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Youth Intake

More than half of DJJ's population is released from detention within 10 days. Having one facility that focuses on this group allows DJJ to identify issues with those young people, connect with their families and make community-based referrals.

As a single point of entry into the juvenile system, (DJJ) incorporates basic elements in the first 10 days a youth is in detention. These elements include physical and mental health assessments, orientation, case management intake, screening for substance abuse and sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and educational assessments and transition counselors.

To address issues of stress and anxiety for newly admitted youth, DJJ created an Orientation Program and produced a video, In DJJ's Care, which introduces youth to life in Secure Detention. A second video, Finding Your Way, educates youth about the court process and how cases proceed through Family Court.

DJJ's orientation provides training for youth in detention. The program works to develop life skills such as anger management, conflict resolution, peer pressure, drug education, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS/HIV, personal hygiene and other adolescent issues.

DJJ has also enhanced intake services to youth through a number of relationships. A partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) provides STD testing, including screening for Chlamydia. DOH also provides residents with education on HIV/AIDS and substance abuse prevention. The NYC Department of Education now provides educational assessments and transition services for youth entering and leaving the system, as well as GED instruction and testing.

Another partnership involves the Vera Institute of Justice, the Police Department and the City's Administration for Children's Services (ACS) through Project Confirm. This program identifies youth who have been arrested and are known to the Foster Care System, so that an ACS representative can advocate on their behalf, at the first court appearance, to minimize unnecessary detention.

To address substance abuse among youth in its custody, DJJ joined with the Vera Institute to develop an innovative portable model titled Adolescent Portable Therapy (APT) that begins treatment in detention and follows youth within the system and upon release to ensure ongoing treatment.

Through contract with several community-based organizations that started in 2005, DJJ began offering workshops and ralated services to its residents designed to help detained youth in dealing with mental health, social and life issues while they are in and after they leave detention. Gender specific services for girls, and conflict resolution and peer mediation training, literacy individual and group tutorials for our residents are among the recent service features that have been added to programs designed to meet the changing needs of detained youth. The Department also offers a series of personal and professional development workshops covering several subject areas.

Finally, a new Comprehensive Justice Information System (CJIS), which combines Juvenile Justice information from DJJ with the New York City Department of Probation, the Police Department, the District Attorney's Office, and the Office of the Corporation Counsel, allows for shared data among the agencies.

CJIS allows selected users to track a juvenile's status from initiation of a civil or criminal action through final disposition, anywhere in the justice system. CJIS allows DJJ to have more complete control and maintain organization of a resident's essential information in a single database.

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