Juvenile Detention


1. Protect the juvenile and the community by maintaining secure custody of the juvenile.

2. Identify and meet the juvenile's needs as to facilitate the normal adolescent development of the juvenile in all areas, including physical, mental, educational, emotional, social and spiritual.

3. Equip the juvenile to make positive changes in his/her life, and to promote motivation for the juvenile to make those changes.


"Juvenile detention, as part of the juvenile justice continuum, is a process that includes the temporary and safe custody of juveniles whose alleged conduct is subject to court jurisdiction who require a restricted environment for their own and the community's protection while pending legal action. Juvenile detention may range from the least restrictive community-based supervision to the most restrictive form of secure care. The critical components of juvenile detention include: Screening to ensure appropriate use of detention; Assessment to determine the proper level of custody, supervision, and placement; Policies that promote the safety, security and well being of juveniles and staff; Services that address immediate and/or acute needs in the educational, mental, physical, emotional and social development of juveniles."

– National Juvenile Detention Association (October 14, 2007) 


Behavior Program: Juveniles in the center agree to participate in the facility's Behavior Program in order to join most facility activities. The program is based upon the principles of behavior modification. Juvenile earn points for performing expected behaviors in order to maintain and advance in phases of the program. There are four phases of the program, the higher the phase, the more privileges associated with it. Graduated sanctions for inappropriate behavior occur with consequences including loss of phase, time out of program, or suspension from the program.

Educational Services: The mission of the education program is to provide appropriate educational services to all residents regardless of age or ability level. A structured school day is provided to all residents Monday through Friday. All residents are administered an educational placement test upon admission. For those residents enrolled in school, schoolwork is requested from the resident's home school. Assistance to complete all schoolwork is provided by detention teaching staff. General Education Diploma (GED) and SAT instruction is also available.

Medical Services: The center's health care program consists of educational classes on health topics, medical assessments, routine care of illnesses and injuries, continuation of medically prescribed treatment programs initiated prior to detention, special medically prescribed diets, confidential counseling and testing on sensitive health issues, and emergency medical care as needed. Medical assessments are conducted by nursing staff within 24-hours of intake (48 hours on weekends, and holidays). The Porter County Health Department provides confidential counseling about HIV and other sensitive health issues, upon request.

Mental Health & Counseling Services: All residents are given a mental health screen within 24 hours of intake. Further intake information is received by the juvenile's parent/guardian. Mental health and counseling services are provided pursuant to the juvenile's identified need. Group counseling is provided twice per week with a therapist from the Family & Youth Services Bureau. Activities of Daily Living (ADL) groups are administered daily. Emergency evaluation services are provided by the Family & Youth Services Bureau and Porter Starke Services.

Religious Services: Formal religious services are not routinely conducted in detention, but made available upon request. Volunteers from various churches are routinely scheduled to conduct voluntary religious services and bible studies. Upon request of the juvenile, or upon request of a parent, clergy may visit with the juvenile in detention. If the juvenile or the juvenile's family does not have local clergy able to visit, the Valparaiso Ministerial Association will help find clergy of the juvenile's faith.