In 1974, the federal government passed the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act to help state and local governments prevent and control juvenile delinquency and to improve the juvenile justice system. An important element in this act was to protect juveniles in the juvenile justice system from exposure to adult inmates.
Pennsylvania has participated in the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Formula Grant Program since 1975. As a participant in this program, Pennsylvania is required to work to achieve compliance with the mandates of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. PCCD, through its Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee (JJDPC), is charged with ensuring that Pennsylvania remains in compliance with mandates of the Act.
The four core mandates as established under the JJDP Act are:
- Deinstitutionalization of status offenders (DSO)
- Separation of juveniles from adults in institutions
- Removal of juveniles from adult jails and lockups (Jail Removal)
- Reduction of disproportionate minority contact, where it exists
The JJDPC has established two separate projects in order to ensure that Pennsylvania maintains compliance with the first three mandates. The JJDPC’s Disproportionate Minority Contact Subcommittee oversees compliance with the fourth mandate listed above. The Secure Detention Monitoring Project audits the admissions of all secure detention centers to ensure that status or non-offending juveniles are not admitted. These audits take place annually at each of the detention centers in Pennsylvania. The Secure Detention Monitor provides training and guidance to probation and detention personnel related to this issue.
The Police Liaison Project is responsible for working with police departments to ensure that juveniles are not held securely in police lockups beyond the six-hour time limit permitted under the state and federal jail removal legislation. There are 1,200 police entities in the commonwealth. The Police Liaison is required to visit every police department once every three years to collect and verify reported data on juveniles held in police custody.
In addition to the work of the Secure Detention Monitoring and Police Liaison Projects, the PCCD Compliance Monitor is responsible for working with Pennsylvania's adult jails and prisons, court holding facilities, mental health facilities, and group homes to ensure compliance with the core protections of DSO, Jail Removal, and Separation.
The current and past compliance monitoring reports that PCCD submits to the federal OJJDP demonstrates that Pennsylvania's compliance with the federal secure detention regulations has been well within the federally established standards for the state.
Summary Information Log Form
Adult Jail Certification Year 2008
Adult Jail Secure Holding Log