An Implementation Guide for
Juvenile Holdover Programs
Executive Summary


What is it? Who needs it? What does it do? These questions are often asked of any new program, An Implementation Guide for Juvenile Holdover Programs not only answers these questions but also provides a step-by-step strategic planning process for the development or enhancement of juvenile holdover program(s).

A juvenile holdover program (JHP) is both an old and a new concept. When the actions of a youth bring him or her to the attention of authority agencies, it is incumbent upon those agencies to exercise appropriate control over the youth until return to a parent or guardian is accomplished.

The old concept—the creativity of law enforcement officers, social workers, and probation officers has always been called upon to decide what to do with a juvenile in need of a safe, and perhaps secure, place to wait until a parent can be located or while the system mobilizes to respond to the needs of a child or youth. Adolescent youth have slept on office floors; they have ridden for hours in the back seat of squad cars. They have gone to a sheriff’s home where a warm meal was prepared and blankets were put on the couch in the family room. It is necessary to find a location where the youth will be safe and supervised.

The new concept is a community-based program providing short-term, temporary holding for juveniles, status or delinquent, which can be called upon when the need arises. Customized to meet the needs of the local community it serves, a juvenile holdover program can be staffed by community volunteers or paid staff; administered by law enforcement, juvenile court, juvenile probation, or a not-for-profit organization. A juvenile holdover program can be located in a secure, nonsecure, or a combination secure/nonsecure setting that is capable of providing complete care of, and observation of, a youth while he or she is assigned to the program. A juvenile holdover program can:

The Implementation Guide was designed and developed by staff and consultants from the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA). Funding for this project was provided through a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). This manual draws on the ideas and experiences of many who work in juvenile holdover programs across the nation.

What Now?
It was Friday night... actually it was 1:45 AM. early Saturday morning. David, a 15 year- old who lives in a small town with a population of about 1,500, was driving his father’s car and was stopped by the only police officer on duty in the community. The car’s headlights were not turned on and David was driving erratically. The officer suspected that David had been drinking. When tested with the officer’s preliminary breath tester, David blew a 0.07. His blood alcohol content (BAC) was below the presumptive level of 0.08 for driving under the influence (DUI) in this state, but the presence of any alcohol in the system of a 15 year-old was a violation pf the State’s “ Zero Tolerance” law. In addition, David did not have a valid driver’s license and he was out past curfew. He was cited for all three violations, the car was secured and a tow was ordered. The officer talked with David who was now seated in the rear of the squad car. He told the officer that he had been at a party and acknowledged that he had been drinking beer. David revealed that he had been drinking a lot lately. He stated that his parents were out of town for the weekend and could not be reached by phone. He was to be alone at home until late Sunday night and had no other relatives living in this community. The officer had no on-duty backup and there were five more hours left on his shift. There was no safe place to drop David off, and department policy forbid having the youth ride in the squad car for the remainder of the shift. The nearest emergency shelter facility for youth would be a 3-hour round trip. Driving there would take up most of the time left on the officer’s shift. The only option was to return to police headquarters and wait with David until morning. Then arrangements could be made to locate his parents or to find a place for David to stay for the rest of the weekend. It was Friday night and because of one juvenile who was drinking alcohol underage and driving while impaired, police coverage was not available for the community for the rest of the night.

Problems Facing Communities

Juvenile holdover programs have been developed in response to one or more problems confronting a particular jurisdiction. The reasons for implementing a juvenile holdover program should be defined by each community, but generally, the problems have included:

Dealing with juvenile crime is a significant portion of the activity of the justice system in all communities. Juveniles often present needs and problems that must be handled differently from those of adults. Communities have been required to develop appropriate responses and often separate resources for juveniles. For example, in most communities juveniles cannot be held in the same detention or residential facilities as adults, even if the same level of intervention is required. Having to provide custody and care for a juvenile creates a different set of needs and require-ments to which a jurisdiction must be prepared to respond.

Juvenile Crime
While serious juvenile crime is decreasing, the kinds of juvenile behavior that are most likely to lead to placement in a juvenile holdover program are increasing. Juvenile arrests for curfew and loitering violations increased 178 percent between 1989 and 1998. In 1998, 27 percent of curfew arrests involved juveniles under the age of 15, and 30 percent involved females. In 1998, 58 percent of arrests for running away from home involved females and 40 percent involved juveniles under age 15. Arrests of juveniles driving under the influence increased by 13 percent and liquor law violations increased by 10 percent from 1994 to 1998 (Snyder, 1999).

Underage drinking and impaired driving by young people are realities in our communities. While the rates of juvenile alcohol consumption are high, the arrest rates for youthful impaired drivers are significantly lower than comparable rates for adults. It is generally accepted that officers hesitate arresting youth for underage drinking or impaired driving, simply because of the lack of appropriate alternatives. Motor vehicle crashes are one of the tragic outcomes of impaired driving by juveniles. In 1999, over 9,000 people died in crashes involving a young driver. Too often these crashes result in death or injury to the youth involved, and to innocent victims (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2001). These crashes are both predictable and preventable.

Two efforts aimed at preventing and reducing the number of youth involved in motor vehicle fatalities include: 1) the establishment of laws increasing the minimum drinking age to 21, and 2) the enactment of zero tolerance laws. These laws make it illegal for persons under 21 to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in their bloodstream. However, in order for these legislative initiatives to achieve their maximum level of effectiveness, communities must have the mechanisms and resources in place to ensure that they are enforced.

Placing a juvenile into custody is often a much more arduous task for law enforcement officers than placing an adult in custody. A separate set of statutes must be referenced and followed. Case processing procedures are often more complex and restrictive when young people are involved. Many jurisdictions have limited resources available for the placement of children or adolescents who require short-term supervision or a place to begin assessing their needs. Sometimes these deficits in resources or options discourage aggressive enforcement of laws, including efforts to keep teens from drinking alcohol and driving while impaired.

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974
A further challenge faced is complying with core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974, as amended. In part, the Act requires that juveniles be separated by sight and sound from adult offenders when placed in custody. A 1980 amendment to the JJDP Act added a jail removal requirement that all juveniles who may be subject to the original jurisdiction of the juvenile court based on age and offense limitations established by State law cannot be held in jails and law enforcement lockups in which adults may be detained or confined. In order to receive federal funding made available under this Act, states must comply with these requirements (Roush, 1996). As a result, states and local jurisdictions are under pressure to develop new responses, but in many cases alternative arrangements to replace old practices have never been effectively designed and implemented (Roush, 1996).

Rural Needs
Geographically, most of the United States can still be described as non-urban. Population density is low and resources are few. There are many situations when law enforcement officers, social workers, juvenile courts, or probation officers need a safe place for a juvenile to be held for a short period of time, but the only available site may be hundreds of miles away. In addition, for some jurisdictions this may mean that the only on-duty law enforcement officer is now effectively off-duty while he or she is driving to and returning from a facility. In many situations, the youth will need to be returned to the local jurisdiction for a court hearing or other case processing activities within just a few hours, thus increasing the number of trips that need to be made. Such situations often require overtime pay to officers whose shifts are extended by these activities or who are called in specifically for transportation duties. Most budgets of smaller jurisdictions are not able to absorb such costs, and these additional expenses may result in reductions in other areas of service.

In some locations, juvenile detention and shelter care facilities may be too small, over-crowded, or used to hold youth who do not need secure detention. Many youth need a safe place to be held or supervised but do not meet detention requirements for a locked or secure setting: they are not an immediate risk to themselves or others and do not present an undue risk of failure to appear for a subsequent court function. Placing a youth in an expensive secure juvenile detention facility when only a short-term holding program or an intermediate level of security is needed creates significant and unnecessary costs.

Crowding of Juvenile Detention Centers
Of the many troubling facts about pretrial juvenile detention, perhaps the most disturbing one is that many incarcerated youth should not be there at all. These are youth who pose little risk of committing a new offense before their court date or failing to appear for court – the two authorized purposes of juvenile detention. “When you talk to judges, prosecutors, or anyone involved in the juvenile justice system,” says Bart Lubow, senior associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, “many of them say things like, ‘We locked him up for his own good,’ Or, ‘We locked him up to get a mental health assessment.’ None of these reasons are reflected in statute or professional standards.”
(Rust, 1999, p.1)

The primary purpose of An Implementation Guide for Juvenile Holdover Programs is to provide juvenile justice and community agencies with a framework that will assist them in planning, developing, implementing, and enhancing juvenile holdover programs within their jurisdictions. No one model is being endorsed. Rather, the manual presents a framework for designing a basic juvenile holdover program, and outlines a step-by-step process to guide planners through each stage of program development.

An Implementation Guide for Juvenile Holdover Programs is divided into ten chapters that provide the reader with descriptive scenarios, theory, practical information and examples from existing juvenile holdover programs. Chapter 9 contains actual activities for the reader regarding strategic planning and program design for the development and/or enhancement of a juvenile holdover program. In addition, a compact disk available with the Guide includes sample forms located in the appendix of the manual. The chapters and key headings of the manual include:

Chapter 1 – Overview of Juvenile Holdover Programs

Chapter 2 – Beginning the Planning Process: Defining the Problem

Chapter 3 Strategic Planning: Developing a Framework

Chapter 4 - Legal Issues

Chapter 5 – Defining a Target Population and Establishing an Admission Process

Chapter 6 – Program Design and Operations

Chapter 7 - Site and Facility Issues

Chapter 8 – Staffing and Staff training

Chapter 9 – Assuring Your Success

Chapter 10 – Celebrating your Success

Juvenile holdover programs provide a unique opportunity for juvenile justice agencies and the community to participate in the development of a community-based, short-term, temporary holding program for youth who do not require secure detention. An Implementation Guide for Juvenile Holdover Programs provides a format for each program to clearly identify its key program components, administrative options and the systemic rela-tionships that will provide the foundation for its unique program design. The formulation of a program purpose, goals, and objectives tangible outcomes of the strategic planning process. The intent of this manual is to pro-vide program planners with theory as well as tools to assist with the design, planning, and implementation process. Additional assistance is provided in the appendices of the manual, which contain a listing of identified juvenile holdover programs, a matrix identifying the elements of the identified programs, examples of assessment instruments and sample forms for juvenile holdover programs. The sample forms for juvenile holdover programs are also provided on an accompanying compact disk.

National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration. (2001). 1999 Youth Fatal Crash and Alcohol Facts. Washington, DC: Author.

Roush, D. W. (1996, October). Desktop Guide to Good Juvenile Detention Practice. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Rust, B. (1999, Fall/Winter). Juvenile jailhouse rocked: Reforming detention in Chicago, Portland, and Sacramento. Advocasey. Baltimore: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Snyder, H. N. (1999, December). Juvenile arrests 1998. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

For additional information regarding juvenile holdover programs, or if you would like to be placed on the mailing list to receive a copy of An Implementation Guide for Juvenile Holdover Programs, please contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), or:

Karen L. Dunlap
Research Associate
American Probation and Parole Association
PO Box 11910
Lexington, KY 40511
Phone: (859) 244-8211
Fax: (859) 244-8001

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
American Probation and Parole Association
American Probation and Parole Association
c/o Council of State Governments
2760 Research Park Drive
Lexington, KY 40578-1910The research conducted for this Executive Summary was supported under award DTNH22-97-G-05084
from the Department of Transportation/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Impaired Driving Division.
This Executive Summary was prepared in cooperation with the Council of State Governments who provides project staff and secretariat services to the American Probation and Parole Association.
Points of view in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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