Secure detention is typically reserved for youth who pose the highest risk or who have been accused of committing serious offenses. The Court can remand youth who are alleged or adjudicated juvenile delinquents, juvenile offenders or adolescent offenders to secure detention. Juvenile delinquents have their cases heard in the Family Court and juvenile offenders have their cases heard in the Youth Part of Supreme Court. Adolescent Offenders can have their cases heard in the Youth Part of Supreme Court or cases can be waived down to Family Court.
ACS operates two secure detention facilities- Crossroads Juvenile Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn and Horizon Juvenile Center in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx. These facilities have the most restrictive security features.
Intake and Orientation
All youth go through the intake process which includes medical, educational, and social service assessments. ACS's Case Management staff initiates the process by conducting an extensive youth and family intake interview, authorizing call recipients and family members for telephone and visitation access, collecting consent forms and vital documents and providing information concerning youth rights and responsibilities while in Detention.
All youth are assigned an ACS case manager who helps them adjust to the facility, counsels them, and interacts with the youth's family and significant others to support/strengthen lasting connections. The case manager also works with the youth's family, lawyer, and other stakeholders to ensure all of their physical, emotional, educational and social needs are met. Case management coordinates core assets required to meet the developmental needs of youth by identifying a youth's strengths, interests, and potential barriers to community reentry, and coordinating direct communication between the case manager, the youth, families, internal and external providers to optimize positive outcomes for youth.
- Medical: All youth receive medical services provided by an ACS-contracted medical provider onsite around the clock. Services include but are not limited to health and mental health screenings, comprehensive health assessment and physical, annual physical, health education, therapeutics, routine follow-ups, referral to specialty clinics, laboratory services, immunization, urgent and emergent care as appropriate, and discharge planning for continuity of care.
- Dental: All youth receive dental services provided by an ACS-contracted provider onsite including but not limited to a comprehensive dental examination within the first 20 days of admission, subsequent regular dental care, oral hygiene education, follow-ups on acute and chronic conditions, referrals to offsite dental specialties, and discharge planning for continuity of care.
- Mental Health: ACS partners with NYU/ H+H Bellevue to provide mental health services for residents in secure detention. NYU/ H+H Bellevue staffs each secure detention facility with an on-site team of mental health clinicians, creative arts therapists, full-time psychiatrists and psychologists as well as administrative support. The multi-disciplinary team is available 7 days per week to conduct screenings and evaluations and provide treatment and discharge planning as needed. Clinicians screen all youth for trauma exposure, post-traumatic symptoms, depression, child trafficking risk and substance abuse at intake. Youth also participate in the creation of their own individualized trauma-informed safety plan as well as skill-building groups where they can develop knowledge of trauma and become more aware of how it may impact their emotions and behavior and learn skills to cope with distress in healthy ways.
- Education Services: Like many youth across the city, young people in secure detention during the 2021-2022 school year transitioned back to in-person education. The New York City Department of Education's Passages Academy provides instruction according to grade-level in all major middle and high school subjects. Eligible youth may also enroll in a high school equivalency program offered by Passages Academy. Students continue to receive speech and language services, psychological counseling and guidance counseling remotely. Youth in secure detention also have access to college programming. ACS partners with the City University of New York and other community partners to offer college knowledge workshops and credit-bearing courses.
Nutrition Services: The Administration for Children's Services provides nutritious meals to all youth in our care. Our Nutrition and Food Services Department carefully crafts and plans out menus for our sites with seasonally fresh and locally sourced food. In addition to meeting federal regulations, meals are prepared to meet the New York City Food Standards. Our team goes above and beyond to promote healthy eating and lower the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease among all New Yorkers, including the children and youth in our care. After the menus are finalized, meals are prepared daily from scratch. At all ACS sites, youth are served three meals per day, where fresh fruit is always offered, as well as an evening snack after the dinner meal. We strive to make water the beverage of choice by not offering sugar-sweetened beverages. Meal Alternate is served with all components to make a complete meal. Peanut Butter and Jelly or Cream Cheese and Jelly is also available at all meals. Water is available at meals and snacks and throughout the day. Our Winter Menu is in effect until March 22, 2024.
- Youth Rights Unit: All youth have access to youth rights staff during their time in detention. The Youth Rights Unit provides a continuum of positive, progressive and proactive services designed to protect and promote the rights of young people navigating detention. The Youth Rights Unit infuses best practice and youth voice throughout the services it offers. Offerings include:
- Leadership Council where young people elect a leader to represent their hall in a facility-wide Council comprised of youth.
- Grievance Program where a formal complaint process exists to resolve issues and afford our young people due process for their concerns.
- Recreation and Activities: Youth in detention participate in a variety of daily recreational activities such as music, art, creative writing, gardening, yoga, and physical fitness. Special activities include teen workshops, motivational speakers, sports tournaments, song writing projects, vocational career readiness and digital technology workshops. Annual activities include Black History, Hispanic Heritage, Women's History, Veterans Day Celebrations, anti-bullying prevention, and domestic violence awareness. Some recreational activities such as songwriting projects and digital technology workshops offer an opportunity for youth to receive Department of Education credits.
ADVISORY: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, current community positivity rates and in an effort to protect the health and safety of our youth and staff, the NYC Administration for Children's Services requests visitors provide confirmation of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test taken within 48 hours of the visit at both juvenile detention facilities. Rapid tests are available on-site for visitors prior to family visitation. Virtual visitation is also available as an accommodation. Please contact your youth's Case Manager to inquire about scheduling.
To reach Case Management at Crossroads, please call: 718-240-4038 or email CJC_CaseMgmt@acs.nyc.gov.
To reach Case Management at Horizon, please call: 718-401-3038 or email HOJC_CaseMgmt@acs.nyc.gov.
Contact our Secure Detention Centers:
Horizon Juvenile Center
560 Brook Avenue
Bronx, NY 10455
Crossroads Juvenile Center
17 Bristol Street
Brooklyn, NY 11212