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Confinement at a juvenile detention facility in New York

When a juvenile is charged with a crime in New York, many questions and concerns can arise. The penalties associated with a juvenile offense can be serious. In cases involving a serious crime a juvenile might be charged as an adult. No matter the severity of the offense, it is important to understand the juvenile justice system and what consequences could result.

Juvenile defendants can be detained in a detention center while their court case is pending. The length of time a juvenile could spend in a secure facility depends on the length of the court case. This typically ends up being around 15 to 30 days; however, this could be longer if a juvenile is in the adult criminal system.

When a juvenile defendant is in detention, he or she generally is not allowed to go home unless permitted by the judge overseeing the case. Juvenile defendants are generally able to call home and family members are able to visit the juvenile detention center during visiting hours.

While a child offender or defendant is at a detention facility, he or she will attend school. This is either provided within the facility or at one of two stand-alone community schools that only serve youth involved in the juvenile justice system. New York City Department of Education teachers staff these schools and the child will receive DOE credits for schoolwork completed.

If a youth offender is at a secure detention facility, he or she typically must remain in the facility until the case is resolved or time has been served. If a juvenile defendant is at a non-secure detention center, he or she is sometimes allowed to leave. This is typically for field trips, to attend workshops and to go to recreational activities under the supervision of staff members.

Entering the juvenile justice system can be difficult for any youth; however, it is important to be aware of the process and what situations require the juvenile defendant to stay at a detention facility. No matter the severity of the case or how harsh the penalties might be, it is important that juveniles and their loved ones understand the defense options available to them.

Source: Nyc.gov, "Detention Frequently Asked Questions," accessed Nov. 12, 2016

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