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Juvenile Detention: A Nationally Recognized Definition

NCJ Number
Journal for Juvenile Justice and Detention Services Volume: 14 Issue: 2 Dated: Fall 1999 Pages: 67-71
Thomas Stokes; Steve Smith
Date Published
5 pages
The National Juvenile Detention Association adopted a national definition of juvenile detention to specify what juvenile detention is and what it should do, although the definition does not solve the issues of inappropriate placements in detention, overcrowding, or funding.
The definition recognizes the issues of non-secure juvenile detention programs, detention alternative programs, and variations among jurisdictions. The definition states that juvenile detention is the temporary and safe custody of juveniles who are accused of certain conduct and who require a restricted setting for community protection while awaiting legal action. Juvenile detention provides a range of helpful services that include, at a minimum, education, recreation, counseling, nutrition, health care, reading, visitation, communication, and continuous supervision. Juvenile detention also includes or provides for a system of clinical observation and assessment. Crucial terms include temporary custody, safe custody, restricted environment, community protection, pending legal action, helpful services, and clinical observation and assessment. 2 references