he or she has any delinquent associates or is affiliated with a gang, whether the youth has family members in the facility, or whether he or she has a history of sexually acting out or victimization.

Facility size is a factor in making housing assignments, as are the levels of security available in the facility. Many juvenile correctional facilities initially assign all new residents to a separate unit for reception and orientation. Youth remain there for a set period of time, often one week to one month, before being assigned elsewhere in the facility. The subsequent placement is determined, at least in part, on the more thorough screening and evaluation that is conducted while the youth is on orientation status. ACA Performance-based Standards recommend that youth be provided with programming, including education, during their reception period, if that orientation occurs in a separate location or lasts more than one day. Written orientation materials should be provided in the youth’s own language; a translation should be provided, as needed. If a literacy problem exists, a staff member should assist the youth in understanding written material.[24] Staff should take care to not embarrass youth who may be insecure about their ability to read.

Classification must consider youth and facility safety and security, so efforts must be made to separate violent youth from nonviolent youth. A juvenile correctional facility has more time than a detention facility does to review factors related to a youth’s potential for violence or vulnerability to being victimized. Reliance on relatively superficial factors such as the commitment offense, without other evaluative tools, should not occur. In addition to the completion of screening and assessment by juvenile correctional facility staff and mental health providers, classification decisions should consider such things as:

  • Information about a youth’s prior sexual victimization or abusiveness.
  • Any gender nonconforming appearance or manner or self-identification as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex.
  • Behavioral reports and summaries from prior placements.
  • Prior offense history.
  • Information from probation officer or caseworkers.
  • Prior offense history.
  • Status of gang membership.
  • Physical indicators of violence (scars from fights or gunshots).[25]

Of course, a primary factor in making classification decisions is gender. If a facility is coeducational, male and female residents should be housed separately, and programming must be gender sensitive.

ACA standards recommend that “living areas are primarily designed for single-occupancy sleeping rooms; multiple-occupancy rooms do not exceed 20% of the bed capacity of the unit.”[26] It is recommended that juvenile correctional facilities have single-occupancy rooms available for certain, identified youth, even if the facility also has multi-occupancy rooms or open dorm housing. At the least, single-occupancy rooms should be provided for:

  • Youth with serious medical disabilities.
  • Youth suffering from severe mental illness.
  • Youth with physical disabilities that impair functioning as defined in Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
  • Youth who represent threats to the safety of others, self, or the facility, including sexual predators, youth who engage in self-harm and seriously aggressive or assaultive youth.
  • Youth likely to be exploited or victimized by others.

The admission and intake event can positively impact the youth’s attitude towards his entire stay at the facility. The process should be conducted professionally but sensitively. It is the first opportunity that the staff has to establish a healthy and constructive relationship with the youth and, done well, it can produce information that can assist the staff in addressing the youth’s needs and treatment issues effectively.

Admission and Intake to an Adult Jail—An Event and Process

The admission of youth to adult jails is an exception to typical practice; juveniles are normally placed in juvenile detention facilities. The ACA’s Core Jail Standards prohibit the “confinement of juveniles under the age of eighteen [to an adult jail] unless a court finds that it is in the best interest of justice and public safety that a juvenile awaiting trial or other legal process be treated as an adult for the purposes of prosecution, or unless convicted as an adult and required by statute to be confined in an adult facility.”[27] However, all states have laws that allow for the use of confinement in adult jails for young people who are otherwise statutorily or chronologically considered juveniles. Young people end up in adult corrections systems in three basic ways: age of jurisdiction laws, transfer laws, and blended sentencing laws.[28] (See Ch. 2: Types of Facilities)

Age of jurisdiction laws establish the age at which a youth is automatically under the jurisdiction of the adult court. Those laws vary among the states, but trend reports in the first decade of the 21st century indicate an increase in that age. Data from 2012 indicate that 38 states set the maximum age for juvenile court jurisdiction at 17. Ten other states set the age at 16; two states set that age at 15. New York is one such state, where youth aged 16 and 17 are automatically tried in the adult system. Still, the 2012 numbers indicate a recent trend in a growing number of states toward keeping more youth in the juvenile system.[29]

Transfer laws allow a young person below the age of adult jurisdiction to be transferred, waived, or certified to the adult court system. That transfer may occur through a judicial waiver or decision, through prosecutorial discretion, or by categorical exclusion from the juvenile system based on the offense. In some jurisdictions, waiver to adult court will occur “if a youth engages in a crime while involved in a gang or some other behavior, that makes the case eligible for transfer to the adult court.”[30]

Blended sentences are allowed in some jurisdictions where a juvenile disposition may be imposed on a youth but, if that youth does not succeed, he or she may be transferred to the adult corrections system on that same conviction.[31]

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) seeks to limit the incarceration of juveniles in adult jails. And, when juveniles are held in adult facilities, the JJDPA rules prohibit their contact with adult inmates. However, those regulations do not extend to young people transferred to the adult court.[32] Juveniles who are admitted to adult jails must be separated from adult inmates at all times by sight and sound. However, if that same young person has been certified for processing as an adult, sight and sound separation is not mandatory unless state law or other regulations require this. Nevertheless, many jurisdictions offer similar protections for transferred youth held in adult jails as they do for youth still considered to be juveniles under the law.[33] These protections often begin at the time of admission and intake.

Decision to Admit and Legal Authority

As with juvenile detention, admission to an adult jail is an event that involves the act of taking physical and legal custody of a juvenile on the basis of the statutory authority of a particular state. The adult jail must ensure that the youth meets the legal requirements for admission, either as a youth transferred or certified to the adult court or as a juvenile charged as an adult under state statute. Generally, the jail is notified that a juvenile will be transferred subsequent to the filing of charges in adult court or based on a court order of certification. Youth who are below the state’s age of adult jurisdiction and who are subsequently certified or who are charged as adults may be placed in a juvenile detention facility first, pending legal action. They may also be booked directly into jail when charged with specific, serious offenses. When a youth is delivered to an adult jail for admission, that jail must confirm the youth’s status and ensure that the necessary legal paperwork is in order, either before or at the time of admission.

Preliminary Safety and Security

Although safety and security are critical components of any confinement facility, there are unique aspects of those concerns in dealing with youth. For example, newly admitted youth should be “separated from the general population during the admission process.”[34] Conducting an immediate frisk search will ensure that a detainee has no weapons or contraband, which could be used to harm himself or others. The transporting officer may have already completed a frisk search, but the jail staff must also do so. As discussed in the previous sections on admission to juvenile detention and juvenile correctional facilities, any kind of search is invasive and has the potential for violating the youth’s sense of well-being. Feelings of violation may be mitigated by continuously orienting a youth to the intake process and explaining to that youth what is going to happen next. This technique reduces fear and anxiety, while placing the admitting staff member in a nonthreatening and helpful role during an important security function. The jail staff must consider the youth’s emotional maturity during the booking process and, particularly, while conducting the search. Staff should conduct searches calmly and professionally to mitigate a youth’s heightened anxiety.

Property Inventory, Showers, and Searches

Inventory. As with juvenile facilities, the property inventory is an essential part of the jail admission process. Explaining clearly how the facility will safeguard the youth’s property helps establish the booking officer and the jail as being trustworthy. The youth’s personal items are also removed and inventoried at that time. The jail staff must document any items that the youth has in his or her possession at admission, including the youth’s clothing, when that youth changes into facility clothing. The youth should be asked to sign the inventory form and should receive a copy of it. Securing and storing the inventory in the presence of the youth will increase the youth’s trust.

Showers. Youth admitted to jail should be required to shower before being placed in the housing unit to ensure the hygiene and health of the new youth as well as other youth in the facility. The shower should include the youth thoroughly shampooing his or her hair. Some facilities require that all youth use head lice shampoo during their admission shower. Although that may be a good precaution, head lice shampoo does not guarantee that the youth will be free of lice or nits. In either case, a medically trained professional should follow up with a thorough examination for head lice.

After the youth showers, he or she should dress in facility clothing. A youth also receives basic hygiene items and is informed of the facility’s system for replenishing those items.

Searches. Searches are a legitimate part of the admission process, because they ensure safety and order in the jail by controlling access to contraband. As in juvenile facilities, several types of searches are used in adult jails, including inventory search, frisk search, strip search, body-cavity search, and cell search. The first two searches are always part of the admission and intake process. The other types of searches are conducted in jails as required and authorized by state statute, applicable case law, and facility policy.

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 outer clothing such as a coat or jacket and, sometimes, shoes. A frisk search may also be accompanied by a wand search using a metal detecting, hand-held device. As part of the frisk search, the booking staff member should have the youth remove coats and outer clothing and remove anything from pockets, to be inventoried and secured. An additional precaution often includes requiring the youth to remove shoes, and allowing the youth to leave on shirt, pants, undergarments, and socks.[35]

The strip search and the body-cavity search are much more invasive and are subject to closer legal and professional scrutiny. However, federal statute and, often, state statute and agency policy place limitations on strip searches, particularly searches of juveniles. Admissions officers in adult jails must be familiar with and comply with relevant case law, statutory requirements, and agency policy regarding strip searches and body-cavity searches.

Strip search. When authorized to conduct a strip search, the admission staff should observe these guidelines for the protection of both the staff and the youth:

  • Only specifically-trained staff may conduct a strip search. That training should address issues related to a youth’s age, maturity, and vulnerability.
  • Only same gender staff may conduct strip searches. Policy may require that two staff members be present for all strip searches. That practice serves as a protection for the youth against undue invasion of privacy and for the staff against false accusations.
  • Strip searches must be conducted in a private area of the jail.
  • 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 the justification for the search, such as reasonable suspicion. Documentation may note unusual bruises, cuts, marks, or other concerns that could indicate abuse and that should be examined by a medical professional.

Body-cavity search. If a body-cavity search is to be conducted, staff should follow these guidelines, which policy and procedure should indicate:

  • Only a licensed healthcare provider with authorization from the responsible physician and facility administrator should ever conduct a body-cavity search.
  • Body-cavity searches must only be allowed 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 staff members 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 properly trained but not involved in a therapeutic relationship with the juvenile.[36]
  • Body-cavity searches must be documented as required by agency policy, including the justification for the search, such as reasonable suspicion.

Information Gathering, Orientation, and Paperwork

As is the case when admitting a youth to a juvenile detention facility, jail staff responsible for the admission and intake process should focus attention immediately on the youth to establish contact and to determine his or her physical and mental condition. Documentation should be as thorough and detailed as possible. Staff should also use the transporting officer as a source of information. As part of the transfer of custody, jail staff should inquire of the officer if there is any vital information about the youth that the jail staff should know about or that would impact the youth’s immediate safety.

Adult jails face situations at intake that present significant challenges when admitting youth. Although a youth may be facing adult criminal charges, that youth is still—chronologically, emotionally, and developmentally—an adolescent. Jail staff must consider that fact in effectively obtaining the information necessary to book the youth and make classification, housing and programming plans. Because youth are usually transferred from a juvenile facility, the jail will often receive some basic information that is not available for inmates arrested and brought directly to the jail.

As with juvenile detention facilities, the information gathering process is equally important as the event itself. A jail generally will ensure that the youth does not co-mingle with adult inmates during this process. Depending on the size of the jail, there may be one employee responsible for obtaining most intake information, or there may be several.

Medical and mental health staff may be available to get health history and mental health history and evaluate the youth’s current state of mind. That process helps in determining immediate placement upon completion of the intake process.

Court services personnel may interview a youth regarding school, employment, and housing status. Normally, court services personnel determine whether persons would qualify for release on their own recognizance. However, a youth typically would not qualify for this type of release.

Booking and jail services personnel will verify information on the police report or probable cause statement provided at the time of the arrest or intake. These staff will also verify demographic information such as date of birth and address and request other information such as emergency contacts. Jail staff should offer an orientation to the youth, including an explanation of his or her rights, such as the grievance procedure, visitation, mail, telephone access, access to medical and mental healthcare, and available services and programs. Information should be provided about sexual abuse and any related services offered. The orientation should address the rules of the facility and sanctions for violating those rules. It is recommended that the youth read these rights and rules and sign an acknowledgement of having done so. Again, it is important for jail staff to consider the youth’s age and level of maturity while gathering information and providing an explanation of expectations. Staff should consider the youth’s literacy level and should verbally describe any written material as well. If the youth does not speak or read English, the orientation information should be available in a written translation. Regardless of language, staff should verbally review the orientation materials with each youth to make sure youth understand the content.

It is recommended that adult jail staff use the same techniques in interviewing youth as described for youth being admitted into a juvenile detention facility. Using positive patterns of responding will encourage the youth to behave more cooperatively and to be more truthful and forthcoming with information.

The booking personnel will also fingerprint and photograph each admitted youth, as required by local policies.

Admission Screening and Assessment

Youth admitted to adult jails undergo screening and assessment similar to youth entering a juvenile detention facility. This may occur during the booking process and be completed by the same officer who completes the legal admission. Or, specialized staff members may do the screening and assessment. As with juvenile detention, in addition to the facility’s basic admission or intake form, other screening and assessment paperwork must be completed as part of the admission process. Screening and assessment instruments are used to aid in making classification and housing assignments.

Targeted screening and assessment. Again, as Grisso and Underwood describe, screening is “a relatively brief process designed to identify youth who are at increased risk of having disorders that warrant immediate attention, intervention or more comprehensive evaluation.”[37] All youth admitted to an adult jail should be screened.[38]

Assessment is “a more comprehensive and individualized examination of the psychosocial needs and problems identified during the initial screening…and includes recommendations for treatment intervention.”[39] Assessment is more time consuming and expensive and requires the expertise of a mental health professional. Assessment is usually reserved for just a subset of screened youth.

Suicide screening. All youth must be screened for suicide potential as part of the jail admission and classification process. A booking officer usually does initial suicide screening, unless mental health staff are available at all times for that purpose. Suicide screening policies must include referral for further mental health assessment as needed.

Drug and alcohol screening. A drug and alcohol use screening is important for all youth upon admission. The interviewer and staff need to be alert to possible withdrawal symptoms or other drug-related effects. The effort extended in establishing rapport with the youth will pay off greatly at this point if the youth is honest during this screening.

Initial medical screening form. Comprehensive jail intake also includes an initial medical screening that gathers basic, preliminary information such as recent hospitalization or other medical care, recent injuries or illnesses, current medications, allergies and the name of the youth’s primary healthcare provider. This screening is designed to be completed by a non-medically trained staff member. The information is then provided to the medical staff for further assessment.

Other specialized forms of screening for issues like substance abuse, symptoms of disorders, problems/strengths/needs, and cognitive abilities may be conducted to determine a youth’s needs and to ensure youth and facility safety and security

PREA screening. PREA requires intake screening for a jail inmate’s potential as a perpetrator or a victim of sexual abuse. PREA Standard 115.41 states:

a)     All inmates shall be assessed during an intake screening and upon transfer to another facility for their risk of being sexually abused by other inmates or sexually abusive towards other inmates.

b)    Intake screening shall ordinarily take place within 72 hours of arrival at the facility.

c)     Such assessments shall be conducted using an objective screening instrument.

d)    The intake screening shall consider, at a minimum, the following criteria to assess inmates for risk of sexual victimization:

1)    Prior sexual victimization or abusiveness;

2)    Whether the inmate has a mental, physical, or developmental disability;

3)    The physical build of the inmate;

4)    Whether the inmate has previously been incarcerated;

5)    Whether the inmate’s criminal history is exclusively nonviolent;

6)    Whether the inmate has prior convictions for sex offenses against an adult or child;

7)    Whether the inmate is or is perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or gender nonconforming;

8)    Whether the inmate has previously experienced sexual victimization;

9)    The inmates’ own perception of vulnerability;

10) Whether the inmate is detained solely for civil immigration purposes.

e)     The initial screening shall consider prior acts of sexual abuse, prior convictions for violent offenses, and history of prior institutional violence or sexual abuse, as known to the agency, in assessing inmates for risk of being sexually abusive.

In addition to the requirement that each youth admitted to an adult jail be screened during intake, PREA Standard 115.42 requires:

a)     The agency shall use all information from the risk screening required by §115.41 to inform housing, bed, work, education, and program assignments for residents with the goal of keeping separate those inmates at high risk of being sexually victimized from the those at high risk of being sexually abusive.[40]

A validated instrument should be used for the PREA assessment. The adult jail should use the critical period of admission to obtain at least initial self-report evidence regarding a youth’s potential risk or vulnerability. The full screening must then be completed as expeditiously as possible to ensure appropriate classification and housing as well as to offer essential services. The PREA screening is part of the admission process and must be completed within 72 hours. Other detention screening can and usually does occur within 24 hours.

Classification and Housing

Similar to juvenile detention, “classification refers to the process of determining at what level of custody an offender should be assigned.”[41] Information acquired during preliminary screening, and possible subsequent assessment, is used to make initial housing and programming decisions. A jail often has an inmate management unit that ensures that classification determinations are made at admission. That unit will then reassess at predetermined intervals and confirm or reconsider a youth’s classification.

The jail’s classification system should consider objective factors such as gender, age, violence tendencies, and vulnerability.

At admission, the first classification decisions are related to housing or group. Just as with juvenile detention, in medium or large jails that have more than one housing unit and various program groups, classification usually involves the following issues: 1) separation of violent from nonviolent detainees, 2) separation of male from female detainees, and 3) separation of detainees based on level of sophistication or on some arbitrary assessment of age, size, and mental maturity. Additional classification decisions may be based on the number and range of programs offered. However, due to the relatively small proportion of youth inmates, most jails are only able to separate them from adults without being able to separate sub-groups of youth inmates.

Special Concerns and Challenges

Sight and sound separation of juveniles. JJDPA requires that states establish “rules on ‘sight and sound’ regulations in managing juveniles in jails.”[42] However, those “rules around the management of juveniles who might end up in jail do not extend to youth who may be transferred to the adult court, and tried in the adult justice system.”[43] Nevertheless, with the advent of PREA, most jails make every reasonable effort to keep youth separated from adult inmates. PREA Standard 115.48 addresses that issue:

Inmates at high risk for sexual victimization shall not be placed in involuntary segregated housing unless an assessment of all available alternatives has been made, and a determination has been made that there is no available alternative means of separation from likely abusers. If a facility cannot conduct such an assessment immediately, the facility may hold the inmate in involuntary segregated housing less than 24 hours while completing the assessment.[44]

Safely keeping youth separated from adult inmates while upholding their right to not be segregated involuntarily under this PREA rule creates a particular challenge for jails. Even large jails usually have only a small number of youth inmates. It is not cost-effective to have entire housing units dedicated to this small group. Some jails have implemented procedures to ensure the safety of youth without segregation. For example, the Washoe County Jail (Nevada) provides “24-hour direct supervision to maintain reasonable separation between juveniles and adults; the tier time (free time out of cell) schedule dictates that at no time will adult inmates be out with the juvenile inmates; and meal services are directly supervised by the unit deputies.”[45] Physically isolating youth may have a detrimental emotional impact and heighten a youth’s potential for self-harm.[46]

Gang affiliations. Many juvenile inmates housed in adult jails are affiliated with gangs in the community. Youth gang members are especially susceptible to social pressure to maintain a hardened persona while incarcerated and may succumb to expectations to act out in violent ways. It may be necessary to house juvenile members of rival gangs separately from each other, in addition to separating youth from adult inmates.

Transportation. Best practice is to transport youth separately from adult inmates. Transporting youth to and from court hearings or other outside appointments can present scheduling and staffing challenges for jails and their parent agencies.

Education and other programming. Ensuring that youth in adult jails have access to programs equivalent to those available to adult inmates can be difficult. Youth should be able to participate in any and all activities, unless those programs are clearly inappropriate for an adolescent. Youth should be able to participate in religious programming and meet with the jail chaplain or other clergy. Youth should be able to access the jail library, television, and any other free-time opportunities. Juveniles must have comparable access to visitation including, if possible, contact visits. Most important, given their age, youth must have access to comprehensive educational programming. These programs and how youth may take advantage of them must be explained during the admission process.

Depression and suicidal behavior. As with youth who are admitted to a juvenile detention facility, those admitted to an adult jail are at heightened risk for suicide. It is important for jail staff to be aware of a youth’s affect and behavior and note any signs that may indicate the risk of self-inflicted injury. As discussed previously, all youth must be screened for suicide potential during the intake process, “immediately upon confinement and housing assignment.”[47] The facility must have policies and procedures in place that ensure a more in-depth assessment by a mental health professional when the initial suicide screening indicates a suicide risk, or if the staff learn that a youth has tried to hurt him or herself or if staff have any related concerns. If suicide screening indicates that the youth is at risk for self-harm, the youth should be observed constantly until he or she is assessed by a mental health professional. (See Ch. 11: Mental Health)

During the admission and intake process, staff can help to establish a sense of safety for the youth and communicate the facility’s expectations. Completed competently, the process can minimize behavior problems and can enhance the jail’s overall programs for youth inmates.

Admission and Intake to an Adult Prison—An Event and a Process

Admission and intake of youth to adult prisons varies greatly across the country, based on statutory and policy differences among individual states and between states and federal prison systems. These variations include state laws that determine the age of adult jurisdiction. In addition, state and federal prison agencies take different approaches for philosophical or practical reasons, often subsequent to research on adolescent brain development, “showing that brain maturation is a process that continues through adolescence and into early adulthood.”[48] Specifically, research verifies three aspects of adolescent brain development that create challenges for adult prisons. (See Ch. 6: Adolescent Development)

  • Short-sighted decision-making. Research confirms that adolescents have a less developed sense of future consequences of their actions.
  • Poor impulse control. Research also tells us that “adolescents are both less sensitive to risk and more sensitive to rewards—an attitude that can lead to greater risk-taking.”[49]
  • Vulnerability to peer pressure. Here, research indicates that susceptibility to peer influence lessens as the young person ages.

Research on brain development seems to verify what veteran practitioners have long known: Younger offenders comprise a very small proportion of the population in adult prisons, but they present significant and unique challenges. Corrections systems often lack age-appropriate services and supports. Youth have less access to rehabilitation and to the family support that is so important to their success upon release. Youth may be negatively influenced by the stigmatization or labeling effects of being a convicted felon. Youth often have a sense of resentment and injustice when tried in adult court. And, youth are susceptible to “peer deviance training”—learning criminal mores and behavior while incarcerated with adults.[50] All of these factors should be considered in the decision-making process that occurs during admission and intake of a juvenile to an adult prison. Although juvenile and adult corrections professionals have generally opposed the placement of minors in the adult corrections system,[51] all states and the federal government currently allow this placement to occur in some fashion. (See Ch. 2: Types of Facilities)

Decision to Confine and Legal Authority

The decision to admit a youth to an adult prison is similar to that of a juvenile correctional facility. The youth is tried and convicted in adult court, and the court commits that youth for a period of time to an adult corrections facility. Typically, the court commits the youth to the state’s department of corrections or the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and that agency makes the decision regarding placement. A youth is then placed in a particular institution and to an assigned unit within that institution. Some jurisdictions separate inmates by age using designated facilities for younger inmates. Some jurisdictions have units designated for youth within larger facilities. In general, the state department of corrections or the BOP makes the decision to admit a youth to the prison, subsequent to the court’s order. The admission staff needs to verify that each new admission is legally committed to the adult correctional system by court order, statue, or compact agreement. The prison must accept the youth, but prison administrators must often make housing decisions within constraints, such as available beds.

Some states have entirely separate facilities designated for youthful inmates, although how they define their populations may vary. Often those facilities house inmates up to age 25. Most adult prisons are large enough to designate separate housing units for juveniles to adhere to federal mandates that there be sight and sound separation. Level of security may also be a factor in making housing assignments. Many adult correctional facilities initially assign all new residents to a separate unit for reception and orientation. Youth remain there for a set period of time, often one week to one month, before being assigned elsewhere in the facility. That subsequent placement is determined, at least in part, by the more thorough screening and evaluation that is conducted while the youth is on orientation status. Youth are generally provided with programming, including education, during their reception period if that orientation occurs in a separate location or lasts for more than a few days. Written orientation materials should be provided in the youth’s own language or should be translated. If a literacy problem exists, a staff member should assist the youth in understanding written material.

Information Gathering and Paperwork

To make effective decisions regarding placement and services for youth in an adult prison, comprehensive information must be obtained. Techniques that work with youth admitted to juvenile confinement facilities are equally effective in acquiring necessary, reliable information from a youth entering a prison. Although the youth is in an adult corrections environment and has been convicted of an offense in the adult court system, that youth is still emotionally and developmentally an adolescent. That youth may have feelings of fear, apprehension, and hostility similar to those that a youth entering a juvenile facility for the first time might have. Using the positive patterns of responding described earlier in this chapter can be useful in the information-gathering phase in a prison setting as well.

Youth who are prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system are usually confined for lengthy periods prior to conviction and sentencing, and they are accustomed to confinement. However, a youth sentenced to prison knows that he or she may be among adult felons and will be justifiably apprehensive and uncertain. That anxiety can be lessened when staff members are knowledgeable about such issues as adolescent development. Just as with the admission process in a juvenile confinement facility, establishing rapport while gathering information can and must be done simultaneously.

Systematic information gathering helps to ensure that the prison provides services that can most effectively meet each youth’s individual needs while also ensuring youth safety and facility security. As indicated above, that process may begin before the youth arrives. Information from the juvenile justice system, the jail where the youth may have been housed, court pre-trial services, or adult probation should be obtained in advance of the youth’s placement, or as soon as possible. At a minimum, the following information should be obtained on each new admission: name; address; social security number; date of birth; height, weight, eye, and hair color; race and ethnic origin; next of kin and emergency contact information; and a listing of scars, tattoos, or other identifying marks.[52]

Preliminary Safety and Security

Similar to the process of admission to a juvenile correctional facility, it is imperative that the admission event includes tasks that will aid in ensuring safety and security. Primary to that goal is the need to keep young offenders separated from the adult population. This may be accomplished through early detection, observation, and escorts.[53] It is particularly important to comply with the PREA Standard requiring the sight and sound separation of youth from the adult population.[54] The sooner the institution is aware that a youth will be placed there, the more prepared that facility can be to meet that youth’s needs. Ideally, the institution will receive some information about the youth in advance; however, that information may not be available until the youth arrives. Placing youth in observation cells where they are directly visible to staff can help to keep a youth inmate safe. And escorting the youth to his or her cell or elsewhere, particularly during the intake and reception process, offers an additional level of safety.

Also critical to ensuring security are searches of the youth and his property. Staff should conduct a frisk search to ensure the youth has no contraband. And, as with other juvenile and adult confinement facilities, the prison officer must always conduct that search, even if the transporting officer states that the youth has been searched. The initial frisk search must be conducted immediately upon entry into the prison and may be accompanied by a search with a hand-held, metal detecting wand. A more invasive strip search will also likely be conducted, in accordance with applicable statute, case law, and agency policy. Body-cavity searches are rarely conducted and must also be done in accordance with applicable statute, case law, and facility policy.

As discussed above, any kind of search is invasive and a potential violation of the youth’s sense of well-being. This can be traumatic when the youth is already feeling a heightened sense of anxiety, vulnerability, and weakness. Being subjected to a strip search or a body-cavity search could intensify a youth’s fears, sense of hopelessness, and potential for self-harm. Any feeling of violation may be mitigated by continuously orienting a youth to the intake process and explaining what is going to happen next. This technique reduces apprehension and anxiety, while placing the admitting staff member in a nonthreatening and helpful role as an important security function is completed.

If a youth admitted to an adult prison has personal property, that property is usually delivered securely and is not in his possession. However, any personal property that a youth arrives with should be inventoried in his presence and stored securely.

Basic Needs

All youth should be required to shower upon admission. The youth may also be required to have a haircut, be photographed and fingerprinted, and have DNA testing, in accordance with statute, case law, and agency policy.

During intake, youth are issued uniform clothing that is clean and that fits. Youth should not be required to wear shabby or damaged clothing. Along with clothing, a youth receives basic hygiene items and is informed of the facility’s system for replenishing those items.

Screening and Assessment

The state department of corrections, the BOP, and the prison to which a juvenile is assigned usually have information on a sentenced youth, similar to what is received by a juvenile correctional facility. However, it is important to conduct initial screening and assessment on all inmates for consistency and to have a baseline from which to establish service and treatment plans. The unique needs of juveniles make this process even more important. Initial screening and assessment has usually already occurred before a youth is committed to an adult prison. The prison should focus on updating any prior information and completing additional assessments particular to the adult prison. Those assessments may include suicide assessment; drug and alcohol assessment; current medical and dental assessments; updated mental health assessment; vocational interests (if appropriate); educational and vocational assessment; religious background and interests; recreational assessment; and other assessments as needed. In addition, a PREA Screening and Assessment must be completed on all newly admitted youth as required.[55]

Screening and assessment in an adult prison is usually completed during a period of orientation and is not part of the initial intake event. That period may last for a few days to a few weeks. Specialized staff members usually do the screening and assessment. The prison’s basic admission paperwork must be completed upon entry, but other screening and assessment paperwork must be completed as part of the admission and orientation process. In many institutions, youth receive the same screening and assessment regimen as adult inmates. In some cases, additional or different tools will be used to focus specifically on the needs of the adolescent inmate.

Targeted screening and assessment. As stated above, screening is concise and identifies immediate concerns or needs that require intervention. All youth admitted to an adult prison should be screened.[56]

Assessment is a more detailed and individualized examination of the psychosocial needs and recommendations for treatment intervention.[57] Assessment is more time consuming and expensive and requires the expertise of a mental health professional. Assessment in a long-term setting such as an adult prison should also occur with each admitted youth.

Mental health screening. In-depth mental health screening and assessment of youth in adult institutions is particularly critical. ACA standards address this issue: All intersystem and intra-system transfers will receive an initial mental health screening at the time of admission to the facility by a trained or qualified mental healthcare professional. The mental health screening includes, but is not limited to:

Inquiry into:

  • whether the offender has a present suicide ideation
  • whether the offender has a history of suicidal behavior
  • whether the offender is presently prescribed psychotropic medication
  • whether the offender has a current mental health complaint 
  • whether the offender is being treated for mental health problems
  • whether the offender has a history of inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment
  • whether the offender has a history of treatment for substance abuse

Observation of:

  • general appearance and behavior
  • evidence of abuse and/or trauma
  • current symptoms of psychosis, depression, anxiety, and/or aggression

Disposition of offender:

  • to the general population
  • to the general population with appropriate referral to mental healthcare service
  • referral to appropriate mental healthcare service for emergency treatment.”

Mental health screening and assessment is an important aid in making classification and housing assignments. ACA standards also require a mental health appraisal within 14 days of admission that is more detailed and may require input from a psychiatrically and medically trained mental health professional, as this appraisal includes history and need for psychotropic medication.[58]

Drug and alcohol screening. A drug and alcohol use screening is important to determine service and treatment needs.

Initial medical screening form. Comprehensive prison intake also incorporates an initial medical screening that gathers basic, preliminary information such as recent hospitalization or other medical care, recent injuries or illnesses, current medications, allergies, and the name of the youth’s primary healthcare provider. This screening may be completed staff member that is not medically trained, and the information is then passed on to the medical staff for further assessment. More often, a medical professional will complete medical screening in a prison.

Other specialized forms or screening instruments may be used to determine a youth’s needs and ensure youth and facility safety and security. These instruments can effectively and efficiently screen for issues such as substance abuse, symptoms of disorders, problems/strengths/needs and cognitive abilities.

PREA screening. The same PREA Standards that apply to adult jails are also applicable to adult prisons. Adult prisons must screen all inmates in accordance to PREA Standards 115.41 and 115.42 as discussed above. Therefore, “All inmates shall be assessed during an intake screening and upon transfer to another facility for their risk of being sexually abused by other inmates or sexually abusive towards other inmates.” And, “Intake screening shall ordinarily take place within 72 hours of arrival at the facility.”[59]

A validated instrument should be used for the PREA assessment. It is important for the prison to use the critical period of intake to obtain at least initial self-report evidence regarding a youth’s potential risk or vulnerability. The full screening must then be completed as expeditiously as possible to ensure appropriate classification and housing as well as to offer essential services. The PREA screening is part of the admission process and must be completed within 72 hours. Other detention screening can and usually does occur within 24 hours.

Orientation, Classification, and Housing Assignment

Some states place new offenders in a separate facility or a separate unit for reception and orientation. That placement may last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. In addition to the screening and assessment described above, this time is used to orient the youth and to make classification decisions and housing assignments.

Prison staff should offer an orientation to the youth, including an explanation of his or her rights, including the grievance procedure, visitation, mail, telephone access, access to medical and mental healthcare, and other available services and programs. Information should be provided about sexual abuse and any related services offered. The orientation should also address the rules of the facility and sanctions for violating those rules. It is recommended that the youth read these rights and rules and sign an acknowledgement. Again, it is important for prison staff to consider the youth’s age and level of maturity while gathering information and providing an explanation of expectations. Staff should consider the youth’s literacy level and should verbally describe any written material as well. If the youth does not speak or read English, the orientation information should be translated.

National standards establish requirements for the housing of youth inmates. PREA Standards are discussed above and mandate sight and sound separation. The ACA standards also address the housing of this population. “If youthful offenders are housed in the facility, written policy, procedure, and practice provide that they are housed in a specialized unit for youthful offenders except when:

  • a violent, predatory youthful offender poses an undue risk of harm to others within the specialized unit; and/or
  • a qualified medical or mental-health specialist documents that the youthful offender would benefit from placement outside the unit.

Written policy, procedure, and practice provide for the preparation of a written statement of the specific reasons for housing a youthful offender outside the specialized unit and a case-management plan specifying what behaviors need to be modified and how the youthful offender may return to the unit.”[60]

Because only a small proportion of a prison’s population is comprised of youth, implementing a comprehensive classification system is challenging. Nevertheless, the adult prison must address the particular needs of youth in making classification decisions. ACA standards require that the institution establish “classification plans for youth that determine level of risk and program needs developmentally appropriate for adolescents. Classification plans shall include consideration of physical, mental, social, and educational maturity of the youthful offender.”[61] These plans are based on the entirety of information obtained on the youth at the time of commitment, and the screening and assessment information that is acquired after admission.

Strip Searches on Youth in Juvenile and Adult Facilities

Fundamental Differences between Juveniles and Adults

The U.S. Supreme Court and federal statute have established that youth are different from adults; juvenile detention and corrections facilities and adult jails and prisons must account for these differences when deciding to conduct strip searches on the youth in their custody.

Over the past several years, a series of U.S. Supreme Court cases has changed the constitutional landscape and established that the fundamental differences between youth and adults should translate into youth being treated differently than adults in the juvenile and criminal justice context. In J.D.B. v. North Carolina, the Court found that, when determining whether a youth can knowingly waive Miranda rights, law enforcement officials must consider a youth’s age, “because childhood yields objective conclusions” that allow law enforcement to take the child’s age into account.[62] The Court also established that youth are constitutionally different from adults in the sentencing context,[63] noting the developmental differences between youth and adults, including that youth have a lack of maturity, are more vulnerable to outside influences, and do not have as well formed character or personality as adults.[64]

In addition, several federal statutes—including PREA and the JJDPA—have recognized that youth are different than adults and have created separate standards for youth who are placed in juvenile detention facilities and for those in adult jails and prisons.

Strip searches for youth have been addressed in various contexts, such as schools, juvenile detention and correctional facilities, and adult jails and prisons. As a federal district court noted, this case law reflects a “constitutional spectrum” under which “the standard for analyzing strip searches of children at [a juvenile detention facility] falls somewhere between the standards that govern searches of adult prison inmates and searches of school children.”[65] It follows that the idea of a “constitutional spectrum” would also apply to children placed in adult jails and prisons.

Strip Searches in Juvenile Detention Centers

Case Law

In Bell v. Wolfish, the United States Supreme Court evaluated 4th Amendment claims regarding searches involving prisoners. The court noted that the test of reasonableness under the 4th Amendment is not capable of precise definition or mechanical application, but rather requires balancing the need for the particular search against the invasion of personal rights that the search entails. It is also necessary for courts to consider the scope of the particular intrusion, the manner in which it is conducted, the justification for initiating it, and the place in which it is conducted.[66]

Although the U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled on a standard for strip searches in juvenile detention facilities, several lower courts have addressed this issue and recognized the differences between youth and adults. For example, when the court in Mashburn noted that the standards for juvenile facility strip searches fell on a “constitutional spectrum,” it took into account that children have a more acute vulnerability to the intrusiveness of a strip search. The court explained that strip searches of children raise unique concerns, because youth “is a time and condition of life when a person may be most susceptible to influence and to psychological damage.”[67]

Two district courts have found that strip searches were unreasonable or conducted without reasonable suspicion. In Moyle v. County of Contra Costa, the district court in Northern California found that a detention center’s blanket policy to perform strip and visual body-cavity searches without having a reasonable suspicion that such searches would produce contraband or weapons was unconstitutional.[68] Instead, the court required that reasonable suspicion to search a youth “depends on the facts known at the time of the strip search.”[69] A similar blanket strip search policy was rejected in T.S. v. Gabbard, where the detention center stated that the purpose of the search was “not to discover contraband,” but, “to document any obvious signs of injury, illness, infection or abuse,” even if the detention staff did not have reasonable suspicion that the youth may have an underlying medical condition or injury.[70] The court found no evidence to justify the extensive scope of and serious invasion of personal privacy and that less intrusive alternatives should meet the facility’s legitimate interests.[71]

However, other courts have upheld strip searches of youth in juvenile detention facilities if those searches are based on a reasonable suspicion that a strip search was necessary. In Justice v. City of Peachtree City, the Eleventh Circuit court held that “law enforcement officers may conduct a strip search of a juvenile in custody, even for a minor offense, based upon reasonable suspicion to believe that the juvenile is concealing weapons or contraband.”[72] The Second Circuit court held that a strip search performed upon a juvenile’s initial admission into a detention center was reasonable under the 4th Amendment, but that subsequent searches (in this case the juveniles had been strip searched eight additional times)—absent any reasonable suspicion that the juveniles had acquired contraband—were unreasonable.[73]

Several other courts have also addressed the intrusiveness of the strip search. In Smook v. Minnehaha County, the Eighth Circuit held that a juvenile detention center policy of requiring partial removal of clothing during searches of juvenile detainees, regardless of the seriousness of the charged offense or the existence of suspicion was reasonable under the 4th Amendment and that the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity.[74] Similarly, in Mashburn, the court held that strip searches can be conducted without reasonable suspicion, but the “scope of the detention facility’s strip search must account both for the need that justifies the search and the acute vulnerability of the searched child. Although general institutional security concerns may justify a brief strip search to inspect for contraband that would be hidden by a child’s underwear, a greater showing of need is required to justify keeping a child undressed to conduct an extensive search of areas that can be searched while the child is partially or fully clothed.”[75]

Standards

Beyond case law, both national and state standards exist with regard to strip searches on juveniles in juvenile detention centers. At the national level, the Juvenile Federal Performance-Based Detention Standards Handbook explains that juvenile detention facilities can conduct strip searches that are “conducted in a manner that preserves constitutional rights[, and t]he searches and the contraband found are documented.”[76] However, body-cavity searches are “only conducted by qualified health care personnel outside of the facility, authorized by the facility director, and followed up with an incident report.”[77]

In addition, the federal PREA Standards provide guidance on strip searches of youth in juvenile detention facilities. The PREA Standards prohibit “cross-gender strip searches and visual body cavity searches except in exigent circumstances or when performed by medical practitioners.”[78] The juvenile standards also specifically “prohibit cross-gender pat-down searches of both female and male residents except in exigent circumstances.”[79] Any cross-gender pat-down, strip, or body search must be documented.[80] The PREA Standards also specifically address searches of transgender or intersex youth by prohibiting staff from “searching or physically examining a transgender or intersex inmate for the sole purpose of determining the inmate’s genital status.”[81] Finally, the state agency must train facility staff 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.”[82]

Each state also has standards that deal with strip searches on youth in juvenile detention facilities. Many states require juvenile detention centers to have written procedures to address intake searches and searches performed on juveniles returning from activities outside of the facility. For example, California, Oregon, and several other states require facilities to have written procedures that discuss the use of strip searches in the facility.[83] Other state standards permit blanket strip searches of youth when they are admitted and after returning to the facility from off grounds, but all other strip searches must be based on reasonable suspicion or belief that the youth is carrying contraband or other prohibited material.[84] Another common provision in state standards is that the search on a juvenile must be conducted by a staff member of the same sex.[85]

Juveniles in Adult Facilities

Each year, an estimated 250,000 youth in the U.S. under age 18 come into contact with the adult criminal justice system.[86] Youth can be held in adult jails and prisons under several circumstances, including if their case is prosecuted in adult court under state or federal transfer law,[87] under very limited conditions while their case is pending in juvenile court,[88] or if the youth reaches the age of the state’s majority, but still falls under the extended jurisdiction of the juvenile court.[89]

Related research on youth in adult jails and prisons shows that the “inherently harmful, humiliating, and degrading”[90] nature of strip searches may affect youth more than adults and that youth are uniquely vulnerable while they are held in these facilities. First, youth in adult jails and prisons face a high likelihood of physical and sexual assault;[91] a vulnerability that lasts throughout the youth’s sentence if they are placed in an adult prison before reaching the age of 18.[92] The very thought of youth standing naked and vulnerable in front of a group of adults offends the conscience; however, for youth in adult jails and prisons who have been transferred to adult court, the strip search process is the first time that they may be seen by adults with whom they will be spending months, if not years, housed together. A strip search may further increase the youth’s sexual vulnerability and feelings of weakness, perhaps heightening the youth’s fear of entering the facility. Second, youth in adult jails and prisons are much more likely to commit suicide when compared to the general population[93] and have some of the highest mental health needs.[94] Being subjected to a strip search could increase a youth’s feelings of despair or hopelessness.

Case Law

In Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed the constitutionality of strip searches in adult jails, finding that “security imperatives involved in jail supervision” allow jail officials to strip search detainees absent a reasonable suspicion of the existence of contraband.[95]

However, the Florence decision is not likely to apply to youth in adult jails or prisons for two reasons. First, in Florence, the Court made clear that its support of a blanket strip search policy was limited to circumstances in which the individual would be placed directly into the jail’s general population following the search and did not address “the types of searches that would be reasonable in instances where, for example, a detainee will be held without assignment to the general jail population.”[96] This distinction is important for youth, as both the JJDPA and PREA require the separation of youth from the general population in adult jails and prisons. For youth who are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for a delinquency offense, the JJDPA requires that youth can only be placed in adult jails under very limited circumstances under six hours for processing or up to 48 hours for youth in rural areas awaiting an initial court hearing).[97] Even in these limited circumstances, youth must be sight and sound separated from adults in adult jails.[98] For youth who are under the age of 18 and under adult court jurisdiction, PREA Standards require that youth cannot be placed in a housing unit in an adult prison, jail, or lockup where the youth will have contact with adults in common spaces, shower areas, or sleeping quarters.[99] When not in housing units (for example, in a cafeteria or recreation room), youth must be “sight and sound” separated from adults unless they are directly supervised by staff.[100] Therefore, youth in adult jails and prisons will rarely be placed in the general population of jails and prisons and will be instead placed in isolation or a smaller, youth-specific unit.

Second, Florence is particularly distinguishable with regard to youth in adult prisons. The essential operational and population differences between jails and prisons make the immediate safety concerns pertaining to strip searches in the jail setting less relevant in the prison setting. When compared to adult prisons, adult jails have a much higher population turnover and a significantly shorter intake and evaluation process.[101] Jails also serve as a buffer to the adult prison system and typically deal with individuals who are being brought in directly from the street with issues such as “possible drug ingestion prior to entering jail.”[102] Given these differences, the concerns raised in the jail context—many of which center around the original intake of the individual into the facility—are not applicable in prisons.

Since the Florence decision, a district court directly addressed the issue of strip searches of youth in adult jails. In Trujillo v. City of Newton, Kansas, the federal district court of Kansas held that the strip search of a juvenile booked at an adult detention center was constitutionally permissible, because “the strip search was sufficiently based upon the reasonable suspicion that Plaintiff had concealed drugs on her person.”[103] Therefore, the Trujillo court utilized a higher standard—reasonable suspicion—for a youth in an adult jail than Florence, which would have permitted the strip search of an adult held in the same facility, even without reasonable suspicion of contraband.[104]

Standards

A review of state standards found no statutes that clearly delineate between strip searches on youth in juvenile and adult facilities. However, with adult jails and prisons, this information may be addressed in a facility’s internal policies, which can be difficult, if not impossible, to access publicly and may vary even within a jurisdiction (different jails within a state or even within a county could have different policies). This lack of information and transparency can lead to inconsistent treatment and potential harm for youth in adult jails and prisons during the strip search process.

Conclusion

The final statement about the admission process is a very simple one. Staff in either juvenile or adult facilities, for the short or long term, are working with human beings who need the same things that juvenile and adult corrections professionals would want if they were locked up in a strange place—compassion and respect. To the extent that facility policies are designed to emphasize the use of kindness and humanity, and to the extent that facility staff members are taught to handle youth with empathy and understanding, according to the guidelines in this chapter, the intake event and the admission process will be successful.

 

 

References

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American Correctional Association. 2004. Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions, 4th Edition, Standard 4-ACI-4-4371. Alexandria, VA: Author.

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Austin, James, Kelly Dedel Johnson, and Ronald Weitzer. 2005. Alternatives to the Secure Detention and Confinement of Juveniles, Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

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Brown, Sarah Alice. 2012. Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation: 2001-2011. Denver, CO: National Conference of State Legislatures. http://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/juvenile-justice-trends-report.aspx.

California Board of Corrections. “Title 15, Minimum Standards for Juvenile Facilities.” http://www.bscc.ca.gov/downloads/Juvenile_Title_15_Strike_Out_Underline_....

Campaign for Youth Justice. 2007. Jailing Juveniles: The Dangers of Incarcerating Juveniles in Adult Jails in America. Washington, DC: Author

Campaign for Youth Justice. 2013. “Fact Sheet - No Excuses: The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).” http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/documents/prea%20fact%20sheetfinal2013.pdf.

Crawford, Randy. Information provided regarding Admission and Intake, Indiana Department of Corrections, September 3, 2013.

Dickson, Maggie. 2013. “Juvenile Incarceration Procedure,” Information provided regarding Classification and Intake, Washoe (NV) County Jail, August 21, 2013.

Goemann, Melissa, Tracey Evans, Eileen Geller, and Ross Harington. 2007. Children Being Tried as Adults: Pre-Trial Detention Law in the U.S., Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice. http://www.campaignforyouthjustice.org/documents/ChildrenBeing.pdf.

Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 130 S.Ct. 2011, 176 L.Ed.2d 825 (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.

Grisso, Thomas, and L.A. Underwood. 2004. Screening and Assessing Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System, A Resource Guide for Practitioners. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Hall, Daron. “Commentary: Jails vs. Prisons.”Commentary

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.

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

Justice v. City of Peachtree City, 961 F.2d 188 (11th Cir. 1992).

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. https://www.ojjdp.gov/about/jjdpa2002titlev.pdf.

MacArthur Foundation Research Network Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice. 2007. “Less Guilty by Reason of Adolescence, Issue Brief 3.” Models for Change: Systems Reform in Juvenile Justice." http://www.adjj.org/downloads/6093issue_brief_3.pdf.

Mahr, Ryan, Warden, Nebraska Correctional Youth Facility. “Admission of Youthful Offenders to Adult Correctional Facilities.” Document provided electronically in response for request. September 11, 2013.

Mashburn v. Yamhill County, 698 F. Supp. 2d 1233, 1238 (D. Or. 2010).

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

Missouri Juvenile Justice Association. “Missouri Law Enforcement; Juvenile Justice Guidelines and Recommended Practices.” https://dps.mo.gov/dir/programs/jj/documents/le-manual-final.pdf.

Moyle v. County of Contra Costa, 2007 WL 4287315 *8, N.D. Cal., (2007).

Murrie, Daniel C., Craig E. Henderson, Gina M. Vincent, Jennifer L. Rockett, and Cynthia Mundt. 2009. “Psychiatric Symptoms Among Juveniles Incarcerated in Adult Prison.” Psychiatric Services 60: 8.

N.G. v. State of Conn., 382 F.3d 225 (2nd Cir. 2004).

National Commission on Correctional Health Care. 2011. Standards for Health Services in Juvenile Detention and Confinement Facilities, Chicago, IL: Author.

National Juvenile Detention Association (currently NPJS). “Definition of Juvenile Detention.” http://npjs.org/detention/.

 

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 2010. “Guidance Manual for Monitoring Facilities Under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002.” http://cyfd.org/docs/OJJPD_Guidance_Manual_2010.pdf.

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

Roper, 543 U.S. at 569, quoting Johnson v. Texas, 509 U.S. 350, 367 (1993).

Smook v. Minnehaha County, 457 F.3d 806 (8th Cir. 2006).

Steinhard, David. 2006. Juvenile Detention Risk Assessment: A Practice Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform. Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation.

T.S. v. Gabbard, 860 F.Supp.2d 384, 392 (E.D.Ky. 2012).

Tandy, Kim, Erin Davis, and Morgan Quigley. 2013. “Strip Searches on Youth in Juvenile and Adult Facilities.” documents prepared September 16, 2013.

Trujillo v. City of Newton, Kan., No. 12-2380-JAR (D. Kan. July 2, 2013).

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2013. “Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.” https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/privacy/laws-regulations/index.html.

U.S. Department of Justice. 2011. “Juvenile Federal Performance-Based Detention Standards Handbook.” Section C.2. https://www.justice.gov/archive/ofdt/juvenile.pdf.

U.S. Department of Justice. 2012. “National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape Under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), Juvenile Facility Standards.” https://www.prearesourcecenter.org/sites/default/files/content/preafinal....

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration. 2009. “Sexually Aggressive/Vulnerable Youth Assessment—SAVY.” http://www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/ms/forms/20_222.pdf.

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

 

Endnotes


[1] National Juvenile Detention Association, “Definition of Juvenile Detention,” Revised October 14, 2007.

[2] American Correctional Association, Standards for Juvenile Detention Facilities, 3rd Edition, (1991:97) Based on Standard 3–JDF–5A–02.

[3] David Steinhard, “Juvenile Detention Risk Assessment: A Practice Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform,” Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, (Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2006): 7.

[4] For examples of screening and assessment instruments, see T. Grisso and L.A. Underwood, “Screening and Assessing Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System, A Resource Guide for Practitioners,” (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, December 2004): 16–18.

[5] American Correctional Association, Guidelines for the Development of Policies and Procedures: Juvenile Detention Facilities,” (January,1992a,) (Laurel, MD: 1992): 56.

[6] Ibid., 57.

[7] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.”

[8] T. Grisso and L.A. Underwood, “Screening and Assessing Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System, A Resource Guide for Practitioners,” (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, December 2004): 2.

[9] Ibid., 16–18.

[10] Ibid., 2.

[11] Lindsay M. Hayes, Juvenile Suicide in Confinement: A National Survey, (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2009): 30.

[12] U.S. Department of Justice, “National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape Under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), Juvenile Facility Standards,” May 17, 2012.

[13] Ibid.

[14] See for example, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, “Sexually Aggressive/Vulnerable Youth Assessment—SAVY,” 2009.

[15] James Austin, Kelly Dedel Johnson, and Ronald Weitzer, Alternatives to the Secure Detention and Confinement of Juveniles, (Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2005).

[16] Kim Tandy, Erin Davis, and Morgan Quigley, “Strip Searches on Youth in Juvenile and Adult Facilities,” documents prepared September 16, 2013.

[17] National Commission on Correctional Health Care, Standards for Health Services in Juvenile Detention and Confinement Facilities, (Chicago, IL: 2011): 137–138.

[18] Hayes, Juvenile Suicide in Confinement, 30.

[19] American Correctional Association, Performance-Based Standards for Juvenile Correctional Facilities, 4th Edition, (Alexandria, VA: Author, 2009): 122, Based on Standard 4–JCF–5A–01.

[20] Tandy, Davis, and Quigley, “Strip Searches on Youth,” 1–2.

[21] Grisso and Underwood, “Screening and Assessing Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders,” 2.

[22] American Correctional Association, Performance-Based Standards for Juvenile Correctional Facilities, 123, Standard 4-JTC-5A-02.

[23] U.S. Department of Justice, “National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape Under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), Juvenile Facility Standards,” May 17, 2012, 115.341 and 115.42.

[24] American Correctional Association, Performance-Based Standards for Juvenile Correctional Facilities 123, Standard 4-JTC-5A-03.

[25] American Correctional Association, Performance-Based Standards for Juvenile Correctional Facilities 123, Standard 4-JTC-5A-02.

[26] American Correctional Association, Standards for Juvenile Training Schools, 3rd Edition, (Lanham, MD: January 1991) 38, Standard 8-JTS-2C-01.

[27] American Correctional Association, Core Jail Standards, Standard 1-CORE-2a-19, (Alexandria, VA: 2010): 17.

[28] Jason Zeidenberg, “You’re An Adult Now: Youth in Adult Criminal Justice Systems,” (Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections, December 2011): 3.

[29] Sarah Alice Brown, “Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation: 2001-2011,” (Denver, CO: National Conference of State Legislatures, June 2012) 4.

[30] Zeidenberg, “You’re An Adult Now,” 3.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid., 9–10.

[33] Melissa Goemann, Tracey Evans, Eileen Geller, and Ross Harington, “Children Being Tried as Adults: Pre-Trial Detention Law in the U.S.,” (Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice, 2007): 13–19.

[34] American Correctional Association, Performance-Based Standards for Adult Local Detention Facilities, 20.

[35] Maggie Dickson, “Juvenile Incarceration Procedure,” 2013.

[36] National Commission on Correctional Health Care, Standards for Health Services in Juvenile Detention and Confinement Facilities, (Chicago, IL: Author, 2011): 137–138, Standard Y-l-03.

[37] Grisso and Underwood, “Screening and Assessing Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders,” 2.

[38] Ibid., 16–18.

[39] Ibid., 2.

[40] U.S. Department of Justice, “National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape,” 115.41 and 115.42.

[41] Austin, Johnson, and Weitzer, Alternatives to the Secure Detention and Confinement of Juveniles.

[42] Zeidenberg, “You’re An Adult Now,” 9.

[43] Ibid., 10.

[44] U.S. Department of Justice, “National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape,” 115.43.

[45] Dickson, “Juvenile Incarceration Procedure.”

[46] American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch, Growing Up Locked Down: Youth in Solitary Confinement in Jails and Prisons in the United States.

[47] Hayes, Juvenile Suicide in Confinement, 30.

[48] MacArthur Foundation Research Network Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice, “Less Guilty by Reason of Adolescence, Issue Brief 3,” Models for Change: Systems Reform in Juvenile Justice: 3.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Zeidenberg, “You’re An Adult Now,” 19.

[51] American Corrections Association, “Public Correctional Policy on Youthful Offenders Transferred to Adult Criminal Jurisdiction” states: “The American Correctional Association supports separate housing and special programming for youths under the age of majority who are transferred or sentenced to adult criminal jurisdiction.”

[52] Ryan Mahr, Warden, Nebraska Correctional Youth Facility, “Admission of Youthful Offenders to Adult Correctional Facilities,” 2013.

[53] Randy Crawford, Information provided regarding Admission and Intake, Indiana Department of Corrections, 2013.

[54] U.S. Department of Justice, “National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape Under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), Juvenile Facility Standards,” 115.14(a).

[55] U.S. Department of Justice, “National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape Under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), Juvenile Facility Standards,” 115.341 and 115.42.

[56] Ibid., 16–18.

[57] Ibid., 2.

[58] American Correctional Association, Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions, 4-ACI-4-4371.

[59] U.S. Department of Justice, “National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape Under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), Juvenile Facility Standards,” 115.41 and 115.42.

[60] American Correctional Association, Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions, 4-ACI–4-4307.

[61] American Correctional Association, Standards for Adult Correctional Institutions, 4-ACI-4-4309.

[62] J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 131 S.Ct. 2394 (2011).

[63] See generally Miller v. Alabama, __ U.S. __, 132 S.Ct. 245, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012) (holding that youth under 18 cannot be sentenced to mandatory life without the possibility of parole); Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551, 125 S.Ct. 1183, 161 L.Ed.2d 1 (2005) (finding the death penalty unconstitutional for youth under 18); and Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 130 S.Ct. 2011, 176 L.Ed.2d 825 (2010) (prohibiting youth from receiving life without parole sentences for non-homicide offenses).

[64] Roper, 543 U.S. at 569 (quoting Johnson v. Texas, 509 U.S. 350, 367 (1993)).

[65] Mashburn v. Yamhill County, 698 F. Supp. 2d 1233, 1238 (D. Or. 2010).

[66] Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 599 (1979).

[67] Mashburn v. Yamhill County, 698 F.Supp.2d 1233, at 1242.

[68] Moyle v. County of Contra Costa, 2007 WL 4287315 *8, N.D. Cal., (Dec. 5, 2007).

[69] Ibid., at *8.

[70] T.S. v. Gabbard, 860 F.Supp.2d 384, 392 (E.D.Ky. 2012), pending final decision in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

[71] Ibid.

[72] Justice v. City of Peachtree City, 961 F.2d 188 (11th Cir. 1992).

[73] N.G. v. State of Conn., 382 F.3d 225 (2nd Cir. 2004).

[74] Smook v. Minnehaha County, 457 F.3d 806 (8th Cir. 2006).

[75] Mashburn at p. 1245 (D. Or. 2010).

[76] U.S. Department of Justice, Juvenile Federal Performance-Based Detention Standards Handbook, Section C.2 (2011).

[77] Ibid.

[78] U.S. Department of Justice, “National Standards to Prevent, Detect, 115.315(a).

[79] Ibid., at (b).

[80] Ibid., at (c).

[81] Ibid., at (e).

[82] Ibid., at (f).

[83] Title 15, Minimum Standards for Juvenile Facilities, Division 1, Chapter 1, Subchapter 5 (2007 Regulations), (also states that “searches shall not be conducted for harassment or as a form of discipline”), http://www.bscc.ca.gov/downloads/Juvenile_Title_15_Strike_Out_Underline_...; See also, “Oregon Juvenile Detention Facility Guidelines” – 4th Edition; February 2012, Section 5: Youth Rights – “Protection from Harm,” ORS 169.760 (“Juvenile detention facilities shall have established comprehensive written policies providing for the least restrictive alternative consistent with the safety and security of the facility…”), http://library.state.or.us/repository/2012/201202091528374/index.pdf.

[84] See, Social Services; Juvenile Justice: New Mexico Juvenile Detention Standards – Title 8; Chapter 14; Part 14. 8.14.14.14, Security, Staffing, and Control, http://164.64.110.239/nmac/parts/title08/08.014.0014.htm.; Kentucky Administrative Regulations; Title 505; Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Department of Juvenile Justice, 505 KAR 2:060. Security and Control, Section 1 (18) (a), http://www.lrc.ky.gov/kar/505/002/060.htm.; Indiana, Security and Control: 210 IAC 6-3-3.142, http://www.youthlawteam.org/files/Indiana%20Juvenile%20Detention%20Standards%202003.pdf.

[85] Missouri Law Enforcement; Juvenile Justice Guidelines and Recommended Practices – Revised 2012, Chapter 2 – Delinquent Offenses Recommended Practices: Issues Relating to Custody, https://dps.mo.gov/dir/programs/jj/documents/le-manual-final.pdf, accessed February 25, 2014; See also, Social Services; Juvenile Justice: New Mexico Juvenile Detention Standards, 8.14.14.14 (C); and, Kentucky Administrative Regulations; 505 KAR 2:060 (1) (18) (c).

[86] Zeidenberg, “You’re An Adult Now,” 2.

[87] 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).

[88] Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 42 U.S.C. 5633(a)(13).  

[89] For example, Ohio law provides that youth may be subject to juvenile court jurisdiction until the youth turns 21. However, a youth who has a juvenile court disposition that lasts beyond the youth’s 18th birthday can be placed in an adult jail once a youth turns 18 for violating the terms of their disposition.

[90] Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, 132 S. Ct. 1510, 1526 (2012).

[91] Campaign for Youth Justice, Jailing Juveniles, (Washington, DC: November, 2007): 13.

[92] Allen Beck and Candace Johnson, National Former Prisoner Survey, 2008: Sexual Victimization Reported by Former State Prisoners, 2008, (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2012)

[94] Daniel C. Murrie, Craig E. Henderson, Gina M. Vincent, Jennifer L. Rockett, and Cynthia Mundt, “Psychiatric Symptoms Among Juveniles Incarcerated in Adult Prison,” (Psychiatric Services 60, no. 8., 2009).

[95] Florence at 1512.

[96] Ibid., 1523–1524.

[97] OJJDP, Guidance Manual for Monitoring Facilities Under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002, (Washington, DC: October, 2010): 13–16.

[98] Ibid., 23–24.

[99] 28 CFR Part 115 (2012), see also U.S. Department of Justice, National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape: Executive Summary, 4–5, https://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/programs/pdfs/prea_executive_summary.pdf.; Campaign for Youth Justice, Fact Sheet - No Excuses: The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).

[100] Ibid.

[101] Daron Hall (Sheriff, Davidson County), Commentary: Jails vs. Prisons.

[102] Ibid.

[103] Trujillo v. City of Newton, Kan., No. 12-2380-JAR (D. Kan. July 2, 2013) (emphasis added).

[104] Compare Trujillo v. City of Newton, Kan., No. 12-2380-JAR (D. Kan. July 2, 2013) (“[T]he strip search was sufficiently based upon . . . reasonable suspicion that Plaintiff had concealed drugs . . . .”), with Justice v. City of Peachtree City, 961 F.2d 188, 193 (11th Cir. 1992) (“[O]fficers may conduct a strip search of a juvenile in custody . . . based upon reasonable suspicion to believe that the juvenile is concealing weapons or contraband.”).