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.


    • The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

      The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was enacted by Congress in 2003 to address the problem of sexual abuse of persons in the custody of U.S. correctional agencies. PREA applies to all public and private institutions that house adult or juvenile offenders and is also relevant to community-based agencies. It addresses both inmate-on-inmate sexual abuse and staff sexual misconduct.

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      The National Institute of Corrections

      The National Institute of Corrections in collaboration with the National Partnership for Juvenile Services, created the Desktop Guide to Quality Practices Working with Youth in Confinement for the purpose of providing practitioners—line staff, supervisors, and administrators—along the various points on the youth-custody continuum with an operational resource that describes promising and effective practices that are rooted in theory and tested by research.

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      National Partnership for Juvenile Services

      The National Partnership for Juvenile Services (NPJS) is made up of educators, detention and corrections practitioners, and juvenile justice trainers.  NPJS has produced a Desktop Guide to Quality Practice for Working with Juveniles in Confinement.  This on-line resource includes chapters on health care, education, behavior management, physical plan design and operations, and more.

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      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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  • 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.


    • 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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      Trauma Informed Practices

      Many youth who are under the custody or supervision of DJC have experienced significant trauma including neglect, abandonment, physical or sexual abuse, and varying degrees of family involvement in their lives. Because of the extensive neurological research regarding the adverse effects that childhood trauma can have on brain development, including its potential to increase a person’s risk for significant health and social problems later in life, DJC has continued to emphasize trauma-informed care (TIC) practices. It seeks to develop a treatment culture that is responsive to trauma related needs by modifying policies and practices surrounding behavior modification programs, increasing family involvement in youth treatment, introducing sensory interventions and calm rooms, and providing a positive environment for youth to practice safe coping skills and work through challenging situations.

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      Operations

      This section provides additional information about the Division of Juvenile Corrections’ policies and procedures related to professional development, security/staffing, PREA, use of seclusion, training and Performance Based Standards.

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      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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  • 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.


    • Marathon County

      The Marathon County Juvenile Facility is located in Wausau, Wisconsin and has capacity for 20 youth. For more information about this facility or its MC 180 program, please call: (715) 261-1744.

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      Milwaukee County

      The Milwaukee County Detention Facility is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has capacity for 120 youth. For more information about this facility, please call: (414) 257-7721.

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      Northwest Regional

      The Northwest Regional Juvenile Detention Center is located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and has capacity for 23 youth. For more information about this facility, please call: (715) 839-5128.

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      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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  • Publications