Frequent Questions

Juvenile Aftercare

What is aftercare for juveniles?

Aftercare is the period of supervision of juveniles once they complete their out-of-home programming and treatment and are returned to the community. The goal of the aftercare supervision program is to equip the juveniles with the ability to conduct himself/herself in a lawful manner and prepare them for discharge from the DOC.

What happens when a juvenile goes on aftercare?

The Juvenile Corrections Agent (JCA) develops an individualized aftercare contract. The contract is reviewed with the juvenile, their parent/guardian/caregiver and the facility treatment staff (if applicable). Each of the parties also signs the contract. The JCA implements the contract upon release from placement.

If assessments indicate a need, a case plan may be developed by the JCA. The case plan is an individualized service plan that targets areas of risk and need of the juvenile to prepare them for increased responsibility and independence in the community. 

Who makes sure a juvenile follows the conditions in the contract?

The JCA supervises the juvenile while on aftercare, ensuring that service referrals are effective, making and documenting contacts with the juvenile and any incidents involving failure to abide with conditions of the aftercare contract. The contacts may take place at home, in school, at the workplace or anywhere in the community.

Aftercare services may include counseling and monitoring by the JCA, individual, family, and cognitive behavioral group counseling, chemical dependency continuing care, mental health treatment, self-help programs and mentors.

What happens if a juvenile violates these conditions of aftercare?

A JCA responds to every violation, with the response proportionate to the violation. A revocation of aftercare may result in being returned to a DOC contracted facility.

How long is a youth on aftercare?

Juveniles are committed to the DOC until age 21 or until discharge, as provided in SDCL 26-11A-5 and 26-11A-7. The actual length of commitment to DOC depends on several factors, including history of offenses, behavior of the juvenile while committed to DOC and successful completion of aftercare supervision levels.