juvenile detention center | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction / Juvenile Justice

A juvenile detention center, also known as a youth detention center or youth detention facility, is a secure facility where young people who have been accused or convicted of a crime are held prior to trial or sentencing or while serving their sentence.

Juvenile detention centers are designed specifically for young people and are intended to provide a safe and secure environment where they can be held until their case is resolved.

Juvenile detention centers are typically run by state or local governments and are operated separately from adult detention facilities. Juvenile detention centers are intended to provide a more age-appropriate and rehabilitation-focused approach, rather than punishment-focused, as compared to adult prisons. Juvenile detention centers typically provide education, counseling, and other support services to help young people overcome the issues that led to their involvement in the criminal justice system.

While juvenile detention centers are intended to provide a safe and secure environment, they have been criticized for overcrowding, inadequate staffing and training, and other issues that can lead to poor conditions and mistreatment of the young people being held.

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Last Modified: 01/12/2023


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