Juvenile Detention Center
The mission of the Ada County Juvenile Court Services Detention Center is
to provide Community Protection while changing lives.
Juveniles are held in the detention center on an order from the court and/or if they are deemed a risk to the community, a risk to self, or at risk to flee the jurisdiction before their next court hearing. A Judge may order placement of a juvenile into detention after a hearing has been held on a matter. Police filing criminal complaints on juveniles may also bring them to detention. There are established criteria that the detention center and the police must follow to detain juveniles. Juveniles admitted from the community in this manner will attend a detention hearing, where charges are arraigned, and a Judge determines whether the juvenile can be safely released to the community. The detention hearing is scheduled in front of a juvenile Judge within 24 hours of admission, excluding weekends and holidays.
All juveniles entering detention undergo an admission process. During this process, relevant information is entered into a statewide database, and juveniles are photographed and fingerprinted. They take showers, are issued clothing, and their personal property is securely stored until they are released. Juveniles are classified according to several criteria, including gender, age, maturity, and type and seriousness of crime/s. This classification determines their specific room placement. All rooms are single-occupancy.
See also our: Ada County Juvenile Court Services Detention Center Information Sheet
After juveniles have completed the admission process, they are placed into programming.
Our educational core services include two classrooms staffed by Boise School District Master's-level teachers, aides, and a liaison. These classrooms provide regular schoolwork from the resident’s home school, GED, or flex program.
A third classroom is dedicated to detention vocational education and is staffed by detention personnel. This classroom is for males who have dropped out of school or who are older and working on their GED.
In addition to our classroom core services, we offer expanded educational and programming opportunities for juveniles:
- Individual counseling
- Health awareness and education classes and groups, including smoking cessation, substance abuse prevention, personal hygiene, pregnancy, stress management, anger management , and emergency first aid
- Personal development classes and groups, including life skills, goal-setting, effective habits, growing from failure, and cultural awareness
- Reading classes and groups, including Book Circle, Book Club, Literacy Circle, and The Cabin (where professional writers engage students in the power and pleasure of reading and writing)
- Sports activities and classes such as basketball, volleyball, and calisthenics - all offered on a daily basis
- Crafts and healthy hobbies classes, including guitar, mandolin, hunting, and fly-tying
- Movie night for residents who earn it through good behavior
- Honors recognition for residents with exceptionally positive behavior
- Female empowerment and cognitive development classes, such as VOICES, Girls Circle, and WINGS - all aimed at encouraging girls to make positive choices for themselves
- Other small group sessions, where various competencies are developed in a socially positive setting.
- Religious/spiritual services - provided to residents who request it and have parental permission to participate
To read an Idaho Statesman article about the detention center's knitting project for residents, click here.
Staff and Training
There are 30 full-time staff and 11 part-time on-call staff. All staff are POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) Academy certified.
Ongoing, in-house training is provided to all detention staff. Some of the training areas are 10 Laws of Winning Communication, Appropriate Use of Force, CPR, First Aid, Suicide Prevention, Ethics, Policy and Procedure, and Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).
Medical staff are on duty seven days a week from 7 AM to 10 PM. Services include those of a physician, consulting psychiatrist, dentist, and a nurse practitioner from Central District Health. Lifestyle and health education is offered, along with free immunizations, HIV and STD testing, counseling, and treatment. Our medical services unit is accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare, which monitors the medications and health of juveniles in detention.
When a juvenile enters Detention they are issued a resident handbook that explains the guidelines and rules of the facility. The rules are outlined as expectations and cover the following areas:
- Proper Room
- Movement in the facility
- Dress Code – Detention provides all clothing.
- General Behavior toward others
- Phone – All calls made from Detention are collect.
- Mail – Residents are allowed to mail two letters a week.
Violations of rules and expectations may lead to disciplinary action. For minor violations, juveniles may receive a “Time Out,” which is a short period of time that the juvenile will remain in his/her room. For major violations, juveniles may be put in the “Behavior Management Group” for two to five days depending on the infraction. While in the group, juveniles will have limited time out of their room and no contact with other residents.
The goal of Food Services is to provide nutritionally balanced and economical meals for the youth in Ada County Juvenile Detention. Our meals meet or exceed nutritional standards of the National School Lunch and Breakfast mandate, as well as those of the National Commission of Correctional Health Care. Our menus are reviewed by a Registered Dietician twice a year. Our kitchen accommodates medical and special needs diets, and provides juveniles three meals a day as well as an evening snack.
We have visitation for parents, grandparents, and legal guardians twice a week:
Sunday 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Optional detention tours for these visitors are conducted each Sunday at 2:30 pm.
Juveniles may also receive letters while in detention, as long as it is not restricted by the court. Packages are not allowed. If you would like to send a letter to a detention resident, please address it to the juvenile at:
Ada County Juvenile Detention Center
6300 W Denton Street
Boise, ID 83704
Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)
JDAI, or the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, is an effort to systematically reform Ada County’s approach to detaining juveniles, with a goal of keeping the right juveniles in secure confinement while offering low-risk offenders viable, productive, and mutually beneficial alternatives. It includes use of an objective Risk Assessment Instrument (RAI), which assesses juveniles entering the system according to their risk of fleeing the jurisdiction and risk to the community or themselves. Identifying low-risk juveniles and using detention alternatives has resulted in a lower detention population, which in turn results in more effective detention experiences for those juveniles who are detained. Alternatives include:
- In-Home Detention
- Electronic Monitoring
- Detention Release Orders
- Work In Lieu of Detention (WILD)
- Weekend Detention
Click here to read A Better Way To Do Business, by Joe Vraspir (ACJCS Placement Coordinator), which provides a more detailed summary of JDAI implementation in Ada County.
The Ada County Juvenile Detention Center has 71 beds (2 pods, 3 wings, and observation rooms).
For more information on the Detention Center, please contact our main office at 208.577.4800 or contact: