The state of Pennsylvania has five facilities to hold youth offenders, and they are called juvenile detention centers. Two of them actually act as forest camps. Juvenile delinquents who have been sentenced to confinement by the courts end up in these facilities.
The Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services (BJJS) is the government agency in charge of all juvenile detention centers, inmates, and all Pennsylvania juvenile inmate records. Juvenile records are kept sealed until the individual turns 18. Therefore, no one can just go online and perform a Pennsylvania juvenile detention center inmate search. They must instead contact the BJJS or the facility itself. The BJJS says, “These facilities are designed to provide state-of-the-art treatment, care, and custody services to Pennsylvania’s most at-risk youth.”
Their mission statement reads: “The Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services (BJJS) will provide a system of individualized treatment services that values strong child, family, and community partnerships; promotes competency development and victim awareness; and enhances the quality and coordination of our juvenile justice system.”
They use a proactive approach of performance-based standards and standardized program evaluation protocols to achieve success with rehabilitation and reprogramming of youth offenders.
The BJJS established two forestry camps in 1956, and then in 1959, they opened two youth development centers as well. Today there are three juvenile detention centers and two camps. They are as follows:
Along with academic education and recreation, these centers offer inmates substantial programming. Some of their programs include:
Their core values used to achieve their goals are:
There is about 2,800 youth in juvenile detention centers in Pennsylvania. Eighty-seven percent of youth offenders are male, and the rest are female. Roughly half are White, with another 40% being Black and then 10% Hispanic. The most common charges among youth offenders are drugs, weapons charges, and assault. Theft and robbery are also top on the list.