IDJC Frequently Asked Questions

How do state correctional centers differ from county detention centers?

County detention centers are meant to be utilized typically as a short-term placement to hold juveniles until they appear in court after taken into custody by law enforcement, or as a sanction after court hearings. State correctional facilities provide secure, therapeutic environments to provide juveniles an opportunity to change their criminal behaviors in a time span from several months to several years.

What is the funding source?

The majority of the monies utilized by the Department come from General Fund dollars with approximately 26% passed through to counties for Juvenile Justice Services. A smaller portion comes from the federal government through grants.

How does a juvenile get committed to the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections?

Juveniles must meet Idaho Juvenile Court Rule 19 or Idaho Juvenile Court Rule 20 criteria to be committed to the Department. They must be adjudicated for crimes in their communities, and other sanctions have failed in changing their criminal behaviors.

Do you have a probation program?

No. Probation is managed by the counties.

What is the approximate length of custody for my child?

Length of custody is dependent upon the type of program in which the juvenile is placed. For most programs the average length of stay is 9 months with sex offender treatment programs lasting 18 months or longer.

What is the difference in the length of custody between adult and juvenile sentencing?

In the adult system, adults are given specific lengths of time to serve, otherwise known as determinate sentences. In the juvenile system, the length of custody is indeterminate, or in other words, dependent upon a juvenile’s willingness to work the program as well as his/her behavior while in custody.

What is the Parent Project? Where and when is the next one and how much does it cost?

The Parent Project is a class for parents with strong-willed children, children who are at risk for getting into trouble, or are already in trouble. Part of the class is a training session on different topics around improving communication skills, finding support, managing conflict, and promoting family unity. The other part of it is a parent support group where parents can share their experiences, ask for suggestions, and talk about what works with their children. The class is usually about 16 weeks long and the only cost is the book, which is approximately $20. Classes usually begin in the Fall and Winter. Contact your local probation or detention center for registration information.

May I bring my child to tour a state correctional center to "scare" them?

No. Research has shown this strategy is ineffective in deterring youth from a life of crime and can cause psychological trauma.

What is observation and assessment?

Observation and assessment is a process in which the juvenile is evaluated by a clinician using a variety of testing tools, such as psychological, IQ, and educational. Clinical interviews are also held with the juvenile and the parents. The clinician also reads the information provided to them by the juvenile probation officer and juvenile services coordinator. All of this information helps define the risks and needs of your child for proper placement in a program.

What happens when a juvenile is released from state custody?

The ideal situation would be that a county juvenile probation officer has followed the juvenile’s case throughout its entirety and has collaborated and coordinated with the Department’s juvenile services coordinator and community-based resource providers to facilitate a smooth transition from state custody to home. In other words, resources within the juvenile's home community have been identified to assist and support the juvenile and family.