Detention is a secure, short term holding facility for youth who have committed or are alleged to have committed a delinquent act (crime). The purpose of detention is to protect the child or community, prevent the child's runaway, and provide secure housing pending a court appearance or other placement.
There are presently four different treatment programs in the facility serving different purposes and/or populations. These programs provide individual, group and family counseling and other services to help the child make changes which will enable them avoid further difficulties in the future. The treatment programs are not secure. Most of the treatment programs allow the residents access to the community for activities, school and community-service work.
The average length of stay in detention is 22 days, but could change depending on the crime.
The average length of stay in treatment could range from 8-10 months, depending on the child's progress in the program.
Parents of residents in the treatment programs pay support for their children's placement. The amount is determined by the County Domestic Relations Office following a formula established by the state of Pennsylvania.
The minimum age for a child to be in the facility is 10 years old, the maximum age is 21.
With the approval of the child's probation officer and the facility administration, parents and/or guardians, brothers/sisters over the age of 10, and religious advisors are allowed to visit.
The facility provides all meals and basic necessities for the residents in all programs.
Treatment residents are permitted to wear their own undergarments and sneakers, if their parents choose to bring them in. As those residents' behaviors improve, they are permitted to have other personal belongings from home.
There is a minimal cost for haircuts, if needed.
The crimes that are committed can range from misdemeanors to felonies.
(i.e. theft, robbery, burglaries, rape, etc.)
Children are placed in detention by a Juvenile Probation Officer and/or a Judge. However, only a Judge can place a child into a treatment program.
In detention, they attend school daily and have recreational and educational activities during the weekend.
In treatment, they attend school daily, have recreational and educational activities during the weekend, attend group and family counseling, and also are out doing community service in the area. Depending on the child's behavior, he/she may shovel snow, help pick up trash along the street, help with fundraisers in the area, and/or help various non-profit agencies in the area.
The facility is fully licensed by the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and undergoes an annual inspection. Unannounced visits by DPW may also occur to ensure the safety of all children in the facility.