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Delaware Juvenile Detention Facilities Population Review

NCJ Number
John P. O'Connell Jr.; Jorge Rodriguez-Labarca
Date Published
August 2010
12 pages
This report presents statistics and information on the Delaware juvenile detention population in 2010.
The Delaware juvenile detention population decreased in early 2010 to its lowest level in over a decade. In March of 2010, the combined populations of both of the State's juvenile detention facilities - the New Castle County Detention Center in northern Delaware and the Stevenson House in southern Delaware - reported a combined population of 77. This is a 58-percent reduction from the peak juvenile detention population of 185 in September 2002. This population was at 65 percent of the 119-bed capacity. This significant reduction in the juvenile detention population can be attributed to the guidance of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative, which provided the framework for reform, as well as the Delaware juvenile justice system leadership's initiative and commitment. Juvenile arrests have not significantly decreased since 2002, which rules out changes in juvenile crime patterns as the explanation for the decrease in the juvenile detention population; however, juvenile arrests have not appreciably increased either, which suggests that the decrease in the institutional populations has not created new public safety risks. This report also presents statistics and information on juveniles in detention under various legal statuses. Although it is widely perceived that Delaware's juvenile detention facilities house only juveniles awaiting a court hearing or bail, there are, in fact, six separate legal statuses for juveniles in detention. These legal statuses are detained awaiting hearing; detained awaiting hearings for non-1007 cases (juveniles held for minor offenses); administrative holds; a juvenile probation violator held awaiting a hearing; sentenced juveniles serving time; and juveniles held for Superior Court (remanded as required by law to be tried as an adult). 8 charts and 6 citations/resources