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Survey of State Maximum Security Facilities for Serious Juvenile Offenders

NCJ Number
Date Published
110 pages
This survey of State juvenile maximum security facilities covers the number and capacity of such institutions, staff, program used, criteria for placement, whether direct court commitment is permitted, ages of residents, and research available about effectiveness.
This survey was conducted by the Maryland Juvenile Services Administration as a prelude for the possible development of a juvenile maximum security institution in Maryland. Information was obtained from every State and the District of Columbia, with the exception of Connecticut. Ten of the States have separate juvenile maximum security institutions, and although three of the States did not consider their institution maximum security, they did have perimeter fencing. Twenty-one States had maximum security units on the grounds of their training school, with these units used to provide long-term treatment for aggressive juveniles. Many of the States have disciplinary units. Six States are currently planning to build new secure institutions ranging in size from 15 to 30 beds, and one State intends to build a 120-bed fenced facility not considered maximum security. Most States with secure facilities or units have central commitment to the agency with transfer provisions to the secure unit or facilities, contrasted to direct commitment to the secure facility by the court. If Maryland builds a secure facility, it is recommended that (1) the facility be limited to 50 beds or less and that each unit house 20 or less students, (2) the minimum length of stay be 1 year, (3) there be central commitment to the agency rather than to the facility, and (4) a classification system be developed to determine which youth are placed in a secure unit or facility. (Author summary modified)