Mississippi has a few different types of juvenile justice services. First, they have community-based services and programs. Then they have one juvenile detention center called Oakley Youth Development Center, and then they have aftercare and probation services. They even offer some services in-school at other institutions like the Williams School. Youth offenders who are sentenced by the courts to confinement stay at the Oakley Youth Development Center.
All of the juvenile justice services, facilities, inmates and Mississippi juvenile inmate records are managed and maintained by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Services (DYS). It is impossible to perform a Mississippi juvenile detention center inmate search online because juvenile records are kept private until the person turns 18. The inmate then has the option of applying to have their juvenile record expunged.
The Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Services mission statement reads: “The Division of Youth Services (DYS) administers probation, aftercare services and institutional programs for juveniles who have been adjudged delinquent in Mississippi Youth Courts or are at risk of becoming delinquent.”
Mississippi offers at-risk youth offenders the option of receiving community-based treatment in an effort towards their goal which is “To ensure a balanced approach to accountability, competency development and community safety in providing quality services that address the needs of clients, individual victims and the community.”
The Oakley Youth Development Center uses a psycho-educational program to assess and rehabilitate youth offenders. Their services include treatment programs, counseling, education, and recreation. The Mississippi Animal Rescue League has partnered with Oakley Youth Development Center to offer kids a program called “A New Leash on Life” where they train and care for dogs as part of their rehabilitation.
The DYS also offers probation and aftercare programs to ensure the success of youth offenders. The DYS explains: “Individual, group and family counseling, intake, pre-court investigation, case management, and referral and placement are some of the services provided by DYS counselors.”
There are fewer than 250 youth offenders in juvenile detention in Mississippi. Less than.09% of the juvenile detention population is female; the rest is male. The majority of offenders are Black and then the rest white. Unfortunately, most are in juvenile detention due to violent offenses. Only a handful are there for non-violent offenses and only a couple for sex offenses.