Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth

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Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth

DJJOY is directed by a deputy commissioner assisted by four associate commissioners: one each for community partnerships, facilities management, youth programs and services, and health services. DJJOY supports and monitors facility-based operations and programs, as well as community services and a range of community-based programs.

DJJOY is directed by a deputy commissioner assisted by three associate commissioners; one for community partnerships, a second for facilities management and a third for youth programs and services. It is directly responsible for the operation, supervision and management of nine residential facilities and the treatment programs and services provided within the facilities and Community Multi-Services Office (CMSO) programs. DJJOY has eight CMSOs and one satellite office responsible for the provision of services to youth and families from the first day of placement. CMSO staff provide support to the family while the youth is in residential placement and when the youth is released to community supervision, providing a continuum of services. CMSO case managers also provide case management support and community supervision for OCFS youth placed in voluntary agencies.

Bureau of Quality Assurance and Improvement (QAI)

This Bureau reviews and monitors the quality of the DJJOY system; with current concentration on nine facilities. QAI conducts comprehensive program reviews for these facilities every six months. These reviews consist of the QAI Team utilizing quantitative data compiled from JJIS, ARTS, RIR, and other systems available; onsite reviews of a sample of incidents and the documentation thereof; onsite and remote reviews of youth records; onsite interviews of youth and staff; onsite review of activities, groups, team meetings, and other occurrences in the daily operations of our facilities. These reviews are then reduced to a report that serves as a guide for facilities and home office to develop action plans that drive performance improvement. QAI provides quantitative data to all facilities on a monthly basis to assist in the management of the systems and analyze trends to provide a means for informed decision making at all levels. QAI also provides technical assistance to facilities and other bureaus in developing standards and review tools. QAI has staff in Home Office, NYC, Syracuse Regional Office, and Rochester Regional Office.

Bureau of Management & Program Support

This bureau contributes to positive outcomes for youth by providing technical assistance and support to DJJOY home office executive staff and to DJJOY facilities and programs. This is accomplished via assisting in the planning, development and roll out of DJJOY initiatives and special projects as well as the provision of a wide range of program support and monitoring functions. Monitoring and support functions include, but are not limited to, Justice Center activities, labor relations, reportable incidents, child abuse allegations/investigations, physical restraints, policy review and development, oversight of the DJJOY vehicle fleet, and administrative support. In addition, the bureau oversees and coordinates all aspects of audits for the American Correctional Association (ACA), Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and State Commission of Corrections (SCOC) Reviews.

Office of Community Partnerships and Family Engagement

Under the direction of an associate commissioner, this office provides support and monitoring services to CMSO programs, intake and court liaison services, and contracted community-based initiatives.

Bureau of Community Services

CMSOs are located statewide and include Community case managers, community clinicians, intake workers, court liaisons, youth division aides, and other service providers who work closely with the youth’s multi-disciplinary support team. The focus is to provide services to the youth and their family from the first day of a youth’s placement with OCFS until the youth returns to community supervision. The CMSO provides case management, supervision and counseling programs for all youth placed with OCFS. The community case manager, in collaboration with the facility support team members, is responsible for development of the Community Re-entry Plan (CRP) for each youth. The CRP builds on the individual treatment goals the youth achieves in placement and aligns them to community strategies that targets identified areas of high risk through a cadre of primary and secondary community support services in the following domains: individual, family, school, peer group/ community, and vocation/employment. Through the utilization of the EM program, the CMSO is able maintain a high level of youth supervision and support as youth make their transition to their communities from residential placement.

Bureau of Classification and Movement

This bureau is responsible for oversight of operations and functions related to intake, classification, and movement of OCFS placed youth and youth re-placed with voluntary agencies. It manages the (JJIS), the Juvenile Contact System (JCS), transactions and data management, the Interstate Compact for Juveniles, provides for interstate community supervision for out-of-state youth and the return of runaway youth, and manages the Central Communications Unit (CCU), which centrally manages youth warrants and the RIR. The bureau also oversees the Centralized Client Classification System (CCCS), which monitors, reviews, and expedites all routine and emergency movement from facilities, as well as all release and transfer decisions concerning youth in care. The Statewide Youth Transportation System (SYTS), with regional hubs across the state, facilitates the operation of the temporary holdover units at the facilities for youth in transport status.

Statistics and Survey Unit

This unit collects and processes data at intake that is used to determine a youth's risk level and program needs.

Intake and Court Liaison Services

Intake workers collect placement and background documents, interview the youth in detention and conduct a home visit with the family, communicate with the court and manage the overall process of admitting youth into OCFS care. They are located across the state in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Long Island, New York City and the mid-Hudson region.

Statewide Family Partnership

The Statewide Family Partnership Committee (SFPC) was created as part of an agency initiative to improve the juvenile justice system by increasing the involvement of parents and families throughout the DJJOY system. The SFPC and OCFS partners with families to incorporate family-friendly policies, services and staff practice; engage families in transition planning and support networks while empowering youth and families to develop strong, supportive roots in their communities for long-lasting independence, stability and success. The partnership utilizes a dedicated Family Support Liaison in each office in an effort to create a reliable, enduring resource in support of our youth, families and the SFPC.

The SFPC provides linkage to wrap-around services by connecting families with supportive community based services, provide referrals to resources and inform families of available assistance. They also share information on job trainings, employment opportunities, workshops for problem solving and professional skill building. The SFPC provides a safe space for families and youth to voice their thoughts and concerns about cross-system service challenges.

Community Credible Messenger Initiative (CCMI)

Developed to strategically provide identified youth and families with the structured support of a Credible Messenger and/or Parent Partner while being linked to vocational/ employment opportunities referred to as Work Based Learning (WBL).

The CCMI model incorporates practices and strategies intended to improve outcomes for OCFS-placed youth and their families by providing a community-based network built on collaboration. That network will include credible messengers, parent partners, OCFS community case managers, family, friends, grassroots organizations and child welfare agencies. CCMI will create a framework which allows community-based partners to build, strengthen, and supervise a group of professionals who can engage high risk communities and provide supports focused on better outcomes for our hard to reach youth and families.

CCMI currently targets youth in selected zip codes within the Buffalo, Rochester, Mid-Hudson and Long Island Regions.

Performance Review Unit (PRU)

The PRU works to provide direction, consultation, and monitoring of CMSO case management, community service coordination, family engagement, and community supervision.

PRU strives to involve staff at all levels in an effort towards continuous performance improvement of programs and services. PRU utilizes input from youth in care, their families, staff, administration, agency leadership and community service providers through tools, surveys, systems data, and other established vehicles. PRU monitors CMSOs on a continuous basis remotely and conducts scheduled on-site reviews to determine levels of performance, quality of services, as well as compliance with applicable standards, policies, and regulations.

Office of Facilities Management and Workforce Support

This office is responsible for providing residential programs supervision and treatment to youth placed in the agency’s custody and care by the family and criminal courts. It is overseen by the associate commissioner for facilities management, with three facilities managers to provide management support and oversight to all DJJOY operated facilities.

The office is responsible for the development, review and approval of the policies, procedures and practices that govern the operations of its residential programs. This process provides for consistency and appropriateness of policies that are in compliance with relevant standards and laws.

Residential programs include non-secure, limited secure and secure facilities for juvenile delinquents, youthful offenders, adolescent offenders and juvenile offenders. The DJJOY residential care system consists of nine facilities. There are three secure facilities, five limited-secure facilities and one non-secure facility. In conjunction with the Office of Program Services, this office provides the following services to youth in its care: discrete units for youth with mental health, substance abuse and sexual offender service needs; individual and group counseling, medical and dental services, education, vocational/employment, recreational and ministerial services. All facilities operate under the American Correctional Association (ACA) standards of best practice and quality services. Additionally, Secure Facilities are monitored by the New York State Commission of Correction (SCOC).

Accreditation Program

The facilities operated by the Office of Facilities Management and Workforce Support seek and maintain accreditation through the ACA. Accreditation is based on national standards of best practices; it improves the quality of services provided and enhances programs through improved management, monitoring and oversight. Facilities are reviewed annually by internal auditors from the Bureau of Management and Program Support and every three years by ACA auditors in accordance with national standards of best practices.

PREA Compliance

Each facility receives a standards compliance audit regarding compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 in accordance with required timeframes. Facilities are reviewed every three years on a rotating schedule.

Security and Fire Safety

This function provides the implementation and ongoing operation of facility security and fire safety. It monitors facility compliance with PESH/OSHA health and safety standards, and compliance with New York State codes; coordinates facility radio communication equipment; and provides technical assistance to facilities concerning ACA fire safety and security standards, to include the DJJOY emergency preparedness plans and security reviews of facilities.

Secure Residential Facilities

This is the most controlled and restrictive of the residential programs operated by OCFS. The provide intensive programming for youth who require this type of environment. Secure facilities are located in non-urban areas with virtually all program services provided on-grounds. Access to and from secure facilities is strictly controlled. The facility is either a single building or a small cluster of buildings surrounded by security fencing and individual resident rooms are locked at night.

The majority of youth admitted to secure facilities are sentenced as juvenile offenders or juvenile offender/youthful offenders by the adult courts. Certain youth may be placed in secure facilities as Adolescent Offenders per raise the Age guidelines and juvenile delinquents, where the Family Court has authorized secure placement within 60 days of custody admission or when the youth has been “fennered” from a limited-secure facility for violent behavior. Services provided include education, employment training, recreation, counseling, medical and mental health services.

Limited Secure Residential Facilities

This is the most restrictive service setting for youth adjudicated as juvenile delinquents. Limited secure facilities may also be used for youth previously placed in secure facilities as a first step in their transition back to the community. Most limited secure facilities are located in rural areas, and virtually all services are provided on-grounds. Services provided include education, employment training, recreation, counseling, medical and mental health services.

Non-Secure Residential Facilities

Non-secure residential facilities provide a non-secure level of placement for youth adjudicated as juvenile delinquents and consists of a variety of urban and rural residential centers. Youth in non-secure residential centers require removal from the community but do not require the more restrictive setting nor restraining hardware of a limited secure facility. Services provided include education, employment training, recreation, counseling, medical and mental health services.

Office of Youth Engagement and Academics

Under the direction of an associate commissioner, the Office of Youth Engagement and Academics provides technical support to residential and community services programs.

Bureau of Education Services

This bureau is responsible for the operation of school programs in OCFS facilities. Staff identify statewide service priorities and needs, plan education program systems and designs, coordinate the planning and design of career education program systems, develop recreation program models, coordinate provision of the Innervisions substance abuse prevention education program, recommend educational policies, and provide technical assistance and monitoring in the education area. The bureau also coordinates and assists with the re-entry of OCFS youth to their local education agency and acts as a liaison with State Education Department to monitor compliance with state regulations and laws.

Bureau of Ministerial Services

This bureau coordinates chaplaincy efforts of agency staff, supported by local volunteers from recognized religious denominations. The bureau assures the availability of religious services to youth in facility programs.

Office of Youth Health and Wellness

Under the direction of an associate commissioner, the Office of Youth Health and Wellness is responsible for medical, nursing, nutrition and dental services to youth as well as mental health services in OCFS’s residential and community programs, including treatment units for substance use disorders, sexual offense behaviors and intensive mental health.

Bureau of Health Services

Under the direction of a medical director, the Bureau of Health Services provides direction, leadership and support for facility programs to develop and maintain adequate medical, nursing, nutrition and dental services to meet the needs of resident youth and staff. This bureau also collaborates with other units in OCFS to provide technical assistance with regard to medical, nursing, and dental issues.

Bureau of Behavioral Health Services

This bureau oversees the provision of mental health services in all residential and community-based programs within DJJOY. BBHS is committed to providing youth and families with treatment milieus in trauma informed environments with evidence-based interventions that support the youth and her/his family's functioning. The bureau develops the agency's behavioral health policies and procedures which facilitate best mental health practices within DJJOY settings throughout New York State. It is responsible for the direct supervision and professional growth of all mental health clinicians within DJJOY including: psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and psychiatric nurse practitioners.

The bureau further oversees three types of discrete units:

  • substance abuse treatment units,
  • sexually harmful behavior treatment units and
  • mental health units.

The Bureau of Behavioral Health Services is responsible for building relationships with community-based treatment agencies and for fostering these agencies’ understanding of the treatment needs of youth and families DJJOY serves. Developing such community partnerships assists in ensuring that youth and families have their treatment needs met beyond the youth's placement with OCFS/DJJOY. The bureau also supervises two counseling liaisons who provide coaching and support to residential youth counselors in effective case management skills and in facilitating psycho-educational and therapeutic groups.