+1 (845) 317-8489 [email protected]

Juvenile System

Program Introduction

Juvenile hall serves the purpose of detaining youth offenders.

Youth offenders are placed in halls to await placement or trial.

Juvenile halls provide secure detentions for juveniles.

Juvenile detention should not be punitive

In the early years of 19th century, both juvenile and adult offenders were tried and convicted under the same criminal justice system. However, the reforms initiated during the Progressive Era paved the way for the creation of a separate judicial system for juvenile offenders. The reforms of the Progressive Era improved among other things vocational education for young offenders, mandatory education and child labor laws. The reforms also paved the way for the establishment of youth detention centers and juvenile halls. The halls serve the purpose of holding juvenile offenders as they await trial or placement. The halls do not offer punitive detention as seen in adult jails or prisons (Thompson et al., 2016).


Statement of Purpose

Juvenile halls serve the purpose of offering secure detention.

Secure detention ensures the community is safe.

Juvenile offenders appear in court when required.

The community is kept safe and risk-free.

Juvenile halls were established with the purpose of providing secure detention for juvenile offenders. The concept of secure detention as applied in juvenile criminal justice ensures non-adult offenders are held in custody for a short period of time as they await their appearance in court, trial or transfer to a recommended facility. When juveniles are held in secure detention, they have the opportunity to appear in court when required. The program also ensures that community is risk free of juvenile offending and promotes safety (Thompson et al., 2016).


Vision, Mission, and Goals.

The program envisions a country where youths or children are free from violence and crime.

The mission is to ensure community safety and keep children away from crime.

Prevention of delinquency and promote early intervention

Promote proper use of correction services and detention for children.

The vision of the juvenile hall program is to have a country where children are free violence or crime. The program does not only aim at detention and presenting the children offenders for trial, but also recommends the use of facilities that are aimed at behavior change of the young offenders. The mission of the program is to have a community that is safety where children are kept way from crime and offending behaviors. The goals of the program include prevention of delinquency and promotion of early intervention and fostering proper use of correctional services for young offenders (McCarthy et al., 2016).


Program Stakeholders

Judges of the juvenile courts.

Youth probation officers.


Law administration officers.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

State and federal governments

Juvenile hall program brings together different stakeholders. State and federal governments come as responsible organizations that provide detention facilities and probation services. The judges of the juvenile court are also another category of stakeholders who make critical decisions that affect the lives of young offenders. Parents and law administration officers also have a role to play in ensuring that children or young offenders are kept away from crime and violence. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is another stakeholder organization that plays a critical role in the rehabilitation of young offenders (McCarthy et al., 2016).


Intentions behind the Operations

Offer detention services to young offenders

Protect the community youth driven violence and crime.

Recommend appropriate rehabilitation programs

Recommend disciplinary programs that are long-term in nature

Perform medical assessment and recommend treatment.

The intention behind the operation of the juvenile hall is to offer detention services to young offenders for their own benefit and for the benefit of the community. Young offenders benefit from the detention services because juvenile halls provide assessment and treatment services, recommend rehabilitation services, and recommend long-disciplinary services and care. The community members benefit when dangerous youths are held in custody so as to promote community safety and reduce cases of violence and crime (Clark, 2014).



Holds juveniles in custody as per the doctrine of parens patriae.

Offer secure confinement and secure detention.

Operates as residential treatment, corrections, detention, community based, and camp for young offenders.

Operates as locks indicated or no locks indicated.

Juvenile halls hold young offenders in custody as per the doctrine of parens patriae. According to the doctrine, the parental responsibility of a young offender belongs to the state government once the offender is considered to be under state custody. The other strategy is that the juvenile hall program provides secure confinement and secure detention. Secure confinement is provided for offenders with serious crimes and tends to take longer duration as compared to secured detention. Juvenile hall acts as a residential treatment, camp, detention, community based, and corrections facility for young offenders. The halls also operate under the locks indicated and locks not indicated strategy. Locks indicated implies that young offenders are confined within the facility by locked gates, doors, and fences throughout the detention period. Locks not indicated implies that young offenders are not confined within the facility by locked gates, doors, and fences. The restriction in this case is done by the staffs of the facility (Clark, 2014).



Medical assessment.


Services that include mental healthcare, education, and special education.

Provide security and ensure well-being of juveniles.

While detention remains the key activity provided by juvenile halls, there are a continuum of activities provided by such facilities to augment the provision of detention services. When a young offender is recommended for juvenile booking, medical assessment and screening form part of the activities that are performed during the process. The activities are performed to determine whether an offender’s involvement in crime is due to problem such as drug and substance use, mental health, and criminal history. Other activities include the provision of mental health services, provision of educational services, provision of special education following the results of a screening process, and provision of security and protection (Clark, 2014).


Short-term Goals

Provide temporary detention for young offenders.

Offer temporary care in a restrictive setting.

Offer access to age-relevant services.

Provide assessments that are individualized for each offender.

The short terms goals of the program include provision of temporary detention services as young offenders await trial. The facilities ensure that young offenders are protected during the temporary detention process. The other short-term goal is to provide temporary care to young offenders in an environment that is restrictive as they await trial, transfer or adjudication. The other goal is to offer correctional measures to young offenders and provide age-relevant services. Young offenders must be protected during the short-term detention and presented in court or required place as directed by a judge or a correctional officer (Weiss, 2013).


Intermediate Goals

Recommend appropriate corrective measures or programs.

Address treatment needs of young offenders.

Promote community safety and safety of the offenders.

Reduce youth involvement in criminal activities.

The intermediate goals of juvenile halls are meant to reduce involvement of young people with the criminal justice system. Another goal is to recommend appropriate corrective measures that can help youths change their behavior. Other than addressing corrective measures, the program helps in the identification of treatment needs and the needs for special education. Some youth offenders engage in crime due to mental health challenges which influence the occurrence of undesired behavior (Weiss, 2013).


Long-term Goals

Protect the community and all citizens from crimes and violence committed by young offenders.

Achieve skill development and rehabilitation of youth offenders.

Achieve successful reintegration of young offenders back into the community.

Achieve restoration in positive behavior.

The long-term goals of the program is to ensure that the community and the citizens are free from crime and violence committed by young offenders. Other than safety, the program aims to achieve skill development and rehabilitation of youth offenders. Juvenile halls offer training services that equip youths with technical skills that can help youths live without depending on crime. The other long-term goal is to ensure successful reintegration of young offenders back into the community as well as achieving restoration of positive or desired behavior in children (Weiss, 2013).


How the Current Strategies Support the Goals.

State and government takes responsibility for young offenders.

Operating as a corrections, community based, and residential treatment.

Confines young offenders on short-term, intermediate, and long-term basis.

The strategies of operation adopted by the program are in line with the short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals. Juvenile halls can hold young offenders on short-term basis as they await a court trial, on intermediate basis as they wait transfer to another facility or a treatment program, and on a long-term basis for the purpose of rehabilitation and planning of their integration into the community. The halls operate as correction facilities, treatment centers, and community-based centers. This strategy ensures that goal of rehabilitation is achieved. The concept of parens patriae ensures the government takes full responsibility of a young offender with the aim of achieving positive behavior restoration (Weiss, 2013).


Evidence of Applied Theory

Juvenile justice system seeks to achieve restoration of positive behavior.

Does not encourage punitive approach as seen in adult justice system.

Applies the theory of behavior change.

Specifically utilizes the theory of planned behavior.

Unlike the adult justice system that seeks to punish the offenders, juvenile justice system has the aim of restoring positive behavior in young offenders. It is therefore evident that juvenile halls promote behavior change in juvenile offenders, thus justifying the application of behavior change theories. In particular the theory of planned behavior is utilized in ensuring behavior change in young offenders. The theory of planned behavior is premised on the idea that behavior is influenced by an individual’s intentions which are further determined by values, attitude, and beliefs. Other than intentions, behavior is also determined by an individual’s ability to control them. Intention and behavioral control therefore remain critical determinants of behavior change. When applied to behavior modification in the realm of juvenile correctional system, intentions and behavior control can be modified through training, guidance, treatment, and support to achieve the desired behavior (Khasni et al., 2023).


Theory to Strengthen the Program

Self-determination theory would strengthen the program.

The theory promotes behavior self-control

Looks the role of inner resources in promoting behavior change.

Emphasizes behavior and self-control for personality development.

Self-determination theory would be appropriate in strengthening the program because the intended behavior change in young offenders can be identified as a motivation which would then influence their choices and the ability to make achievable changes needed to promote desired behavior. Casey (2019) in his article that explored the use of the theory in offender rehabilitation asserts that self-determination takes advantage of the inner resources in an individual to influence personality development, self-control, and behavior change. Application of this theory can strengthen the program because program stakeholders can identify motivations for behavior and the influence of internal resources in crime involvement and crime avoidance.



Casey, S. (2019). Offender Rehabilitation and Theories of Behavior Change. The Wiley International Handbook of Correctional Psychology, 354-373.

Clark, P. (2014). Desktop guide to quality practice for working with youth in confinement. National Institute of Corrections” Retrieved from https://info.nicic.gov/dtg/node/4

Khasni, F. N., Keshminder, J. S., Chuah, S. C., & Ramayah, T. (2023). A theory of planned behaviour: perspective on rehiring ex-offenders. Management Decision, 61(1), 313-338.

McCarthy, P., Schiraldi, V. N., & Shark, M. (2016). The future of youth justice: A community based alternative to the youth prison model. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/USER/Downloads/ntcc_the_future_of_youth_justice.pdf

Thompson, K. C., Morris, R. J., Thompson, K. C., & Morris, R. J. (2016). Juvenile delinquency and disability (pp. 31-39). Springer International Publishing.

Weiss, G. (2013). The Fourth Wave: Juvenile Justice Reforms for the Twenty-First Century. Washington, DC: National Campaign to Reform State Juvenile Justice Systems