Sacramento County Probation Department
Youth Detention Facility (YDF) received the 2018 Performance-Based Standards Barbara Allen-Hagen Award. The Youth Detention Facility, also known as “Juvenile Hall,” has received the award twice in the past (2011 and 2013) and is being recognized this year for innovative programming resulting in most improved culture change, practice, and performances, increased safety, and the ability to sustain those changes.
On July 23, 2018, the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators
stated on its blog
: “The [YDF] Facility leadership team, in partnership with line staff, established a cutting-edge culture reinforcement program based on Probation’s mission statement, Supporting Positive Change, through the successful implementation of the Culture Card and Behavior Motivation System (BMS). The Culture Card is used to guide and create a path that promotes growth within the facility by empowering the staff to cultivate a safe and positive environment through teamwork and communication. The BMS is a strength-based system, which rewards positive behavior and allows youth to earn rather than lose points.”
“Additionally, [YDF] management established a team that meets monthly to discuss the Early Warning System (EWS) data and discuss how improvements can be made to increase the safety of staff and the youth in the facility. The PbS reports and EWS data drives decisions to implement several robust programs to address and improve PbS and internal outcome measures. Each resulting program is uniquely designed to help educate, stimulate, and expand young minds and encourage them to make better decisions in the future by resolving issues in a positive and productive manner. These programs additionally assist youth to promote healthy relationships with each other and staff within the facility; thus, creating a safer and healthier environment for both staff and youth.”
“The Youth Detention Facility is the cornerstone of the department and the changing of the institutional culture for positive outcomes started with empowering our staff. Receiving the PbS award is directly attributed to the hardworking staff,” said Assistant Chief Probation Officer Marlon Yarber.
Innovative programs for youth detained at YDF include coursework to earn GEDs and college credit, a well-stocked library, a pool with lifeguard and swimming instructions, an in-house Boys and Girls Club, a working garden, nutrition lessons, volunteer activities to connect youth with the community through multiple community partnerships, and two Multi-Sensory De-Escalation Rooms, the only rooms of their kind in the youth detention system, where youth in crisis build communication skills and learn conflict-resolution.
"We want to create a positive environment where youth feel like they can put it all behind them, go to school, get a degree, get their record sealed, and be successful,” says Chief Probation Officer Lee Seale. “The effort is clearly paying off. This is our third national award.”
In 2017, approximately 1,850 youth spent time in the Youth Detention Facility after being arrested, booked, and assessed as being at risk to the community or while awaiting appearance in court, serving custody commitments, or pending placement or delivery to other programs.
The PbS Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara Allen-Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families. Other finalists in the 2018 detention/assessment category was Cache Valley Youth Center with the Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services and Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center in Covington, LA.
On August 25th, the community is invited to tour the Youth Detention Facility during an Open House event. Visitors will see several award winning programs offered to youth while detained: two unoccupied living units, the Visitor Center, facility pool, garden and library, and a Multi-Sensory De-escalation Room named, “The Cove.” All ages are welcome.