What Happens in a Juvenile Detention Center?

A youth placed in juvenile detention is held there until a court disposition takes place. This usually occurs within a day after detainment. During that waiting period, the juvenile in detention may receive visitors and has his or her basic needs met.

A youth is searched upon their initial arrival at the center. The intake officer reviews the report to ensure that the juvenile can legally be detained at the center. The youth supplies information to the police so that their parents or guardians can be notified.

During the time a youth is held at a detention center, parents or legal guardians may visit the child. Friends and other family members must receive special permission to visit. Visitors must agree to be searched and follow a specific code of conduct to continue visitation privileges.

All the youth's clothing and personal hygiene needs are provided for as well as meals and snacks. The detention center also provides medical services if needed.

The initial hearing usually takes place within 24 hours. Depending on the severity of the offense, a judge may decide to detain the youth in the center. This can be for up to 21 days; however, it can be longer for some offenses.