Position Statements

NPJS is committed to generating position statements on critical and timely issues confronting the juvenile services profession.   The development of a position statement starts with the NPJS Critical Issues and Policy Direction Committee where it is drafted and distributed to membership for review and comment.  Once comments are reviewed and appropriate adjustments are made to the statements, they are presented to the NPJS Board of Directors for final approval.   Any member-in-good-standing may serve on the Critical Issues and Policy Direction Committee.

Purpose of Position Statements

The National Partnership for Juvenile Services (NPJS) issues Position Statements on issues impacting the operations of juvenile detention facilities and the juvenile justice system. These Position Statements seek to recognize the basic rights and needs of juveniles who are placed under a level of physical restriction by a court of jurisdiction.  The Position Statements propose a minimum level of service to meet those needs and rights.   Position Papers strive to establish best practices in juvenile justice services.

NPJS recognizes that states and jurisdictions vary in legal requirements and restrictions, that they vary in philosophic practice, and that facility administrators are obligated to follow the directions of their governing bodies.   Position Statements do not criticize any of these individual states, facilities, or administrators.     They serve to encourage and assist the juvenile justice system as a whole to be as effective as possible as it protects public safety and rehabilitates juveniles and families.

NPJS welcomes input from its members as Position Statements are published for comments prior to adoption or for review.

Process for Developing Position Statements

Each year during the Annual Symposium, the Critical Issues and Policy Direction Committee (the committee) shall provide a draft list of Critical Issues to the Board. This list will provide the basis for the creation of Position Statements for the upcoming year. However, the committee shall respond to any issues arising throughout the year, as needed.

The committee will convene regular meetings throughout the year to craft Position Statements and to discuss other Policy issues impacting the membership. When a Position Statement has been drafted and approved by the committee, it will be distributed to the NPJS Membership with a deadline for comments of at least one week prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting of the committee. Members will have at least one week to review and submit comments. Those comments will be distributed to the committee for consideration and any edits to the original draft will be discussed during the next meeting. If no comments are received, the Position Statement will be submitted to the Board of Directors for a vote.

If edits are made to the first draft Position Statement, a second draft Position Statement will be redistributed to the membership highlighting the edited sections. The committee will accept comments on the second draft Position Statement with a deadline of at least one week prior to the next meeting and again giving members at least one week to review and provide comments.  The committee will meet to consider any final comments and will prepare the final draft for Board Approval.

The committee will not accept any additional comments nor shall they make any editorial changes once the Position Statement is submitted for Board approval. If the Board votes to approve the Position Statement, it shall be published on the website and distributed to the membership. If the Board votes against the Position Statement, the Board may return the Statement to the committee with recommendations/commentary at which point the committee shall add the issue to the list of Critical Issues and prioritize accordingly.

Current NPJS Position Statements:

Addressing Mental Health Issues in Juvenile Justice (Adopted December 2017)
Detention as Disposition (Adopted October 2014)
Education in Juvenile Facilities (Adopted September 2015)
Engaging Youth in Positive Development (February 2018)
Holding Juveniles Charged as Adults in Juvenile Detention (Adopted March 2013)
Identifying and Responding to Youth with Brain Injuries within the Juvenile Justice System (Adopted September 2018)
Minimum Direct Care Staff Ratio in Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facilities (Adopted October 2013)
NPJS Legislative & Public Policy Platform (2020)

Personal Searches (Adopted June 2018)
Placement and Treatment of Pre-Adolescents in a Detention Facility (Adopted October 2011)
Programs and Services for Girls and Young Women in the Juvenile Justice System (Adopted June 2016)

Recruitment, Selection, and Retention of Juvenile Justice Professionals (Adopted October 2011)
Repurposing Juvenile Justice Facilities (Adopted October 2014)
Sentencing Juveniles to Life in Prison without the Opportunity for Parole (Adopted February 2015)
Service Delivery & Fiscal Responsibility (Adopted February 2015)
Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Confinement Facilities/PREA (Adopted October 2011)
Suicide Prevention in Juvenile Justice Facilities (Adopted October 2014)
Unit and Facility Size (Adopted July 2002)
Use of Electroshock Devices in Juvenile Detention and Secure Residential Facilities (Adopted October 2011)
Use of Isolation (Adopted October 2014)
Use of Mechanical Restraints During Court Proceedings (Adopted February 2016)

Position Statements from the National Juvenile Detention Association

Collocation of Juvenile and Adult Facilities (Adopted October 1997)
Education in Juvenile Detention (Adopted June 2005)
Gender Specific Programming in Juvenile Detention and Corrections (Adopted June 1999)
Health Care in Juvenile Detention (Adopted October 2002)
Overcrowding (Adopted October 1995)
Privatization (Adopted October 1997)