During the early 1970's, the statewide detention* network consisted primarily of several secure detention facilities housing boys and girls ages 10 to 16. In order to develop regulations and disseminate information. the New York State Division for Youth (DFY), the detention regulatory agency, called for meetings between DFY officials and directors of secure detention programs. In 1975 detention administrators met in order to be prepared to respond to the direction of DFY and the Juvenile Detention Association of New York State, Inc. was formed. Between 1976 and 1978 many non-secure detention facilities were opened as a direct result of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Within several years the Association became equally represented by individuals working in both secure and non-secure detention programs.
The Association was officially incorporated as a not-for-profit professional organization in August, 1978. A constitution, by-laws and a code of ethics were adopted, various committees were formed and membership began to increase. The Association continues as a professional group committed to promoting excellence, communication, support and training in the field of juvenile detention.
*Juvenile detention in New York State refers to facilities for preadjudicated children aged 7 to 16 held for, or at the direction of the Family Court and criminal courts as Persons in Need of Supervision, juvenile delinquents and juvenile offenders.
The purposes of the Association are:
- To promote excellence and professionalism in the field of juvenile detention.
- To provide effective channels of communication between detention centers and all agencies involved in the juvenile detention process
- To provide a source of support, training and education for all juvenile detention personnel
- To study, develop and make recommendations regarding existing and proposed legislation and regulations that impact on the juvenile detention process
- To provide consultation and advisory services for all groups interested in the field of juvenile detention.