Youth in Confined Settings

Youth in confined settings refers to all youth who have been court ordered to a correctional or detention facility in the State of Wisconsin. Emerging and ongoing research helps guide the Division of Juvenile Corrections and county detention facilities in their movement away from treating youth like adults. It is critical to understand adolescent brain development, trauma-informed care, positive youth development, and how all of this collectively impacts and influences youth who are confined and in the care of correctional and detention facilities in Wisconsin.

  • Introduction to Youth in Confined Settings
    • Best Practice Guides and Standards for youth in confined settings. National organizations such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the National Partnership for Juvenile Services have created guides and standards for agencies who work with youth in confined settings.


    • JDAI Pathways for Detention Reform Series

      This series of 15 publications was produced to capture the innovations and the lessons learned from the experiences of the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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      The Annie E Casey Foundation

      The Annie E Casey Foundation works to improve youth outcomes for juveniles who become involved in the juvenile justice system by working with agencies to eliminate the inappropriate use of secure confinement and out-of-home placements. They have developed the Annie E. Casey Juvenile Detention Facility Assessment  to help detention facilities assess and improve their sites.

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      Performance-based Standards (PbS)

      Performance-based Standards is a program for juvenile justice agencies, facilities and residential care providers to identify, monitor and improve conditions and rehabilitation services provided to youths using national standards and outcome measures. PbS is a field-supported and self-sustaining continuous learning and improvement program available to all residential programs serving youths across the country.

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      The Council for Juvenile Court Administrators (CJCA)

      The Council for Juvenile Court Administrators (CJCA) leads work on several national projects to help youth in trouble by providing tools, training, technical assistance and support to youth correctional leaders and staff.

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      The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)

      The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. OJJDP supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs and to improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety, holds offenders accountable, and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families.

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  • Wisconsin Division of Juvenile Corrections
    • The Wisconsin Division of Juvenile Corrections cares for all youth who are court ordered to one of its two Type 1 secured juvenile correctional facilities, Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls, both located in Irma, Wisconsin. The mission of these facilities is to provide community protection and hold youth accountable for their behaviors while offering them skill-building opportunities that contribute to victim and community restoration. The Division also oversees the new community program, the Grow Academy.


    • Risk and Needs Assessment

      Risk and Needs Assessments are  a computerized tool designed to assess youth needs and risk of recidivism and inform decisions regarding the placement, supervision, and case management of delinquent youth. Developed and focused on predictors known to affect recidivism, these tools includes dynamic risk factors in their prediction of recidivism and provide information on a variety of well-validated risk and need factors designed to aid in correctional treatment to decrease the likelihood that youth will re-offend. The Division of Juvenile Corrections uses Northpointe’s COMPAS Youth (Correctional Offender Management and Profiling for Alternative Sanctions) assessment which contains 32 criminogenic and needs scales that provide measurement and assessment in the key areas of family, school and peer contexts in addition to individual personality and cognitive characteristics of youth.

      Case Planning

      Case plans are created for each youth under supervision with the Division of Juvenile Corrections. All case plans have the following components: criminogenic needs, OJOR (Office of Juvenile Offender Review), re-entry, and family connections.

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      Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Programming

      Cognitive behavioral therapy (also known by its abbreviation, CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people’s difficulties, and to change the way they feel.

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      Educational Programming

      Each juvenile correctional facility provides educational services designed to meet the individual needs of its youth. Depending on the youth’s age and academic progress, a youth may work to earn middle school or high school credits toward grade advancement and a diploma or may work to earn a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED). Youth also have opportunities to engage in career and technical education opportunities while earning high school or college credit.

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      Mental Health

      Although the Division of Juvenile Corrections offers comprehensive medical, physical, and educational services at its two Type 1 facilities, some youth require additional mental health treatment. For these youth the Division of Juvenile Corrections contracts with the Department of Health Services (DHS) to place up to 29 male youth at one time in the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center (MJTC) in Madison.

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  • County-Operated Secure Detention Facilities
    • Wisconsin has 13 county-operated secure juvenile detention facilities statewide that may be used for holding youth in secure custody in accordance with state law.


    • Portage County

      The Portage County Juvenile Detention Center is located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin and has capacity for 14 youth. For more information about this facility, please call: (715) 346-1263.

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      Racine County

      The Racine Juvenile Detention Center is located in Racine, Wisconsin and has capacity for 131 youth. For more information about this facility, please call: (262) 638-6722.

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      Rock County

      The Rock County Youth Services Center is located in Janesville, Wisconsin and has capacity for 35 youth. For more information about this facility, please call: (608) 757-5437.

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      Sheboygan County

      The Sheboygan County Juvenile Detention Center is located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and has capacity for 27 youth. For more information about this facility, please call: (920) 459-1300.

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      Washington County

      The Washington County Juvenile Detention is located in West Bend, Wisconsin and has capacity for 26 youth. For more information about this facility, please call: (262) 335-4378.

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  • Publications