What is it? Who needs it? What can it do? These questions are often asked of any new program, and for the purposes of this manual the questions apply specifically to juvenile holdover programs. A juvenile holdover program (JHP) is both an old and a new concept. 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 sheriffs home where a warm meal was prepared and blankets were put on the couch in the family room. The new concept communities have developed a variety of different responses to meet the need for a short-term, temporary holding program for juveniles that can be called upon when the need arises.
When viewed from a national perspective, juvenile holdover programs are multifaceted. In general, however, they are short-term, temporary holding programs for youth that can be located in either a secure, nonsecure, or a combination secure/nonsecure setting. A juvenile holdover program is capable of providing complete care to and observation of a youth while he or she is assigned to the program and can be designed to meet the needs of the local community it serves.
A juvenile holdover program can:
By the conclusion of this chapter, readers will be able to:
It was Friday night... actually it was 1:45 a.m. early Saturday morning. David, a 15-year-old who lives in a small town with a population of about 1,500, was driving his fathers car and was stopped by the only police officer on duty in the community. The cars headlights were not turned on and David was driving erratically. The officer suspected that David had been drinking. When tested with the officers preliminary breath tester, David blew a 0.07. His blood alcohol content (BAC) was below the legal level of 0.08 for driving under the influence (DUI) in this state, but it is a zero tolerance jurisdiction, meaning that the presence of any alcohol in the system of a 15-year-old was a violation. In addition, David did not have a valid drivers 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 officers shift. The only option was to return to police headquarters and wait with David until morning. Then arrangements can 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 and driving while impaired, police coverage was not available for the community for the rest of the night.
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:
Juvenile crime is a significant portion of the activity of the justice system in all communities. Often, juveniles 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. The need for separate responses and resources often presents a mixture of criminal issues and unmet needs that call upon the expertise of the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. For example, most 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 requirements to which a jurisdiction must be prepared to respond.
While serious juvenile crime is decreasing, the kinds of juvenile behavior that are most likely to lead to placement in a juvenile holdover program is 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 also are a 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. Motor vehicle crashes are one of the tragic outcomes of impaired driving by juveniles. Too often these crashes result in death or injury to the youth involved, and to innocent victims (National Traffic Safety Administration, 2000). 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 make it illegal for persons under the legal drinking age 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. Case processing procedures are often more complex and restrictive when young people are involved. Many jurisdictions have limited or no options or resources available for the placement of children or young adults 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 and from drinking and driving.
A further challenge faced, especially by nonurban jurisdictions, is related to 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. In some situations, alternative arrangements to replace old practices have been developed. In many situations, prior practices were halted, but new means to respond to the created needs have never been effectively designed and implemented (Roush, 1996). A copy of the relevant sections of the JJDP Act are included in appendix B.
Geographically, most of the United States can still be described as nonurban. Population density is low and resources are few and, literally, far between. 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, overcrowded, 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 (see Figure 1-1). 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 unnecessary costs.
Source: Juvenile Jailhouse Rocked: Reforming Detention in Chicago, Portland, and Sacramento (Rust, 1999, p. 1)
Created By Utilizing Juvenile Holdover Programs As A Response To The Identified
As stated previously, a juvenile holdover program provides jurisdictions with a safe, short-term place for a youth to be held for a number of valid purposes. In addition to providing basic care and custody, juvenile holdover programs can be designed to provide immediate, round-the-clock screening, crisis intervention, and referral for youth placed in their care. All juvenile holdover programs should have trained staff and/or volunteers who can assess and respond to the needs of the youth who are in their custody. Once a youth is admitted to the program, supervision will occur through face-to-face contact with the possible utilization of some electronic surveillance technology. Direct interaction between the juvenile and a trained caring adult is an absolute requirement for any quality program.
Juvenile holdover programs provide jurisdictions with a promising, cost-effective strategy to fill the gap in the continuum of predispositional services available for detained youth. In addition, juvenile holdover programs provide a safe place for youth to reside until other plans for their care can be developed and implemented. Overcrowding and inappropriate use of secure juvenile detention facilities can be reduced by the presence of this type of alternative option. The potential for violating JJDP Act core requirements also is reduced significantly.
Juvenile holdover programs are much less expensive to establish and operate than traditional secure facilities. Traditional secure juvenile detention is expensive. As a Nation, U.S. taxpayers are spending more than $800 million annually to operate secure detention facilities. Those amounts do not include new construction, capital costs, and debt service for constructing and remodeling detention centers (Annie E. Casey Foundation, 1997). Cost-effective services for many youth can be developed closer to home with many more opportunities for family and community involvement.
A short-term holding placement, even one of a brief duration, can provide a screening opportunity to determine the appropriate security level for detention placement, if required, and to complete an assessment to identify the kinds of needs and the severity of problems presented by a particular juvenile. Screening and assessment can provide valuable information that can result in a more relevant and effective plan for a youth. A calm, safe place in which to undertake this process often yields much more complete and accurate information.
The over-representation of minorities in detention facilities is often reflective of an overall lack of programs designed to be culturally specific and provide a culturally sensitive environment within a particular jurisdiction. Often, this lack of alternative resources leads to the perceived need to utilize the only residential holding alternative that may be available a secure detention facility. A juvenile holdover program is relatively easy to implement and can be specifically designed to be responsive to the multicultural needs of a community. Juvenile holdover programs allow a community to address these concerns due to their flexibility of design and the relatively small scale of their services. Community ownership of a holdover program is often much easier to achieve than ownership of a fortress-like secure juvenile detention facility.
Juvenile Holdover Programs Are Funded and Administered
Some States have State-level agencies that offer administrative oversight and guidelines to local juvenile holdover programs. An example is the Minnesota Department of Corrections Detention Alternative Subsidy Program. It is funded by the State legislature and provides reimbursement to jurisdictions for approved operating expenses for 24-hour nonsecure and 8-day secure temporary juvenile holdover programs. To be eligible for reimbursement, the State has established specific guidelines or standards that programs must meet. However, Minnesota does allow local jurisdictions a certain level of flexibility to tailor the programs to local needs and resources. For example, the type of entity that operates the program, or where the program is located may vary from county to county or from community to community.
Other States may have juvenile holdover programs that are administered and overseen by county or local level agencies. Local jurisdictions may operate holdover programs without financial support or official oversight by a State agency. Funding comes from the budgets of local entities that may include local tax revenues or funds raised through direct charitable appeals to the public by the entities themselves or by coalitions such as the United Way. Some are funded, at least initially, by grants from government or private foundation sources. Types of entities that operate and administer juvenile holdover programs on the community level include (APPA, 1999):
Additional information on funding considerations are provided in chapter 2, Beginning the Planning Process: Defining the Problem.
of Juvenile Holdover Programs
Juvenile holdover programs offer an alternative to the use of traditional juvenile detention, jails, or lockups when such facilities are inappropriate, unnecessary, or unavailable. There are three primary classifications for juvenile holdover programs:
These classifications are based strictly on the physical structure or capability of the program. The following provides a brief description of each classification.
A juvenile holdover program classified as secure refers to those in which youth cannot leave the facility or program at will. Either the room or the cell in which they are placed is locked and/or the door of the facility is locked so that persons cannot enter or leave the building without clearance.
Length of stay and program design are the variables that distinguish a secure juvenile holdover program from a traditional secure juvenile detention center. The length of stay in a secure holdover is usually limited to 24 hours or less, although, in some locations, it may be extended to several days and be designed to provide short-term programming. In comparison, a juvenile detention facility is designed to provide both short and/or long-term programming dependent upon the length of stay. Juvenile detention facilities also include construction features designed to restrict the movements and activities of persons in custody such as locked rooms and building, fences, or other features.
A nonsecure juvenile holdover program is one in which youth physically are able to leave the facility or building at will. If a youth wants or tries to leave, some holdovers will allow a young person to do so without interference. Other holdover programs are designated as staff secure, and program staff incorporate a wide range of interventions to discourage youth from leaving.
A combination secure/nonsecure juvenile holdover is a program that has the ability to either be secure or nonsecure depending upon the risk level of the youth. For example, a room could be unlocked for nonsecure placements and the same room could be locked if more security were required for a youth that was a higher risk. A combination program could also offer both secure or nonsecure security levels in one location. The youth would complete the intake process for the holdover program and, depending on the risk level determined through a classification process, enter the appropriate program security level.
of a Juvenile Holdover Program
The primary focus of this manual is to provide the reader with the key elements of a basic juvenile holdover program. A basic juvenile holdover program is defined as a short-term holding program including a meal, a bed, and staff or a trained volunteer to keep the youth safe through constant supervision. There are almost unlimited program options that can be added to the basic juvenile holdover design to provide more comprehensive or enhanced services to the youth, family, and the community. For example, formal psychological testing on youth in custody is beyond the basic design for a juvenile holdover program. However, such testing could be provided if it was a priority of those planning the program and if the funding and professional resources to accomplish it could be obtained.
It is recognized that juvenile holdover programs vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The classification system previously noted and the key elements listed below provide a framework for the development of a basic juvenile hold-over program. When operationalized, each jurisdiction can customize its design according to local needs, priorities, objectives, and available facilities and resources. However, some principles are essential to a sound design in any setting and context.
Integration into a network of services for youth. A juvenile holdover program is not a stand-alone program. It must be connected in meaningful ways to the other components of the juvenile justice and child welfare service delivery systems in a community. A juvenile holdover should be part of a continuum of detention services available to every community providing a least restrictive alternative to a longer term placement in a secure juvenile detention facility.
Short-term alternative. A juvenile holdover program should a short-term placement for juveniles. Many house youth for 24 hours or less, although weekends and holidays may extend that time. Some enhanced holdover programs plan to hold a youth for several days if necessary. It would be the exception to find a holdover program that provides services to a particular youth for a week or more.
Easily accessible. Juvenile holdover programs need to have the ability to provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Services must be available on relatively short notice. The physical site needs to be easily accessible for those bringing youth into custody and for staff and/or volunteers providing supervision. A juvenile holdover program should be located in a safe area that is not isolated and back-up services that may be needed, such as medical care, should be nearby.
Trained staff. Anyone providing supervision to youth in a holdover program must be well trained through a carefully designed, comprehensive curriculum (e.g., preservice and in-service training).
Able to respond to a youths immediate needs. A juvenile holdover program must first make a juvenile feel safe and then have his or her basic needs met. Staff must be skilled in addressing the youths anxieties and apprehensions while recognizing what is of immediate importance to the youth and responding to the youths priorities. Staff must be able to recognize when behavior is driven by fear and a sense of loss of control rather than by a defiant display of disrespect or aggression.
Able to provide comfortable facilities with minimum services for an overnight stay. Juvenile holdover programs provide meals for youth in their care, as well as a bed, shower, and restroom facilities, with careful attention paid to appropriate privacy and gender-specific needs. The places in which juvenile holdover programs are located or provided include jails (when there is sight and sound separation), separate areas in juvenile detention facilities, administrative areas of the local police station or sheriffs office, church basements, rooms or lobby areas of social service agencies and nonprofit organizations, and even hotel rooms. A juvenile holdover program may be a separate entity, or it may be a component of another agencys program such as an intake and assessment center or juvenile probation office.
Ability to respond to and de-escalate the immediate situation if necessary (crisis intervention). Juvenile holdover staff and volunteers need to have the necessary skills to intervene in behavioral and/or emotional problems presenting an immediate threat to the youth or in family conflicts.
Screening and assessment capacity. Juvenile holdover staff and volunteers must be able to determine the general needs and risks presented by a youth admitted to the program and be prepared to respond to those that require immediate attention such as a suicide risk, medical concerns, and child abuse or neglect.
Referral expertise. Staff and volunteers of the program must be knowledgeable about available community resources and procedures to refer youth and their families for services when needed.
Ability to coordinate post-release services to the youth and family. If youth are to be involved with formal activities such as court hearings after they leave the juvenile holdover program, staff or volunteers should be able to provide appropriate information or needed assistance to youths and families concerning the next step. The juvenile holdover program staff and volunteers also should provide needed and appropriate information to the entity to which the youth has been referred, such as county attorney, social services, juvenile court, and juvenile probation.
Program evaluation design. Each program should have a plan and procedures in place to conduct both a process and an outcome evaluation. The process evaluation will provide ongoing feedback regarding operational issues and the outcome evaluation will assist the program to determine how effectively it is meeting its goals and accomplishing its stated objectives. Chapter 3, Strategic Planning, will provide additional information on program evaluations.
of Detention Services
There are many terms that are related to and often confused with the concept of juvenile holdover programs. Below are several definitions that are intended to clearly explain what the term juvenile holdover program means when it is used in the manual. The definitions differentiate a juvenile holdover program from other related program options in a continuum of detention and emergency child care resources.
Law Enforcement Street Diversion: Community policing is an organizational philosophy and management approach that promotes community and police partnerships, proactive problem solving, and community engagement to address the causes of crime (Cochran and McDevitt, 1988). Street diversion reflects the discretion of the officer on the scene to make many decisions. She or he can talk with the youth or escort the youth home and meet immediately with the parents. Many officers know the resources of the community and will often offer suggestions to youth and families regarding programs that may help them. Often officers will follow up to determine if things have improved and if the resources suggested have been helpful. Most youth with whom an officer interacts are not detained or charged. This reflects community policing in practice.
Attendant Care: This term describes a form of interim care provided by one-to-one adult supervision of a youth in a location commonly used for other ongoing functions, such as a public safety building. The term attendant care is often used interchangeably with the term juvenile holdover program.
Emergency Shelter Care/Foster Home:This is a short-term, short notice resource for juveniles who need a safe place to stay while immediate issues impacting their lives are resolved. In larger jurisdictions, this may be a residential facility, or a part of one, operated specifically for this purpose. In many jurisdictions, a roster of trained foster parents is available on short notice to take in such youth.
Electronic Home Monitoring: Electronic monitoring technology, with special conditions of release, can be utilized as an alternative to detention or to assist in the supervision of youth from a remote location. One such technology places a transmitter on the body of a detainee that transmits a signal to a receiver located in the home. If the individual wearing the transmitter moves farther away from the receiver than is allowed, or attempts to tamper with the equipment, monitoring authorities will be alerted that the individual has violated the terms of the release. Those responsible for the program then respond to the violation according to their policy and protocols. Another technological option is voice recognition equipment that calls the youth on the telephone at random or programmed intervals and asks the individual who is being monitored to repeat specific words. Those responses are then compared to baseline responses stored in the computer. If the two do not match, indicating that someone other than the person who created the baseline tape is responding, an alert is sent to the agency requesting the monitoring.
Assessment Center: This is a facility or process where youth at risk for deeper penetration into the juvenile justice, child welfare, or mental health systems are screened and assessed on several dimensions. Usually included in the screening and assessment are the risk for additional offending behaviors, mental health needs, physical health needs, drug and alcohol abuse, educational functioning, and family functioning. The outcomes of these assessments are then maintained in a database and passed on to parents and those with system responsibilities so that more relevant and effective plans can be developed and a duplication of efforts can be minimized.
Juvenile Detention Center: This is a short- or long-term placement for juveniles in a locked facility pending disposition of charges. It is created to serve two specific purposes; to assure that youth appear in court at the proper time, and to protect the community by minimizing delinquent acts while their cases are being processed.
Regarding Potential Problems and Unanticipated Outcomes
There are several problems that can arise during the planning, implementation, and operation of a juvenile holdover program.
Failure to involve all the necessary parties in the planning process. A successful holdover program is a collaborative effort involving multiple stakeholders in a community. All partners must feel they have had a meaningful role in the planning process. Chapter 2, Beginning the Planning Process, will provide more information on stakeholder involvement.
Failure to clearly define the target population. Without a clear definition of an appropriate target population, many conflicts can emerge. Youth may be placed in a program that is not designed to meet their needs. Conflicts and friction may emerge between those controlling intake decisions and those making referrals. This has the potential to undermine the entire program. Chapter 5, Identifying an Appropriate Target Population, will provide more information on establishing a target population.
An initial program design that is rigid and inflexible. While it is important to establish a clear initial design, the first several months of operation will usually reveal program procedures and practices that need to be modified based upon actual operational experience. A new program should always be viewed as a work in progress with a method in place to carefully review the early stages of operation so that practical adjustments can be made when needed. Chapter 6, Program Design, will provide more information on strategic planning.
Look carefully for unanticipated negative outcomes. Even the best of ideas sometimes have results that were not anticipated during the planning process. For example, the presence of a juvenile holdover program may be a very helpful response to the legitimate needs of law enforcement, but the existence of an easily accessible and responsive alternative for dealing with youth may undermine important and effective law enforcement street diversion activities. A juvenile holdover program is intended to fill a gap in services; not to replace effective practices and programs.
Impact of the widening the net phenomena. Care needs to be taken to ensure that convenient access to such a program does not actually increase the number of youth taken into custody inappropriately and unnecessarily. A juvenile holdover program is intended to provide a community an alternative to a more restrictive placement for youth, inappropriate release of youthful offenders, or inefficient use of law enforcement time. It should be only one of the options on the continuum of detention services in a jurisdiction.
Failure to maintain open channels of communication to all related components of the system. Once a juvenile holdover program is operational, regular communication must be initiated and maintained with all the other stakeholders in the system. There must be a willingness to listen to feedback and make modifications when needed. It is important that the initial purpose of serving the youth, the community, and the system is not overlooked once the program is established.
of This manual
The primary purpose of this manual 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, this 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. Important issues that will be addressed include:
Chapter 9, Assuring Your Success, includes a checklist designed to assist program organizers and staff in assuring that each step in the development and implementation process has been completed and that each important issue has been assessed and addressed. It can be used as a step-by-step guide for the planning and implementation process. Appendix A includes a list of juvenile holdover programs as well as a matrix that provides a comparison of identified juvenile holdover programs. The listing was compiled by the American Probation and Parole Association and will allow those planning new programs to contact others to discuss questions or become more familiar with operating programs. The Desktop Guide to Good Juvenile Detention Practice (Roush, 1996), published by the National Juvenile Detention Association and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), can be a useful companion piece to this manual1. It is recommended that any jurisdiction considering a juvenile holdover program obtain a copy of this resource and use it to complement information included in this manual.
It is impossible to include every option or identify every alternative for program development, implementation, and operation within this document. Rather, the intent is to identify the basic and most important issues that must be considered and to present some possible options in each area. One size fits all does not work when planning a juvenile holdover program. There is no single model program that can be transplanted in its totality into another community. Each jurisdiction is different. Each community must develop a juvenile holdover program that best meets its own unique needs and draws upon its own strengths and resources.
Scenario 1-2: Suzy Is That
All There Is?
It is a combination gas station, convenience store, and bus stop, located on the edge of a small town just off the freeway, and it is 2:30 p.m. on a Monday Martin Luther King Day a holiday for government employees and a few other lucky folks. Suzy is sitting on a stack of yesterdays Sunday newspapers outside of the front door. She got off the bus about an hour ago and has been sitting there since then. She ran out of bus stops and money here two States away from home and two States away from her destination Las Vegas. The young man working in the store has been watching her since she got off the bus. He finally goes out to speak with her and asks if she needs any help. She is crying quietly but is otherwise unresponsive. He goes back inside and calls the local police. An officer arrives in less than 5 minutes. She is a bit more talkative and admits that she is on the run and got deadended here. She tells the officer that her name is Marie. She is transported to the police station where a quick computer check on the Missing Children Network confirms that she is indeed a runaway from out-of-state but her name is actually Suzy. The officer contacts the law enforcement agency that filed the report and Suzys parents. They are willing to drive cross-country to pick her up, but the trip will take at least a day and a half. The officer contacts his chief, who directs him to turn over custody of Suzy to the local sheriffs department as it is a holiday and no social workers are available. That department, in turn, calls in an off-duty deputy to transport Suzy 75 miles away to the nearest shelter facility. He asks his wife to accompany him. They will have to miss their sons first basketball tournament game that evening. They pick up Suzy and head west, resulting in a hefty overtime bill for the local taxpayers for transportation and a missed basketball game for two local parents and loyal fans.