Frequent Questions

Juvenile Classification

How is it determined what programming is needed for a juvenile committed to the DOC?

There is an established assessment and classification process that is used to assess and respond to factors which impact a juvenile’s programming and facility placement. Through the standardized risk assessment inventory, Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI 2.0), risks, needs and responsivity factors are assessed and directly linked to decisions regarding placement, case planning, aftercare supervision levels and treatment progress. Additional assessments may be used as well as medical necessity in determining a level of care for a juvenile. The initial assessment and classification process is completed by the JCA within 7 days of committal to the DOC. This assists with maintaining the security of each facility, the safety of staff, other juveniles and the public.

What factors in to a child's classification?

During the initial assessment and classification, a risk level is assigned and preliminary information is gathered to determine the recommended level of care. The factors considered in determining risk levels include prior and current offenses, family circumstances, parenting, education/employment, peer relations, substance abuse, leisure/recreation, personality/behavior and attitudes/orientation. The higher the risk score, the higher the level of supervision a juvenile will receive. Risk factors, along with any current psychiatric diagnostic impressions and behavioral concerns, are the initial criteria for determining an appropriate level of care and placement for youth. It is important to note that juveniles who are referred to a higher level of care, Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTF) & Intensive Residential Treatment Facilities (IRT), must meet additional requirements of a medical necessity review by an outside agency in order to qualify for admission. Admission to this type of facility is not determined solely by the Department of Corrections.

Do the youth keep that classification level the entire time they are committed to the DOC?

No, classification is an ongoing process. A JCA completes a reclassification 3-months after a juvenile has been released to the community and every 6-months thereafter while in a community setting. A JCA will also complete a reclassification following a new delinquent offense or revocation of aftercare.

During the reclassification process, reviews are made of the same factors as during the initial classification. In addition, a juvenile’s actual community risk behaviors are assessed during the timeframes the juvenile has been in the community location or aftercare.