Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center Guides Youth in the Right Direction
Community | June 15, 2022
Data-driven decisions—reliable data was analyzed and was a basis for change, but grace, kindness, forgiveness and compassion also led to a safe environment...

The push for the reform of the treatment of juveniles during their confinement at the Shelby County Sheriff's Offices Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) has been nothing short of a success. The importance of it being a success relies heavily on both those who are creating the reform from the outside and how the individuals that are experiencing the prgoress are reacting to it.

You can read the entire repror here but here are some digestable takeaways from the report.

The Voices of the Youth are Heard.

The culture of the JDC exemplifies one of grace. The Juveniles are "OUR children" Roush states. This connection allows the youth to identify a sense of togetherness and not one of alienation. Their values are heard and implemented in the programs they are put through and this creates a positive feedback loop of progress while not sacrificing the accountability of staff.

Harm to Juveniles is Reduced.

Data shows a decrease in the overall incidents of self-harm and assaults are trending downward as the years go by. Starting in 2014 many measures have been improved on and adapted to create an environment where a the focus is on reform. Efforts such as Suicide Screening by trained or qualified staff for 100% of the youth since 2016 have been integral to keeping the kids safe. A questionaire asking the youth if they fear for their safety also shows a tremendous derease over the years since 2014.

The JDC Leverages Resources on a Large Scale.

From mental health resources to utilizing research from the University of Chicago Crime Lab Shelby country is doing everything they can for these youth. It's is important to seek as much help as possible when dealing with a complex problem. Making sure staff is experienced and trained correctly with the resources to handle the individuals that are detained is essential.

Shout out to those in our communities that are making it their mission to reform the youth of Shelby County so that they can return to being productive citizens in our neighborhoods.


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