The Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice (KY DJJ) Program Services Division currently monitors all of Kentucky's juvenile holding facilities and secure juvenile detention facilities for compliance with state and federal mandates. KY DJJ also operates eight secure juvenile detention centers. Kentucky's juvenile detention system provides pre-trial detention of all alleged delinquent juveniles and ensures state-operated detention centers to be available for all counties.
As each new state-operated detention facility opens, intermittent holding facilities, juvenile holding facilities and non-state operated secure juvenile detention facilities in its catchment area close, and counties in the catchment area are relieved of the financial and physical responsibility of securing appropriate placement for delinquent juveniles awaiting trial.
As the KY DJJ opens each new state-operated secure detention center, it also ensures that a wide range of alternatives to secure detention programs and services are available in each area to serve juveniles who do not require secure placement -- thus, creating a detention custody continuum. Alternative programs may include intensive community supervision, home detention, home incarceration, staff secure shelters and/or foster homes.
If a youth is ordered detained at the detention hearing, KY DJJ staff screen the youth using a risk assessment evaluation tool. If the youth scores as suitable for a custody option other than secure detention, the facility’s Detention Alternatives Coordinator (DAC) makes a decision as to which option is most suitable based upon youth and family’s circumstances.
Youth may step up or down in the detention custody continuum based upon compliance or non-compliance with programs. A youth may begin detention in a secure setting but later move to home detention because the youth no longer requires such security. Likewise, a youth placed on home detention who violates his/her conditions may be placed in secure detention.