Planning of New Institutions: Workshops for Juvenile Facilities

Planning of New Institutions: Workshops for Juvenile Facilities
by Dennis D. Barron and Shelley L. Zavlek
OJJDP Fact Sheet, January 2001


Jurisdictions throughout the Nation continually struggle to find the most effective strategies to address delinquent behavior and reduce recidivism among delinquent youth. Research indicates that the most effective interventions are comprehensive, community-based programs that provide a continuum of services
and sanctions. These include prevention programming, a system of graduated sanctions, residential treatment, and aftercare. Secure confinement represents the most costly and severe response to delinquency. Therefore, jurisdictions should engage in careful planning to ensure that alternatives to confinement are being used effectively and that new or expanded facilities are developed only when warranted. Renovation, expansion, or new construction projects should be guided by the following considerations:

A careful examination of the unique characteristics and needs of juveniles.
Current research on the causes and correlates of delinquency.
Principles of comprehensive community-centered programming.
The community’s own vision and mission.
Best practices in juvenile facility master planning, design, and operations.
Factors that contribute to effective and cost-efficient facility operations.

Understanding the elements of effective planning for juvenile facilities has become critically important as many jurisdictions undertake the task of replacing or renovating crowded or substandard facilities. An important training program is now available to these jurisdictions: Planning of New Institutions for Juvenile Facilities (Juvenile PONI) workshops, held regularly at the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Academy in Longmont, CO.

The Juvenile PONI workshop program is the result of a partnership between the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the Corrections Program Office (CPO), both in the Office of Justice Programs of the U.S. Department of Justice. The workshop program is conducted in cooperation with NIC, which is part of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. OJJDP and CPO provide funding while NIC oversees workshop development and presentation. The Juvenile PONI program, which is funded in part through OJJDP’s Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants (JAIBG) program, represents an unprecedented commitment by the three sponsoring Federal agencies to devote special attention to juvenile confinement facilities.