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Basic services, 2017

  • Overall

    State operated

  • Detention

    State operated

  • Probation

    State operated

  • Reentry

    State operated

Delinquency services are centralized in Vermont. The Family Services Division of the Department for Children and Families (DCF) administers secure detention, probation, commitment to state facilities, and aftercare services.  DCF administers Vermont’s only secure detention program, the Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center.

Community supervision and reentry services are performed by DCF juvenile probation officers who are often social workers.

Corrections agency, 2015

  • Independent juvenile corrections agency

  • Family/child welfare agency or division

  • Broad human services agency

  • Adult corrections agency or division

The Family Services Division of the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) administers commitments to state juvenile correctional facilities and aftercare services for youth leaving those facilities.

Solitary confinement, 2016

  • Prohibits punitive confinement

  • Limits punitive confinement

  • No limits on punitive confinement

  • Did not respond

Solitary confinement for punitive purposes is not allowed in Vermont's juvenile correctional facility, Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center. Seclusion only used to ensure immediate safety of youth or others Confinement for longer than 30 minutes requires administrative or clinical approval.  (Adapted from 51 Jurisdiction Survey of Juvenile Solitary Confinement Rules in Juvenile Justice Systems, 2016. Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest at Lowenstein Sandler LLP)

Release decision, 2016

  • Agency

  • Court

  • Parole board

  • Agency and court

Release decisions for youth committed to the Department for Children and Families (DCF) can be made by the Department or the committing court. Releases can be initiated by either DCF- FSD staff or the court depending on the type of commitment. The YASI is used to inform the release decision. Courts are not required to be notified of releases unless stipulated in the court order. NCJJ's 2005 survey indicated the committing court made release decisions. 

Risk assessment, 2017

Organization 2013 2017
Statewide uniform assessment
Layered/regional assessment
Locally administered assessment

In Vermont, juvenile probation is administered by the Family Services Division of the Department for Children and Families. State statute and Family Services Division administrative policy require the use of a risk/needs assessment in all juvenile probation. Vermont uses the Youth Assessment & Screening Instrument (YASI) statewide and provides training on the YASI for probation officers. Information from the YASI is used to guide diversion from formal process decisions and informal adjustment planning, develop/inform pre-disposition investigation reports and/or planning, develop probation disposition recommendations to the juvenile court, develop probation case plans, and inform prosecutors’ decision of whether or not to direct file to adult court. The state is not currently aggregating case level data, but has plans to do so in the future.

Risk instruments, 2017

  • Statute or agency policy

    Required by state or administrative regulation

  • Agency recommended

    Recommended by probation oversite agency

Risk instruments tool used
Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI)

Mental health screening, 2014

Requires a research-based mental health screening

  • Secure detention

  • Probation

  • Corrections

Mental health screening tool used
Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument –Version 2 (MAYSI-2)

Vermont requires the use of standardized mental health screening for youth admitted to the only juvenile detention and treatment facility in the state, Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center. The policy was adopted when the facility successfully received American Corrections Association (ACA) accreditation and became a Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrator's (CJCA) Performance Based Standards (PbS) site.

PbS is a data-driven improvement model grounded in research that holds juvenile justice agencies, facilities and residential care providers to the highest standards for operations, programs and services The Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-Version 2 (MAYSI-2), is the instrument Woodside administrators adopted. Since both pre-adjudication detention and post-disposition residential services are handled at Woodside, the cost of implementing mental health screening is absorbed in the facility operating budget.

While a standardized mental health screening tool has not been uniformly adopted in community supervision services, the state has adopted the Youth Assessment & Screening Instrument (YASI), apply the YASI pre-screen prior to initial hearing in delinquency matters and may make recommendations based on the mental health module of the assessment.

Frameworks for evidence-based practices, 2014

  • Statute

    Supporting commitment to EBPs

  • Administrative regulations

    Either in corrections, probation, or the juvenile court

  • Support center

    Or collaboration dedicated to coordinating activities around implementing, evaluating, and sustaining EBPs

  • No stance

    No official stance on EBPs

  • Did not respond

    State did not respond to the survey

Vermont supports the implementation and expansion of evidence-based programs and practices (EBPs) in the juvenile justice system through the State Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice allocating block grant funding to the University of Vermont for juvenile justice training that is research-based. The SAG further supports specific EBPs and requires grantees to report performance and is in the early phases of developing a statewide guide to EBPs.

Recidivism reporting, 2016

Does not publish recidivism consistently over time.

About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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