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S.E.E.D.S. Non-Secure Detention

(Sowing Encouragement and Education to Develop Skills)
Non-Secure Detention

The Department of Juvenile Justice's (DJJ) Non-Secure Detention (NSD) program offers an alternative to Secure Detention for some of the young people remanded to the Department's custody. NSD provides structured residential care for alleged Juvenile Delinquents (JDs) in a less restrictive setting while awaiting disposition of their cases in Family Court.

DJJ oversees a network of NSD group homes located in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. DJJ directly operates two remaining NSD facilities are operated through contracts with private social service organizations. In accordance with statutory requirements, NSD facilities are characterized by the absence of physically restrictive hardware, construction and procedures. NSD offers juveniles a supportive, family-like environment and close supervision during their time in detention.

NSD group home

Library at an NSD group home


Juveniles remanded to the custody of DJJ by a Family Court Judge may be assigned NSD in one of two ways: The judge may remand the youth specifically into NSD or the judge may order the young person into DJJ's custody and have the Agency decide whether Secure Detention or NSD is appropriate. In the latter case, DJJ staff makes the determination based on an assessment given during the intake interview.

NSD accepts male and female youths ranging in age from 7 to 16 years of age; the average age being 15. In Fiscal Year 2003, there were 559 admissions to NSD and 845 transfers from Secure Detention to NSD. The average length of stay was 23 days.

Recreation area at S.E.E.D.S.

Dining area at S.E.E.D.S.


Youth admitted to NSD receive an orientation at an NSD Intake facility. Residents receive comprehensive medical, mental health and dental evaluations. In-depth educational and family assessments are also conducted.

NSD Case Managers review the information and develop a service plan, which identifies a juvenile's needs during their stay in detention and outlines how these needs are to be met. The juvenile is then assigned to the most appropriate NSD group home.

Youth in NSD participate in a wide array of cultural activities such as field trips, museum visits, and sports and recreation programs. Activities inside the facility are designed to enhance learning. As such, residents have access to educational software during computer time, and books and magazines to encourage reading. To teach responsible behavior, residents are assigned daily chores, such as making their own beds, assisting in the kitchen and keeping the facility neat and orderly.

Responsibility education and recreation play a role for juveniles in Non-Secure Detention

S.E.E.D.S. Non-Secure Detention


The New York City Department of Education’s Division of Alternative School Programs, in partnership with DJJ, operates a school for juveniles in NSD at a full-service facility in the Bronx. Passages Academy provides 5 ½ hours of instruction in major academic subjects. The school also features a fully equipped computer classroom, physical education, art classes and after-school programming. Instruction focuses on small groups and individualized tutoring.

Related Links
NYC Family Court
NYS Office of Children and Family Services
Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention
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