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Not In Isolation, Stop Solitary for Kids, 2019

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABOUT STOP SOLITARY FOR KIDS
Stop Solitary for Kids is a national campaign to end solitary confinement of youth in juvenile
and adult facilities in the United States. The campaign is a joint effort by the Center for
Children’s Law and Policy, the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, the Council of Juvenile
Correctional Administrators, and the Justice Policy Institute. Stop Solitary for Kids aims
to end solitary confinement by working with key decision makers in all three branches of
government at the federal, state, and local levels through research, public education, policy
reform, improved facility practices, legislative changes, training, and technical assistance. To
learn more, please visit our website: www.StopSolitaryforKids.org.

CAMPAIGN PARTNERS
Center for Children’s Law and Policy
Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators
Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University
Justice Policy Institute

AGENCIES
This publication would not be possible without the resources and time provided
by the following agencies. Administrators and staff in these agencies participated
in multiple in-person and phone interviews, responded to requests for information,
and provided policies and data.
Colorado Division of Youth Services
Massachusetts Department of Youth Services
Oregon Youth Authority
Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Memphis, Tennessee
Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County

22

Acknowledgements
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

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FACILITIES
We thank the administrators and staff of the following facilities for accommodating site
visits from our staff and providing access to administrators, staff, and youth:
Gilliam Youth Services Center, Denver, Colorado
Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center, Golden, Colorado
MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, Woodburn, Oregon
Metro Youth Services Center, Dorchester, Massachusetts
Paul T. Leahy Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center, Memphis, Tennessee

INDIVIDUALS
We thank the following individuals in each jurisdiction for providing direct assistance in
this project or allowing us to use their experiences and quotes to enhance this publication.

Colorado Division of Youth Services

Anders Jacobson, Director
Heidi Bauer, Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs
Erik Julius, Director, Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center
Jamie Nuss, Director, Gilliam Youth Services Center

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services

Peter Forbes, Commissioner
Ruth Rovezzi, Deputy Commissioner of Operations and Support Services
Margaret Chow-Menzer, the Deputy Commissioner of Administration and Finance
Cecely A. Reardon, General Counsel
Nancy Carter, Director of Regional Operations
Yvonne Sparling, Director of Clinical Services*
Robert Turillo, Assistant Commissioner of Program Services
Louise DiMarzio, Executive Assistant

Acknowledgements
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

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3

Daniel O’Sullivan, Metropolitan Regional Director
David Chandler, Director of Research and Internal Review Board Chair
Barbara Morton, Central Regional Director
Lynn Allen, Facility Administrator
Lenny Beatty, Facility Administrator
Fred Hurley, Facility Administrator
Meghan McDermott, Clinician
Elisa Samuels, Program Administrator
Demetrius Solomon, Shift Administrator
Mark Auguste, Shift Administrator
Jerry Cambero, Shift Administrator
Rudy Kolaco, Shift Administrator
Brian Daley, DYS Research Analyst III
*Special thanks for the substantial contribution of Dr. Yvonne Sparling, the DYS Director of
Clinical Services. The Massachusetts portion of the report relies heavily on the information,
content, and internal documents created and generously shared by Dr. Sparling.
In 2006, the DYS Clinical Advisory Council endorsed the use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy
(DBT), developed by Marsha Linehan (1993), as the therapeutic framework for clinical
services in DYS residential programs and developed a DBT Manual for all DYS residential
programs.
As part of the DYS DBT Manual, Dr. Sparling wrote “Dialectical Behavior Therapy as a
Behavior Management Approach,” which established the fundamentals of DBT practice
within the agency and has been used in efforts to decrease the use of room confinement.

Pretrial Justice Institute

We thank the Pretrial Justice Institute for allowing us to use interviews with members of
Massachusetts Department of Youth Services staff with as source material for this report.

44

Acknowledgements
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

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Oregon Youth Authority

Joe O’Leary, Director
Fariborz Pakseresht, Former Director
Clint McClellan, Assistant Director
Heber Bray, Operations Policy Analyst
Erin Fuimaono Assistant Director of Development Services
Kristen Kolb, Project Manager
Jamie McKay, Program Director, McLaren
Ken Jerin, Superintendent, Rouge Valley Youth Correctional Facility
Alicia Cozad, Superintendent, Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility
Dan Berger, Superintendent, McLaren Youth Correctional Facility
Jennifer Thurlow, Executive Assistant to the Director
Sanya Kite, Executive Assistant
Ann Butte, Executive Assistant

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office
Deidra Bridgeforth, Assistant Chief
Debra Fessenden, Legal Advisor

Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County
Pam Skelton, Chief Administrative Officer

We would like to thank the following individuals for efforts in
preparing this report:
Shay Bilchik
Michael Dempsey
Wendi Faulkner
Jeremy Kittredge
Lisa Macaluso
Valerie McDowell
Jennifer Lutz
Beth Oprisch

Acknowledgements
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

Daniel Pollitt
Sadie Rose-Stern
Marc Schindler
Sherika Shnider
Mark Soler
Jason Szanyi
Madeline Titus
Michael Umpierre
Annie Veyakhone

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5

ACLU of Colorado

Rebecca Wallace, Staff Attorney

Funders

This report would not have been possible without generous support from:
Andrus Family Fund
Anonymous
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation
The Tow Foundation

Recommended Citation
Jennifer Lutz, Mark Soler, and Jeremy Kittredge, Not In Isolation: How to Reduce Room
Confinement While Increasing Safety in Youth Facilities (Washington, DC: Center for
Children’s Law and Policy and the Justice Policy Institute, May 2019).

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Acknowledgements
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

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Table of Contents
8

Executive Summary

13

Introduction

17

Bound and Unbound: Colorado’s Efforts to
Reduce Isolation

34

The Massachusetts Department of Youth
Services

56

Shelby County, TN: Major Reforms by Sheriff’s
Office

71

Oregon Youth Authority

103
104
109

Appendix:
Guidelines for Contact with Jurisdictions in
This Report
Jurisdiction-Based Resources
Summary of Quotations

118 Index

Executive Summary
In 2016, the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators,
Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University, and Justice Policy Institute launched
the Stop Solitary for Kids campaign. The Campaign’s goal is to safely reduce and ultimately end
the dangerous practice of solitary confinement for young people in juvenile and adult facilities.
Collaboration between stakeholders both inside and outside youth facilities is a key Campaign
philosophy. The Campaign works with advocates, lawmakers, state and local government official, state
juvenile justice agency directors, superintendents of state and local juvenile facilities, parents, youth,
and community leaders to highlight effective strategies to reduce and eliminate solitary confinement.
There is widespread and growing awareness of the harms and ineffectiveness of solitary confinement
within the youth justice field and among the public at large. The practice – alternatively described as
“room confinement,” “isolation,” “separation,” or “seclusion” – is the involuntary placement of a youth
alone in a room or other area for any reason other than as a temporary response to behavior that
risks immediate physical harm. As demonstrated throughout this publication, the harms of solitary
confinement are experienced most acutely by youth with mental illness, youth with trauma histories,
youth of color, and LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth.
Not in Isolation is a practical guide to help leaders and agencies develop roadmaps to reducing room
confinement in their facilities. Because there are multiple existing resources documenting the negative
effects of room confinement on youth and staff, Not in Isolation instead focuses on ways to avoid and
prevent the practice of room confinement altogether.

Answering the Question: “If Not Room Confinement, Then What?”

As national developments and standards call for limits on the use of room confinement, the
challenge of implementation falls largely on state and local facilities. In 2015, the Council of Juvenile
Correctional Administrators published the Toolkit on Reducing Isolation, which outlined several
core strategies for reducing room confinement. However, throughout the Campaign’s work, agency
directors and facility superintendents ask additional questions such as, “How can I reduce room
confinement while keeping youth and staff safe?” and “How have other facilities like mine started this
process?” Many administrators want information on effective strategies to reduce room confinement
and real-world examples of how to implement strategies in practice.
This first-of-its-kind publication tells the stories of how three state agencies and one county sheriff’s
department operating a juvenile detention facility undertook efforts to safely reduce the use of room
confinement: Colorado Division of Youth Services; Massachusetts Department of Youth Services;
Oregon Youth Authority; and Shelby County Sheriff’s Department in Memphis.

88

Introduction
Executive
Summary
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

Not in Isolation is a practical resource. Each chapter includes:
•	 Perspectives, quotes, and examples from facility and agency staff;
•	 Sample policies, forms, tools, and other materials; and
•	 Details from each site about challenges, lessons learned, and results (qualitative and
quantitative).
While none of the jurisdictions featured in this publication are perfect models, they achieved
measurable reductions in the frequency and duration of room confinement. Not in Isolation includes
data from each jurisdiction to show that it is possible to reduce room confinement without increasing
violence in a facility. Moreover, shifting youth justice facility practices away from punitive isolation
and toward models that focus on emotional regulation and behavioral skills helps youth successfully
transition back into their communities.
The title of this publication reflects that understanding that reforms related to room confinement
do not occur in isolation from other aspects of facility operation. Reducing room confinement is
inseparably related to changes in staffing, training, mental health services, programming, behavior
management, and other factors.

Why Now Is the Time to Reduce Room Confinement

Room confinement has recently been catapulted into the national spotlight due to a convergence of
mainstream media attention, litigation, legislation, policy developments, and investigative reports. As
awareness about room confinement grows, so does public scrutiny and legal jeopardy for jurisdictions
that continue the practice unchecked. It is more critical than ever that youth justice facility and
agency administrators develop alternatives to room confinement consistent with evolving best
practices, professional standards, and an understanding of adolescent development. Several recent
developments highlight the urgency to reduce room confinement for facilities that house young
people:
•	 Federal courts in four states have entered orders against facilities for putting youth in
isolation, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation costs.
•	 Legislation in seven states in the past three years has limited the use of isolation in youth
facilities. Several other states are currently considering similar legislation.
•	 In December 2018, Congress passed bipartisan legislation to limit isolation called the First
Step Act, which permits isolation only when there is an immediate physical harm – never as a
sanction or punishment – for youth in federal custody.
•	 In 2018, Congress also reauthorized the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act
(JJDPA), which requires states to provide data on the use of isolation and describe their
strategies to reduce its use.

Introduction
Executive
Summary
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

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9

HOW TO USE THIS PUBLICATION
This report can be used by youth justice system administrators, supervisors, staff, practitioners, and
advocates, as well as policymakers and other key stakeholders, to:
1.	 Provide concrete examples of how several jurisdictions have reduced room confinement;
2.	 Give practical guidance on how to translate strategies to reduce room confinement into
practice;
3.	 Generate new ideas about how youth facilities and agencies can successfully reduce room
confinement;
4.	 Encourage comprehensive efforts to reduce room confinement that focus on multiple areas
of operation (behavior management, training, staffing, mental health) to improve overall
outcomes for youth and staff;
5.	 Provide credible perspectives from staff and administrators on why and how to reduce room
confinement;
6.	 Highlight the need for state and local youth facilities to reexamine and change their use of
room confinement;
7.	 Demonstrate that it is possible to reduce room confinement in a diverse range of youth
facilities without sacrificing staff safety. This includes facilities and agencies with large youth
populations, detained and committed youth, older youth, youth charged as adults, and youth
with violent charges; and
8.	 Develop a better understanding of the resources, time, and supports necessary for facilities to
create lasting reductions in room confinement.

TAKEAWAYS ON REDUCING ROOM CONFINEMENT
Not in Isolation demonstrates that there are multiple paths to reducing room confinement. Each
jurisdiction was driven to reduce room confinement by different external and internal circumstances,
and each used a slightly different approach to achieve success. However, there are several common
strategies and lessons learned:
•	 Structure efforts to reduce room confinement around a central principle or approach that
connects policies, practice, and culture.
•	 Include staff in planning, developing, and implementing changes.
•	 Provide strong leadership committed to reducing room confinement despite setbacks and
challenges.
•	 Create a communication plan to message changes in room confinement to staff.
•	 Prepare administrators, supervisors, and senior staff to explain why reducing room confinement
is the right thing to do.
•	 Understand the use of room confinement in relation to other aspects of facility operation, (e.g.
10
10

Introduction
Executive
Summary
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

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•	
•	
•	
•	
•	
•	

level of staffing, programming for youth, adequacy of staff training, utilization of mental health
professionals, and effectiveness of the behavioral management systems).
Use data to identify problem areas and create targeted solutions.
Prioritize positive relationships between staff and youth as a tool to maintain safety.
Redefine alternatives to room confinement as proactive interventions (versus reactive
approaches of waiting until behavior has escalated to the point of requiring room
confinement).
Develop tools and practices to help youth exit room confinement as quickly as possible.
Be prepared to make a case for additional resources by documenting your current practice,
progress, results, and needs.
Leverage external relationships with unlikely allies.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM EACH JURISDICTION
Colorado Division of Youth Services

1.	
2.	
3.	
4.	

Developed an organizational model to change agency culture and improve practices;
Used the legislative process to request additional staffing resources;
Implemented an incentive-based behavior management system;
Remodeled physical environments to align with principles of adolescent development and
rehabilitation; and
5.	 Relied on regular data analysis to steer reforms.

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services

1.	 Integrated Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) into the behavior management system and
living unit management;
2.	 Redefined accountability based on skill-building – rather than punishment –
to change behavior;
3.	 Identified positive youth-staff relationships as a critical tool for facility safety;
4.	 Developed “exit strategy” guidelines to help youth transition out of room confinement
quickly;
5.	 Created individual support plans for youth who continuously acted out or could not
respond to programming.

Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center

1.	 Implemented daily circle-up groups;
2.	 Enhanced staff training on how to work with youth and Safe Crisis Management;
3.	 Established a standardized review of videos and documentation of room confinement
incidents;

Introduction
Executive
Summary
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

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11

4.	 Hired an additional staff to enhance programming and volunteer activities; and
5.	 Relied on assistance and examples from consultants (including other facilities).

Oregon Youth Authority
1.	
2.	
3.	
4.	
5.	

Changed culture before changing policy;
Developed a culture based on Positive Human Development (PHD);
Used data strategically to create Skill Development Counselors and specialized units;
Leveraged the political process to secure funding; and
Created a 10-Year Plan that included redesigning physical plants to support alternatives to
room confinement.

SECTIONS OF THE REPORT
Chapters on Four Jurisdictions

Each chapter describes how a jurisdiction reduced room confinement over time.

Highlights and Key Examples

Not in Isolation also includes section headings, bullet-pointed guidelines, images, and graphics to
direct practitioners to specific areas of interest. Each heading contains links to useful policies, forms,
and examples.

Appendix of Resources and Tools from Each Jurisdiction

This publication includes a section listing resources (policies, forms, training materials, and videos)
from each jurisdiction.

Appendix of Quotes from Administrators and Staff

Not in Isolation tells the story of each jurisdiction through the insights and experience of
administrators and staff. The publication contains an appendix of quotes from these individuals.

12
12

Introduction
Executive
Summary
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

Introduction
In 2016, the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators,
Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University, and Justice Policy Institute launched
the Stop Solitary for Kids campaign. The Campaign’s focus has been to safely reduce and ultimately
end the dangerous practice of solitary confinement for young people in juvenile and adult facilities.
The Campaign currently has the support of over 50 national professional associations, including
associations representing youth justice agencies and facility directors, medical and mental health
professionals, advocates, and others.
There is widespread and growing awareness of the many harms of solitary confinement within the
youth justice field and among the public at large. This includes a recognition that the different terms
that are used to describe solitary confinement—“room
confinement,” “isolation,” “separation,” “segregation”—
all describe the same thing. This publication refers to the
practice either as room confinement, isolation, or by the
f the clinicians are just
term used in the jurisdiction described. What matters,
writing up an ISP and telling
and what is harmful, is the practice of involuntarily
people what to do, it will fail. If
placing a youth alone in a room for any reason other
you get everyone’s input, there is
than as a temporary response to out-of-control behavior
that threatens immediate harm to the youth or others.
more follow-through and buy in.
Once the youth calms down, the youth should be
All of this stuff leads to less room
released from his or her room and returned to regular
confinement. Daniel O’Sullivan,
programming.

I

Metropolitan Regional Director,
Massachusetts DYS

In the years since the Campaign’s launch, many state
and local jurisdictions have taken significant steps to
reduce or end the use of room confinement through
legislation, litigation, or policy changes. In December
2018, Congress took an important step toward ending youth isolation by passing the bipartisan
First Step Act, which prohibits facilities that house youth in federal custody from using isolation as
punishment and permits isolation only when youth behavior poses a risk of immediate physical harm
that cannot otherwise be de-escalated. In 2018, Congress also reauthorized the Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), which now requires states to provide data on the use of isolation
and describe their strategies to reduce its use.
When we work with agency directors and facility superintendents to reduce solitary, the first question
we are asked is, “How can I reduce room confinement while keeping youth and staff safe?” In this
first-of-its-kind report, we provide detailed case studies of how four jurisdictions undertook efforts to
safely reduce the use of isolation. As readers will see, reforms related to room confinement did not
occur in isolation. They required a comprehensive look at staffing, training, mental health services,
Introduction Department of Youth Services
Massachusetts

stopsolitaryforkids.org

13

programming, behavior management, and other factors. While none of the jurisdictions featured
in this publication are perfect models, they achieved measureable reductions in the frequency and
duration of room confinement through promising practices. And while the impetus for undertaking
this work and the particular strategies varied across each jurisdiction, the results were the same: sharp
reductions in the use of room confinement along with improved safety for youth and staff.
Unlike previous publications, this report does not detail the harms of room confinement. Those have
been widely documented and accepted by youth justice professionals, and we provide references to
that literature. This report provides practitioners with concrete, practical, and effective tools and
strategies in the context of real-world reforms. It also provides public officials, parents, and other
advocates for youth with examples of success and models that they can work to adopt in their own
communities. Ending room confinement for young people is no longer a distant dream; it has been
achieved in a variety of settings and facilities in different parts of the country, and the lessons learned
here can be applied to any juvenile facility seeking more humane treatment of youth in custody.

14
14

Introduction Department of Youth Services
Massachusetts

stopsolitaryforkids.org

Photo credit: Richard Ross

Introduction Department of Youth Services
Massachusetts

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15

NOT IN ISOLATION
HOW TO REDUCE ROOM CONFINEMENT
WHILE INCREASING SAFETY
IN YOUTH FACILITIES

Colorado Division
of Youth Services

Bound and Unbound: Colorado’s
Efforts to Reduce Isolation
IMPETUS FOR CHANGE
On March 2, 2017, the Colorado Child Safety Coalition
released a report, Bound and Broken: How DYC’s Culture
of Violence is Hurting Colorado’s Kids and What to Do
About It, which painted a picture of regular and violent
abuse of young people in facilities operated by the
Colorado Division of Youth Corrections (DYC). The report
was based on interviews with youth who were or had
been in 11 of the state’s 13 juvenile justice facilities (10
operated by DYC), a review of over 1,000 pages of internal
DYC documents, and videos and medical reports of
incidents between 2013 and 2016. It found that fights and
assaults in DYC facilities increased 42% between 2013 and
2016, that DYC staff physically restrained youth at least
3,611 times from January 2016 through January 2017, and
that staff placed youth in solitary confinement 2,240 times
during the same period. This happened while the number
of young people held in DYC facilities decreased and
staffing and funding for the facilities increased.
1

The report also found that DYC staff commonly used “pain compliance” techniques including knee
strikes and pressure points. Perhaps most concerning, the report included photos that documented
a full body physical restraint device known as the WRAP, which was similar to a straitjacket. DYC
staff put young people in the WRAP at least 253 times from January 2016 through January 2017. The
report included photos and quotations from youth who had been subjected to the painful practices.
The report recommended prohibiting the use of the WRAP, the pain compliance techniques, and the
use of solitary confinement. It also recommended adopting the “Missouri model” of small facilities
with homelike environments and strong positive relationships between youth and their peers and
between youth and staff.
At the time of the report, Anders Jacobson was newly appointed as the Director of DYC (and
continues in that position today). Concerns about mistreatment of youth in DYC facilities were not
new to him. In fact, he had been appointed temporary director of DYC in September 2016, when
the former director left his position following reports of violence in the Spring Creek Youth Services
Center, a DYC facility in Colorado Springs. Three months later, in December 2016, Jacobson was
formally appointed to the director position.
Colorado Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

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17

The concerns also were not new to members of the Colorado Child Safety Coalition: the ACLU of
Colorado, Disability Law Colorado, the Colorado State Public Defender, and the Colorado Juvenile
Defender Center (CJDC). In June 2014, the ACLU, Disability Law, and CJDC notified the Executive
Director of the Department of Human Services, who oversaw DYC, that youth in DYC facilities had
been placed in seclusion for days, weeks, and longer, as a form of “treatment.” By July 1, 2014, DYC
agreed to stop using seclusion in a punitive way. However, on October 4, 2015, the Colorado Springs
Gazette reported that, based on a review of DYC records, 299 youth had been placed in isolation since
DYC changed its policy. The Gazette article highlighted the story of a 14-year-old boy who spent 22
days in seclusion, often for 23 hours a day, at Spring Creek. That month, DYC updated its policy to
limit the use of seclusion to emergency situations, which were defined by statute as situations
involving “a serious, probable, imminent threat of bodily harm.” Generally, seclusion was limited to
four hours, but could be extended if the emergency continued.
2

3

4

5

6

State Legislation	

In May 2016, with strong support from the Child
Safety Coalition, the Colorado legislature approved
HB16-1328, a bill to strengthen protections for
youth in state-run facilities with respect to restraint
and seclusion. The new law codified into statute
the Division’s policy that seclusion could never be
used as punishment, sanction, retaliation, or as part
of a treatment plan. The bill limited seclusion to
emergency situations when “a serious, probable,
imminent threat of bodily harm to self or others
where there is the present ability to effect such
bodily harm.” The bill prohibited the use of isolation
for more than four hours unless a prescribed
protocol was followed, including examination by a
mental health professional, and prohibited isolation
for more than eight hours in two consecutive days
without a court order. HB16-1328 also established
the Youth Seclusion Working Group to advise
DYS on policies, procedures, and best practices
related to seclusion and alternatives to seclusion.
7

8

Requirements Established
by HB16-1328
•	 Seclusion could never be used as
punishment, sanction, retaliation,
or as part of a treatment plan;
•	 Limited seclusion to emergencies
when “a serious, probable, imminent
threat of bodily harm to self or
others where there is the present
ability to effect such bodily harm;
•	 Required
increasing
approval
at
four
and
eight
hours;
•	 Created a statewide Youth Seclusion
Working Group to review data
and make recommendations on
reducing seclusion and restraints.

9

Limited Staff

In late 2016 and early 2017, Jacobson hoped that increasing the number of staff—and thereby
decreasing staff-to-youth ratios and improving supervision—would improve the situation. The ratio at
that time was 1:11, while the national standard and accepted practice in the field was 1:8. Governor
10

18

Colorado
Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

John Hickenlooper requested $5 million to add
80 full-time employees to DYC, and another $3
million for enhanced mental health and physical
health care. At the time, the agency only received
funding for a portion of the requested staff
positions. However, with continued legislative
advocacy, the agency eventually received funding
necessary to maintain a 1:8 ratio.
11

12

The Bound and Broken report was a wake-up
call. DYC had previously begun reforms, including
limiting the use of seclusion by policy and training
staff in a trauma-responsive approach. However,
the Bound and Broken report made it clear that
more effort was needed. In May 2017, again with
strong support from advocates, the legislature
passed a new bill, HB17-1329, designed to bring
about major culture change in DYC facilities.
13

The Missouri Youth Services Institute, led by
former Missouri DYS Director Mark Steward, was
brought in as a consultant on the pilot project.
14

Encouraging Results

Within a year there were important developments.
In November 2017, DYS issued a formal policy
(which it amended in 2018), defining the criteria
and limits for use of involuntary seclusion in a
locked room or area; voluntary youth-initiated
time outs (not to exceed 60 minutes, usually in an
open area); and staff-initiated time outs (not to
exceed 60 minutes, usually in an open area). The
WRAP devices were removed from DYS facilities.
The staff-to-youth ratios were 1:8 in seven of the
10 DYS facilities.
15

Staff members were consistently assigned to the
same group of youth, allowing the development
of stronger relationships between youth and

Colorado Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

Changes Made by HB17-1329
Changed the name of the Division of Youth
Corrections to the Division of Youth Services
(DYS) (at the request of the Division);
Clarified as its primary mission to focus on
rehabilitation;
Established a 20-bed pilot program with a low
staff-to-youth ratio to test the effectiveness
of a therapeutic group treatment approach
and the ability of the Division to keep youth
and staff safe without the use of seclusion and
restraints other than handcuffs;
Provided additional training to staff of the pilot
program as needed;
Called for the integration of trauma-responsive
principles and practices into all elements of
programming;
Codified the phase-out of physical strikes on
youth, pain-compliance and pressure-point
techniques, the WRAP, and the use of isolation
that the Division had already prohibited via
policy;
Expanded the role of the statewide Youth
Seclusion and Restraint Working Group;
Required an independent assessment of the
Division;
Created community boards in each region of
the Division; and
Required extensive documentation of each
instance of the use of restraint or seclusion in
DYS facilities.
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19

staff. The job title of correctional officers was
changed to “youth services specialists.” The job
description for the position sought candidates
who want to “engage with youth and build
positive relationships.” Routine strip searches
after family visits were discontinued because
they can be traumatic for youth. Strip searches
were only conducted if there was probable cause
and with approval from facility administration.
Youth dressed in school uniform-type polo shirts
and khaki pants rather than prison-like hospital
scrubs. A number of the units were remodeled,
with more homelike furniture, softer colors on the
walls, and plants. Metal beds and 3” mattresses
were replaced with more homelike beds and 7”
mattresses. Simple blankets were replaced with
comforters. Jacobson described the reforms as
part of the culture change: “It really feeds into our
vision of where we are going.”
16

17

18

Encouraging Progress in Colorado
Developed new policy on seclusion
Banned the WRAP
Stopped routine strip searches after family
visits
Youth clothing switched to polo shirts and
pants
Remodeled units to be more homelike
Increased staffing
Changed job title to “youth service
specialist” to prioritize positive
relationships with youth
Remodeled units to create less institutional
environments and more comfortable beds

20

Colorado
Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

Key Elements of New Seclusion Policy
Seclusion only permitted during an
emergency as defined by Colorado Revised
Statute 26-20-102(3), or when there is a
serious imminent threat of bodily harm and
the present ability to cause such bodily harm;
Staff must attempt less restrictive alternatives
or determine that such alternatives would be
ineffective or inappropriate;
Seclusion may be used only for the period of
time necessary to prevent the continuation or
renewal of an emergency;
Staff must conduct visual checks at least every
5 minutes;
Staff must conduct a verbal check and try to
engage the youth back into programming
every 5-15 minutes;
The shift supervisor, direct care staff, and
behavioral health staff must meet to discuss a
plan to process the youth out of seclusion as
soon as possible;
Seclusion may not exceed 4 hours except in
rare circumstances involving input from a
mental health professional an approval from
the Director of DYS;
Seclusion exceeding 72 hours requires a court
order; and
Facility directors review a monthly report on
seclusions, including the incident leading up
to seclusion and the staff members involved.
stopsolitaryforkids.org

Equally importantly, seclusion incidents were down from a high of 302 in October 2016 to 97 in July
2018, a reduction of 68%. The median length of time in seclusion also decreased to 37 minutes for the
period of March to August 2018. Average isolation time has been under one hour since September
2016.
19

Figure 1

Figure 2

Colorado Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

21

CHALLENGES FOR DYS
Deeply Entrenched Correctional Practices

DYS faced a number of major challenges. First, the correctional practices—reliance on
restraints and seclusion—were deeply entrenched in the facilities and in the agency. Staff had
been trained on the practices for many years. Agency policies either authorized the practices
or were broad enough to allow their use. As a result, some veteran staff felt helpless during
the transition to the new culture. They found it difficult
to give up the old ways of doing business when they
were not yet confident of the effectiveness of the new
policies and practices. These staff may have been in a
minority among all DYS staff, but they demonstrated
the stresses of making the changes.

Assaults on Staff
Trending Down

Culture Change

DYS staff also had to learn alternative ways to relate
to youth and to address conflict and confrontation
situations. For example, the effort to change the
culture meant that the Division would be an agency
that first and foremost provided services and care,
rather than control and discipline. The legislature
signaled this clearly in HB17-1329 by adding, as the
first purpose of the agency, to “increase public safety
by providing rehabilitative treatment….”
The culture change also meant staff needed to develop
a relationship-based approach to youth, rather than
relying on their authority to set rules and impose
discipline. Staff also needed to think in terms of
identifying and building on youth’s strengths, rather
than applying consequences for misbehavior.

A

ny youth-on-staff
assault is a matter of
great concern. However,
the most recent DYS data show
that youth assaults on staff have
remained flat and at a relatively
low level for the past four years,
notwithstanding the number of
older youth being held by DYS.
In February 2019 there were 18
youth assaults on staff across all
10 facilities operated by DYS.
Anders Jacobson

Some staff have continued to be skeptical, complaining that youth could assault staff and
only get a writing assignment as a consequence. Staff have been concerned about gang
members in DYS facilities who they say have initiated fights and group confrontations.
Staff have also been concerned about the older youth (18 to 21-year-olds) who have also
been confined in DYS facilities. Some staff have felt that, although DYS has given them a
lot of tools, those tools don’t work for the older age group. Some staff have complained

22

Colorado
Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

that, with the new policies, they have been afraid to put their hands on youth—to use physical
control techniques on which they had been trained—even when such actions were necessary to
break up fights.
Figure 3

Need for New Staff Training

DYS had been training staff on trauma-responsive care for some time. HB17-1329 codified the
focus on creating trauma-responsive environments. In HB17-1329, the legislature explicitly
acknowledged that many youth committed to the Division have experienced trauma, including
physical and sexual abuse, abandonment, violence in their homes or communities, or loss of a
family member. For these youth, a safe, humane, and nurturing environment was necessary for
youth to develop coping skills and trusting, healthy relationships. The legislature defined traumaresponsive care to mean care in which staff were trained to expect trauma in the youth they
saw, to recognize how staff behavior and agency practices could trigger painful memories and
retraumatize youth, and to resist taking actions or using words that might retraumatize youth in
their care. Thus, staff had to be trained on trauma-responsive care, the reasons for it, and the
implications for how they would act toward youth in the facilities.
20

Staff also needed to learn other skills, including how to de-escalate conflict situations before they
became major confrontations. HB17-1329 also required staff assigned to the pilot program to have
training on rehabilitative treatment, adolescent behavior modification, trauma, safety, and physical
management techniques that do not harm youth.

Colorado Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

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23

Finally, staff had to be confident that the new skills they would learn would actually
work. As in many other facilities, some DYS staff had a genuine fear of some youth in
the facilities who had shown violent tendencies. Without being able to use restraints and
seclusion as in the past, staff needed to be confident of their own safety, so that they could
safely implement the new training and policies that they received.

Staff Shortages

Adequate staffing is a critical component of efforts to reduce the use of isolation.
The national standard of 1:8 staff-to-youth ratio is based on decades of correctional
experience. Supervising troubled adolescents in a locked environment is a difficult task
under any circumstances. When the ratio goes above 1:8, staff can’t provide the attention,
supervision, support, and accountability that each youth needs. Additionally, without
adequate supervision, youth are free to misbehave or get involved in more serious
misconduct.
21

In addition, in many facilities across the country, as a result of staff vacancies and sick days,
staff must work involuntary double shifts. Staff may report to work at 8 a.m., expecting to
leave at 4 p.m., only to be told that they must continue to work until midnight. As difficult
as it is to properly supervise youth for eight hours, it is much more difficult to do so for
16 hours straight. Moreover, inadequate numbers of staff cause burnout by staff who do
work, and some of those staff ultimately decide to leave. Staff shortages also lead to staff
retention problems, which further exacerbate staffing shortages.
As facilities under pressure seek to hire new staff, they keep the job requirements at a
minimum, often requiring only a GED. Pay scales in juvenile justice facilities are often low.
The applicants for those jobs are often young, just past high school age, meaning that they
are only a few years older than the youth they supervise.
22

DYS facilities had all of these problems. The staff-to-youth ratio in most facilities was
usually 1:11, but sometimes went even higher. At times, staff were required to work
involuntary double shifts. Staff retention was a problem. State personnel policies required
only a high school diploma, and new staff often had few qualifications for the demanding
jobs. Pay was low. And many new staff were in their early 20s.
23

WHAT WORKED
Exposure of the Problems	 						

The members of the Colorado Child Safety Coalition performed an important public service
by investigating reports of abusive conditions in DYS facilities, putting their findings into a

24

Colorado
Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

widely-publicized report, and continuing to prod DYS to do better. The Bound and Broken report
did not initiate reforms in the Division, but it strongly accelerated the pace of reforms that were
in process. The report is a well-researched and
careful analysis of the Division’s own data and
Figure 4
reports as well as a powerful collection of the
voices of young people who were subjected to
seclusion and restraint. For example, one youth
described isolation as “like being treated like
an animal. You’re doing bad, go to your cage.”
Sometimes a single statement is as powerful
as a raft of data. Figure 4 shows a typical DYS
isolation cell prior to the reform process.
24

Multiple Legislative Responses

HB16-1328 and HB17-1329 were important
for codifying reforms that DYS had already
undertaken and for prompting more change.
The Missouri-like pilot project authorized by
HB17-1329 was a thoughtful effort to try a
different approach on a limited scale before
expanding it to the entire agency. The legislature
provided an opportunity to demonstrate the
effectiveness of small groupings with low staffto-youth ratios, without using seclusion or
restraints, in actual practice.

Direct Confrontation of the
Problems by Agency Leadership

Colorado DYS Seclusion Cell

Jacobson began working on the problems with
seclusion and restraints when he took over as
temporary director of DYS and continued those efforts when he became permanent director. As
noted above, his first approach, particularly at Spring Creek, was primarily to increase the number
of staff at facilities, in order to bring down the staff-to-youth ratios and make supervision more
effective. When that proved inadequate to the scope of the problems, he developed a more
comprehensive approach. When the Bound and Broken report came out, he expressed concern
about some of the allegations, but largely agreed with many of the policy recommendations. Even
before the Bound and Broken report was released, he traveled to Missouri with Representative
Pete Lee, who represented Colorado Springs and was a legislative leader in reform efforts; Rebecca
Wallace, staff attorney at the ACLU of Colorado; and other agency leaders, to see that system
firsthand. He continued to push the legislature for more staff for DYS facilities. He was committed
25

26

Colorado Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

25

to changing the culture of the agency. He developed a model with a sound, evidencebased foundation. DYS had been training staff on the Sanctuary Model since 2014, but
Jacobson increased the agency’s efforts once he became the director.

Talking with Staff about Their Concerns

A critical element of reform at DYS was the commitment of leaders to talk with unit staff
to hear their concerns about the reforms. Reforms such as those needed at DYS cannot be
imposed solely from the top down. Staff have genuine, sincere concerns about their own
safety when the traditional disciplinary methods are removed. Staff must develop new skills
to provide alternatives to seclusion and restraints, and must feel confident that their new
skills will protect them as well as the youth. A central part of the process for administrators
is listening to staff concerns, and addressing those concerns in new trainings, policies, and
practices.

Setting Specific Limits on the Use of Seclusion

HB16-1328 set specific limits for the use of seclusion and conditions for extending those
limits. After the Bound and Broken report demonstrated that the practices continued, the
legislature passed the much more comprehensive HB17-1329. The two pieces of legislation
were important for codifying limits that DYS had previously put into policy.

Limitations of Legislation

Legislation and policies do not guarantee compliance. Legislation is not self-executing and
agency policies are not always implemented properly. However, there is a considerable
benefit in having the desired policy—very limited use of seclusion—on the record in state
law for agency leaders and staff, and for the public. At a minimum, a formal statutory
statement of desired policy provides a goal for agency personnel and a standard by which
to hold them accountable.

DEVELOPMENT OF STRATEGIC GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

To provide a foundation for its operations and reform efforts, DYS developed a model
with several components. Its “vision” lists youth first: “Achieving youth success and
safer Colorado communities.” In addition, its “strategic goal” reflects the transition it
has undergone: “The Division will operate healthy trauma-responsive organizational
environments as demonstrated through prosocial, safe, and nonviolent interactions.”
27

To accomplish this goal, DYS has adopted the Sanctuary Model, a theory-based, traumainformed, evidence-supported whole culture approach to changing organizational culture
which is used in many states throughout the country. A critical part of the Sanctuary
28

26

Colorado
Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

Model is the Seven Commitments: non-violence, emotional intelligence, open communication,
social responsibility, democracy and shared governance, inquiry and social learning, and growth
and change. All DYS staff are trained on the Sanctuary Model and the Seven Commitments.
Further, DYS utilizes five “key strategies”: the right services at the right time, safe environments,
proven practices, quality staff, and restorative justice principles and practices.
Operationally, DYS has nine objectives for achieving its strategic goal:
1.	
2.	
3.	
4.	
5.	
6.	
7.	
8.	
9.	

Increase DYS senior leadership presence and engagement across the organization;
Create DYS small group processes to address day-to-day behavioral issues;
Shift the atmosphere of secure facilities to a more “homelike” atmosphere;
Create DYS “teams” of youth and staff in all
facilities;
Optimize the use of residential state-operated and
contract capacity;
Use the Behavioral Health Framework to develop
the DYS treatment approach;
Condense and simplify DYS staff training;
Integrate trauma-responsive principles and
•	 Established internal working
practices into all elements of the DYS organization;
group
and
•	 Interviewed facility directors
Recruit, hire, and retain quality staff.

Colorado’s Steps to
Secure Additional
Staff Positions

All of these come together in the Colorado Model,
shown on the next page. The Colorado Model provides
an overview of DYS’s approach to care and custody of
young people.

•	
•	
•	

Additional Staff

Jacobson’s first response to the problems at Spring Creek
was to request additional staff. He continued to press the
legislature for additional staff for DYS facilities. Between
2014 and 2017, DYS requested 280 new positions, but
only received funding for 143. However, by 2018, DYS
received funding for all the needed positions, so that all
DYS facilities maintained a 1:8 ratio (some with lower
ratios, such as Lookout Mountain with 1:6).
29

Colorado Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

•	

and staff
Internal staffing analysis
Compared current ratios to
ratios needed to meet PREA
standards
Created a legislative decision
item and made specific request
for resources from the Joint
Budget Committee
Provided testimony regarding
staffing needs.

stopsolitaryforkids.org

27

Figure 5

The Colorado Model
 Trauma-Responsive Environments
and Services
 Verbal De-escalation
 Staff Training
 Sound Milieu Management Practices
 Safety and Self-Care Plans
 Staff and Youth Wellness

Safe and
TraumaResponsive
Environments

A Focus on
Staff and
Youth
Resiliency







Building Hope
Trauma-responsive Psychoeducational Groups
Teaching Skills
Educational Achievement
Staff and Youth Coaching and Mentoring

OUTCOMES

Data Driven
Decision Making

 Data Analysis and Reporting
 Performance Improvement
Processes
 Adherence to Evidence-Based
Practices

Youth are safe; resilient; have a
reduced risk of re-offense; have
improved family connections; have
achieved educational progress; and
are reconnected to communities.

SB 94 Detention Continuum
Transition and Parole Services
Sustainable Community Resources
Community Partnerships
Natural Supports
Transparent

 Strengths-based Behavior Management
Approach
 Therapeutic Relationships
 Building Youth Skills
 Culturally Responsive

Staff are safe; resilient; have high
morale and retention; have
opportunities for growth and to
contribute positively to youth
outcomes.
Ecological
Approach

Community
Collaboration








Relationship and
Strengths-Based
Focused

Integrated
Service
Delivery







Family Engagement and a 2 Gen Approach
Multi-Disciplinary Team Decision–Making
Transition Planning and Services
Educational/Vocational
Restorative Community Justice

 Overarching and Seamless Case Management
 Individualized Treatment Planning and Education
 Milieu-based treatment approaches

June 2017

28

Colorado
Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

In order to receive additional funding, DYS established an internal working group,
conducted interviews with all facility directors, and put together an internal staffing
analysis. This allowed DYS to compare staffing ratios to ratios needed to meet PREA ratios
in all juvenile justice facilities. DYS officials created a legislative decision item based on
information from the working group along with a specific request for staffing resources
the agency needed. Once the decision item was introduced and discussed in the Joint
Budget Committee, DYS administrators testified about their staffing needs.30

New Training

After the Spring Creek issues were addressed, DYS adopted Verbal Judo as a strategy for
de-escalation. Staff also were trained on Motivational Interviewing, which can be useful in
helping youth get through emotional barriers to change.
31

32

Incentive-Based Behavior Management Program

All DYS facilities have incentive-based behavior management programs. All facilities use
the same framework, but some have variations. For example, one facility uses a behavior
management program called SOAR, which stands for Show Safety, Own Behaviors,
Achieve Results Through Problem Solving, and Respect and Help Others. There is a Phase
Behavior Matrix which functions as a behavioral expectations chart. The chart lists negative
behaviors to be avoided (“refrains from destruction of property”) and positive behaviors
to emulate (“uses appropriate voice level”). Youth are graded on whether they meet the
standards (1) sometimes, (2) consistently, or (3) almost always, and earn points on SOAR
Cards that can be cashed at the SOAR Store for snacks and other rewards. DYS facilities
also apply incentives by naming a Student of the Month and, for staff, an Employee of the
Month.

More Homelike Physical Environment

DYS closed its seclusion rooms and created “relaxation rooms” for youth to calm down or
spend brief periods alone. The rooms, such as the ones in Figure 6, feature soft furniture
like beanbag chairs, carpeting, pillows, books, stuffed animals, and pictures on the walls.
In addition to changing youth clothing to school uniform-like polo shirts and khakis, DYS
changed staff uniforms to more casual shirts and pants.

Extensive Programming

Providing engaging programming is an important part of efforts to reduce isolation. When
youth are idle or bored, they get restless. Weekends can be particularly challenging because
there is no school and often little programming. On the other hand, when youth are occupied
in interesting activities, they are much less likely to get into trouble. The most effective
juvenile justice facilities provide extensive programming all day and into the evening. DYS

Colorado Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

29

provides a minimum of 14 hours of programming during weekdays, and a minimum of 12 hours of
programming each day on the weekends.

Behavioral Health Staff

Research shows that between 40% and 80% of incarcerated youth
have at least one diagnosable mental health disorder. Every
youth admitted to a DYS facility gets assigned to a behavioral
health staff member. Those staff have small caseloads, usually
7–9 youth. This allows behavioral health staff to follow up with
individual youth and intervene quickly when appropriate.
33

Regular Data Collection

Regular data collection and analysis provide a concrete
foundation for monitoring and accountability. One DYS staff
said, “We collect data on everything. We use data every day.”
The Youth Seclusion & Restraint Working Group collects and
reports detailed data on seclusion and restraint semi-annually.
DYS collects data monthly. For example, data from the Gilliam
Youth Services Center, a pre-adjudication juvenile justice facility
operated by DYS, indicated that 61% of the fights in the facility
occurred on Saturdays. That made it possible to identify the
underlying problem and develop a solution.
34

35

I

deas for Analyzing

Data: Youth Seclusion &
Restraint Working Group
Reports.
In semi-annual reports, the
Colorado Working Group
summarizes key data on
seclusion and restraints. The
format of the report is a
helpful example for facilities
and agencies considering
how to analyze and display
data in useful ways. A
sample report from March
to April 2018 is available as
an example.

CONCLUSION
DYS has made enormous progress over the past two years in reducing the use of seclusion. Many
people, inside and outside of DYS, made the changes possible. DYS needs to continue monitoring
its own progress to ensure the sustainability of the reforms.
Some problems remain. Advocates are concerned that the reductions in the use of room
confinement have not been accompanied by overall change in the agency culture. Some staff
are unable or unwilling to become part of the reforms. In addition, although use of the WRAP
ended in November 2017, DYS instituted a different restraint procedure, called the Side Hold, in
January 2018. Although advocates have expressed concerns about the restraint, records show
that the restraint is used infrequently—an average of one time a month in each facility, which may
demonstrate the effectiveness of the reforms that DYS has implemented. The Division will continue
to monitor its use to ensure that it remains rare.
36

Overall, DYS has done a remarkable job of reducing the use of isolation in a relatively short period
of time. The strategies it found effective should be useful to other jurisdictions making similar
efforts.
30

Colorado
Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

Figure 7 Sample Data from Colorado Seclusion & Restraint Working Group264
Six-Month Period Totals (per facility and agency total)
•	 Number of seclusion incidents
•	 Number of unique seclusion clients
•	 Average duration of seclusion (hours)
•	 Median duration of seclusion (hours)
•	 % change from previous six-month period

Monthly Data (per facility)
•	 Number of seclusion incidents
•	 Rate of seclusion incidents (per 100bed days)
•	 Average duration of seclusion

Aggregate Summary on Demographics of Secluded
Youth
(by seclusion incidents and unique secluded clients)
•	 Age
•	 Race
•	 Ethnicity
•	 Gender

Aggregate Trends Over Six-Month
Period (agency total)
•	 Number of seclusion incidents
•	 Rate of seclusion incidents
•	 Average duration of seclusion
(hours)

Colorado Division
of Youth Services
Massachusetts
Department
of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

31

NOT IN ISOLATION
HOW TO REDUCE ROOM CONFINEMENT
WHILE INCREASING SAFETY
IN YOUTH FACILITIES

Massachusetts
Department of
Youth Services

Photo credit: Richard Ross

NOT IN ISOLATION
HOW TO REDUCE ROOM CONFINEMENT
WHILE INCREASING SAFETY
IN YOUTH FACILITIES

Massachusetts
Department of
Youth Services

The Massachusetts Department of Youth Services
TRAGEDY SPARKS ACTION
In 2003, a 15-year-old boy hanged himself with a sheet while alone in his room at the Metro Youth
Services Center in Dorchester, MA. Shortly thereafter, another child completed suicide. Both took
their own lives while alone in their cells in facilities operated by the Massachusetts Department
of Youth Services (DYS). As DYS struggled to find a path forward, administrators wanted to
understand what factors were contributing to high rates of self-harming behavior.
37

During the investigation, DYS found that most incidents of self-harm occurred when youth were
in room confinement. This connection is now well-documented in juvenile justice facilities across
the country. According to a study commissioned by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), more than 50% of suicides in juvenile justice facilities occur when
youth are in room confinement. In Massachusetts, there were 39 suicide attempts by children in
DYS custody in 2003. Agency leaders agreed that something had to change.
38

39

40

Over the next decade, DYS pushed forward with a series of reforms to drastically reduce room
confinement as a way to increase safety. “It’s not just about room confinement,” current DYS
Commissioner Peter J. Forbes explains. “It’s about staff being assaulted, fights among the kids,
any kind of property damage that you track, room confinement, and restraints.” These related
problems shared common solutions: clear policies, positive behavior management, integrated
clinical services, and well-resourced staff. Between 2008 and 2016, DYS cut the number of room
confinements by over 65% while also reducing restraints and assaults.
Figure 8
41

42

Source: Massachusetts DYS. Data excludes unit wide confinements, threat to self, population management (see
definition), or confinement during investigation of an incident.

34

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

Figure 9

Agency History
DYS operates Massachusetts’ juvenile justice
services. In addition to a continuum of residential
programs, reception centers, foster care, and
community-based services, DYS has 15 secure
residential programs for young people up to
the age of 21. The agency also contracts with
providers to operate 9 additional secure programs
in DYS buildings. Seven programs are for secure
detention, while the remaining programs house
committed youth.
Each DYS program serves 12–15 youth. Each
program is staffed with a program director, clinical
director, clinicians, and 21–24 full-time direct care
staff, or “group workers.” DYS is organized into five
geographic regions, each with a regional director
who oversees individual programs. Forbes leads
the agency along with an executive team housed
in the Central Office in Boston. Other executives
include Ruth Rovezzi, the Deputy Commissioner
for Operations and Support Services, and Margaret
43

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services

“Putting kids in
their rooms makes
them less safe,” says
Forbes.
“There is an
impulsivity that
makes kids act
in ways that they
wouldn’t outside of
room confinement.”

stopsolitaryforkids.org

35

Chow-Menzer, the Deputy Commissioner of Administration and Finance. The agency’s mission is to
make communities safer by improving the life outcomes of youth through effective treatment and
skill development.
44

In 2004, DYS faced challenges that impacted the safety and security of its youth population. Over
3,200 youth cycled through the agency’s 19 secure facilities each year. In order to compensate for
overcrowding and high youth-to-staff ratios, DYS relied primarily on room confinement to manage
residents. Many youth spent a large percentage of their time isolated in their rooms every day. Under
these conditions, it was only a matter of time until another youth died or was seriously injured.
Over the next few years, DYS made several changes to limit the use of room confinement. When
reforms began, the agency had no policy, data, or practice expectations around room confinement.
Administrators needed baseline data on how programs were using room confinement to determine
whether changes were working. As a first step, DYS began collecting and reviewing data on room
confinement with a simple telephone reporting system. Each evening, a second shift supervisor
called Central Office to report which youth had been in room confinement that day, the reason, and
for how long. This initial approached helped set an expectation of transparency and accountability
around the use of room confinement.

Using Data to Advance Reform
Not every facility or agency has an advanced data collection system. Fortunately, this is not
necessary to begin the process of reducing room confinement. The most important step for DYS
was making a start, however modest. Recognizing the value of data from the outset increases
the chance that efforts to reduce room confinement will succeed. Data also is an important tool
to maintain focus on safety during the improvement process. DYS uses data in several key ways.
DYS measures the duration and frequency of room confinement. Frequency can be displayed as
actual number of room confinements or by the number of room confinements per 100 clientdays. The per client-days ratio allows DYS to compare the rate of room confinement relative to
the number of youth. A client-day equals one youth for one day. Ten youth over 30 days is 300
client-days. A per 100 client-day rate of 0.5 in a program with 10 youth means one-half a room
confinement over 10 days (10 youth x 10 days = 100 client-days or 1 ½ room confinements
over 30 days (10 youth x 30 days = 300 client days). Figure 10 on the next page illustrates the
difference in the two measurements using DYS data from 2016.
45

•	 DYS views room confinement within the broader context of agency safety. Administrators
and program leaders use data to determine how room confinement trends compare to
other important safety indicators: assaults on youth, assaults on staff, restraints, property
damage, industrial accidents, and staff time out of work.
•	 DYS administrators use data to help anchor conversations with union officials and other
stakeholders around a shared set of facts.
36

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

Figure 10 Number of Incidents vs. Rate of Room Confinements (DYS 2016)

Source: Massachusetts DYS, excludes unit wide confinement and confinement for population
management.	

A MAJOR POLICY SHIFT
In 2008, DYS took a significant step toward reducing room confinement by introducing
a new policy that dramatically limited its use. Although room confinement had
decreased since 2003, the agency needed a clear written policy to advance and sustain
improvements. The biggest change in the new policy was that staff could no longer
use room confinement as punishment, retaliation, or as a response to non-compliant
behavior. Staff could only use room confinement as a last resort to ensure the safety
of youth or staff, to calm a youth exhibiting seriously disruptive dangerous behavior, or
for population management in limited circumstances. Although Massachusetts does not
impose a fixed time limit on room confinement, the policy does require increasing levels of
approval and clinical involvement over time.
46

Suicide Prevention

DYS is acutely aware of the connection between room confinement and the elevated
risk of self-harm. Shortly before introducing the new room confinement policy, DYS also
revised its Suicide Assessment Policy. The agency consulted with nationally renowned
expert Lindsay Hayes to create the updated suicide policy. Dr. Hayes is a nationally
recognized expert in the field of suicide prevention within jails, prisons, and juvenile justice
facilities, and conducted seminal research showing that over half of youth suicides in
juvenile justice facilities occur in room confinement.
47

48

Taken together, the policies clarify two critical points:
1.	 Youth at risk of suicide require intensive supervision: Staff provide constant 1:1 “eyes-on”
supervision to youth on full or elevated suicide watch, even during sleeping hours.
49

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

37

2.	 Room confinement is not appropriate for youth on any level of suicide watch: The room confinement
policy establishes a clear prohibition on room confinement of youth who are at risk of self-harm or
suicide.

Talking to Staff About Reducing Room Confinement

Administrators at the state level were responsible for drafting the revised room confinement policy.
To secure buy-in from all levels of staff across the state, the agency focused on a communication
strategy. Regional directors and program directors spoke to staff at all secure residential programs
during in-person meetings. This showed that agency leaders were invested in the change. It also
created an opportunity for staff to hear why ending room confinement was important. DYS framed
the conversation about reducing room confinement around the issue of safety, which was a shared
goal for almost all staff. In Massachusetts, the policy roll out involved meaningful and direct
participation from agency leaders. Forbes describes that “It require[d] people getting in their cars
and driving out to the secure programs and meeting with people at shift change in the facility to talk
about the purpose and the why and the implementation plan.”
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Despite careful planning about communication, the new
policy was met with considerable push back from staff
who felt that administrators were taking away an essential
tool. The American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Local 1368, represents
almost 80% of DYS secure care staff. AFSCME voiced
concerns about how the policy change would impact staff
safety.
In retrospect, administrators offer two insights about
reassuring staff when making changes around the use of
room confinement. First, administrators should involve
all levels of direct care staff in the process of creating
the policy. “Policy development is a great place to get
people on board,” says Forbes. “Getting a policy written
is really important, but the process is as important as
the substance.” Second, administrators can anticipate
concerns for staff safety when communicating about the
policy change. Before DYS introduced the new policy
to staff, the buzz was that it banned room confinement
in all circumstances, which was not true. “The biggest
mistake we made was we said, ‘no room confinement’
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Massachusetts Department of Youth Services

Insights from Staff - How to Talk About
Room Confinement
“Staff think, ‘if I cannot lock this kid in his
room for 12 hours or the weekend, then I am
unsafe.’ We are trying to say ‘you are safer if
the kid has a relationship with you.’”
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“Change is difficult for everyone, but all
everyone wants to know about change is
‘how is it going to affect me and how to
do my job, and how to keep me safe.’ The
benefit has to be personalized. We should
have said ‘here’s the benefit to reducing
room confinement because you are building
positive relationships with the kids.’ If we can
get kids out [of room confinement] faster into
the population, it increases the safety in the
moment and long term.”
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rather than a ‘reduction’ [in room confinement],” recalls a regional administrator. “When we said ‘no,’
staff felt like there was never a circumstance that it could be useful, even if the youth was extremely
violent. In reality it is still a tool, but it needs to be used under specific circumstances. Messaging is so
important.”
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Exit Strategies

In addition to limiting the permissible use of room confinement, DYS also focused on shortening the
amount of time that youth spent in room confinement. The new room confinement policy outlined a
release process for staff to follow when a young person is in room confinement. According to policy,
this process typically takes anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. “How they get out [of room confinement]
is just as important as how they get in,” says Forbes. Group workers and clinical staff immediately
begin talking to youth in room confinement to help them process emotions. “We don’t just close the
door and leave them in there to calm down on their own. That’s not helpful if we want them to regain
control,” notes a DYS clinician.
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As soon as youth are calm, staff begin a process of small steps to get youth out of the room
confinement space. These steps may include:
•	 Opening the door while youth are still inside;
•	 Allowing youth to move slightly outside the
Figure 11 DYS Guidelines for Release
doorway of the cell/room;
of Youth from Room Confinement
•	 Taking youth outside the room to an area away
from other residents;
•	 Discussing the incident with youth using the
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Coaching
Protocol for Conflict Resolution;
•	 Using DBT tools to help youth process the
incident (e.g., Behavior Chain Analysis, repair
assignments);
•	 Using relationships with youth to determine
whether they are calm enough to exit room
confinement; and
•	 Assessing whether a youth needs to complete
conflict resolution work with other residents
before rejoining the program.
Release from room confinement does not necessarily
mean that a resident immediately returns to regular
group programming. A facility administrator explains
that “[i]nitially staff thought that there was no room

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confinement and we were going to put the kids in the population no matter what—and that’s not
what we do.” In 2016, DYS and AFSCME developed the DYS Guidelines for Release from Room
Confinement, which give staff additional guidance on getting youth out of room confinement. The
Guidelines instruct staff to create an individualized set of activities or steps to help youth successfully
transition back into general programming.
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After introducing the room confinement policy in 2008, DYS leaders balanced concerns for staff
safety with a firm resolve to stay the course. The agency invested heavily in a new behavior
system framework over the next few years to equip staff with skills and alternatives to avoid room
confinement. By April 2011, almost all cases of room confinement lasted less than four hours.
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TRANSFORMING RESPONSES TO YOUTH BEHAVIOR:
DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY
While DYS was developing the room confinement policy, it was also testing a new clinical approach
that would eventually become a touchstone for all agency programs—DBT, originally developed
by Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington to treat chronically suicidal clients. Dialectical
Behavior Therapy (DBT) has since been adapted for people who are impulsive and have difficulty
controlling their emotions. Research shows that DBT is associated with reductions in recidivism for
justice-involved youth and has positive effects on reducing aggression.
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DYS adapted Linehan’s original model as a behavioral management framework to decrease the use
of room confinement. The DYS Director of Clinical Services, Dr. Yvonne Sparling, first piloted DBT at
the Grafton short-term residential program for girls in 1999. The results were impressive. Girls who
received DBT had fewer restraints and moved through the behavioral level system more quickly.
The following year, a second pilot program for boys yielded similar results. In 2006, the DYS Clinical
Advisory Council endorsed the use of DBT as the therapeutic framework in all secure care facilities and
developed a DBT Manual for all DYS secure facilities.
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As part of the DYS DBT Manual, Sparling wrote “Dialectical Behavior Therapy as a Behavior
Management Approach,” which established the fundamentals of DBT practice within the agency. In
addition to the DBT program practices (described below), all clinical staff within the first six months of
hire complete an online training course developed by Dr. Linehan through Behavior Tech, a Linehan
Institute Training Company. DYS also hired DBT coaches for each region of the state to provide
training and consultation to facility leaders and staff.
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The core premise of DBT is that problem behavior is caused by a deficit in skills, not a moral failing
or disregard for consequences. In other words, youth engage in dysfunctional behaviors because
they do not know how or when to use more effective strategies. They may not even understand how
their current behaviors contribute to undesirable outcomes. DBT focuses on four main areas of skill
development: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
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The goal of DBT is to help youth learn skills to understand and change their behavior, especially in
difficult situations. Under this theory, room confinement will not deter negative behavior because it
doesn’t teach youth the skills they need to behave differently.
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As practiced in DYS facilities, DBT is rooted in key values
about young people:
•	 Youth are doing the best they can;
•	 Youth want to improve and must learn and
practice new behaviors;
•	 Staff can help youth change to meet their goals;
•	 Relationships with youth are a core strategy in
helping youth change their behavior;
•	 Behavioral principles apply to both youth and
staff;
•	 Youth learn by seeing staff model positive skills
and behaviors; and
•	 Staff need support when using DBT.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy
DBT helps young people understand
their behaviors and replace them
with more effective coping skills.
DBT doesn’t just replace room
confinement—it replaces the
underlying behavior that triggers room
confinement.

Eventually, DYS incorporated elements of DBT in many aspects of facility programming. DBT became
a common language for youth, clinical staff, direct care staff, and administrators across all DYS
programs. Perhaps most importantly, it created alternatives to room confinement.
DYS used four primary practices to integrate DBT into the daily lives of youth and staff.
1. Weekly DBT Skills Groups
Building positive relationships between staff and youth is a core strategy to manage youth
behavior. Each unit is assigned a clinician who is physically located in the living area. Assigned
clinicians conduct two DBT group sessions each week. They designate a DBT “Skill of the Week”
and assign DBT homework to youth. Clinicians also conduct weekly individual sessions and
daily groups on substance abuse, high-risk situations, health relationships, and communication
techniques. Thanks to physical proximity and regular interaction, group workers learn deescalation and coaching skills modeled by trained clinicians.
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For Massachusetts, the most effective aspect of DBT is the high level of participation from line
staff. Group workers co-teach DBT groups alongside clinical staff and reinforce DBT skills in
the living unit. One advantage of co-facilitated groups is that line staff are much more likely
to observe youth using skills within the program. Group workers can teach certain DBT skills
more effectively than clinical staff because they are more likely to be similar to youth in gender,
race, and ethnicity. As Sparling points out, “It’s really important to have youth see that a skill is
something that adults use and it’s not just a clinical tool.”
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2. Distress Tolerance Plans
Every youth works with an assigned advocate (staff member) to create a Distress Tolerance Plan,
which is updated weekly. Each direct care staff, including educators, must be familiar with all
Plans. Youth’s Distress Tolerance Plans covers five areas:
1.	
2.	
3.	
4.	
5.	

Behaviors youth will try to achieve;
Behaviors youth will try to avoid;
Triggering events that might cause youth to lose control;
Skills youth can use in the program; and
Ways that adults can help youth.

3. DBT Coaching Protocol for Conflict Resolution (FAVOR)
Most young people in juvenile justice facilities across the country have mental illnesses,
histories of trauma, or difficulty regulating their emotions. When young people become upset
or frustrated, many facilities respond by threatening physical force to control the situation. DYS
realized that these traditional responses didn’t work for most adolescents. In fact, those responses
escalated conflicts. To teach staff another way to respond to youth in crisis, Sparling developed
the DBT Coaching Protocol for Conflict Resolution. Using this five-step approach, staff respond to
youth experiencing behavioral or emotional difficulties by engaging, validating youth’s feelings,
and helping them use DBT skills to process emotions. All group workers and clinical staff are
trained to use the protocol, which is represented by the acronym “FAVOR.”
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F	

Focus on Yourself
When approaching a tense situation, staff first focus on regulating their own
emotional state, body language, and voice.

A	

Assess the Situation for Safety
Staff may separate a youth from the group while continuing to engage the youth in a
positive way. Separation does not mean room confinement.

V	
	

Validate Youth Feelings and Perception
Validation techniques are based on research that people calm down faster when
they feel understood. Validation doesn’t necessarily mean agreement with a youth’s
point of view. Staff ask questions and listen rather than debating the accuracy of the
youth’s perceptions.

O	

Offer Skill Alternatives
Once a youth has regained control, staff offer suggestions about what DBT skills the
youth could use in similar situations. To do this effectively, staff must be familiar with
youth’s Distress Tolerance Plans and DBT skills.
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R	
	

Reinforce Youth’s Attempt to Try New Skills
Staff reinforce youth’s attempts to use positive skills, even if the youth was not fully
successful. Learning new behavior takes practice, and youth are more likely to try
again if their attempts are recognized.

4. Behavior Chain Analysis
When a youth exhibits negative behavior that results in a repair or major rule violation, he or she
completes a Behavior Chain Analysis. Behavior Chain Analysis is a DBT tool to help youth process
what happened and understand why they acted the way they did. Youth review all behavior chains
with their clinicians, although they may complete an analysis worksheet with line staff immediately
after the negative behavior. Behavior Chain Analyses require youth to identify five things about
their behavior(s).
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1.	
2.	
3.	
4.	
5.	

Their thoughts and feelings before the event;
The triggering event;
Their own actions;
The consequences of their actions; and
Possible alternative actions or tools they could use.

USING BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT TO REDUCE ROOM CONFINEMENT
In 2014, DYS issued a Positive Based Residential Programming Advisory that replaced the previous
behavior modification policy. Under the old model, staff were spending most of their time policing
negative behavior rather than interacting with youth and encouraging positive behavior. Existing
sanctions did nothing to address the underlying issues behind youth behavior.
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Text Box: Focusing on Efforts to Improve Skills, Not Compliance
An excellent example of staff focusing on individual improvements rather than compliance and
capitalizing on an opportunity treat all behavior as a learning experience can be seen in this video clip.
In this video example, a DYS Facility Administrator describes a particular incident. Insert video link.
The advisory combined positive-based behavior management, positive youth development, and
DBT principles. DYS outlined certain mandatory requirements, but allowed each program to decide
certain details of its behavior management system with input from residents and staff. In addition
to preventing negative behavior inside DYS facilities, the policy was designed to give youth skills to
successfully transition back into the community. The new DYS behavior management system relies on
five important tools:
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1. Program Advancement Based on Skills, Not Compliance

The new behavior management system used a “stage” system based on competency in social and
emotional DBT skills. It replaced a hierarchical “level” system based on compliance. Staff address
misbehavior through repairs and other internal processes, not by taking away youth’s phase
status. Under the old point-based level system, some youth spent weeks climbing to the next level
only to lose multiple levels in one day due to misbehavior. Other youth with preexisting mental
illness or trauma were not able to meet the behavior requirements to reach higher levels or earn
incentives.

2. Diary Cards

DYS replaced the daily point system with diary cards to track behavior based on each individual
youth’s progress. One side of the diary card lists youth’s short-term behavioral goals and the
other side lists DBT skills they are learning. Youth can earn incentive points for demonstrating
DBT skills and improved behavior. Youth cannot lose points—they can only fail to earn incentive
points. Each program developed its own diary card based on DBT skills taught in the program.
Each day, youth spend 5–10 minutes with staff to individually review their diary cards, explaining
what they did well and what DBT skills they could use to do better next time. Staff guide the
conversations and sign the diary card. Many programs do this in the evening, shortly before lights
out.

3. Repairs

Staff use repairs to hold youth accountable for negative behavior instead of room confinement.
Repair is a DBT term for actions to compensate or rectify a harm that someone has caused. When
youth misbehave or break rules, they must complete repairs. Repairs are meant to show youth
that consequences exist for their actions. However, as the Director of Clinical Services clarifies,
the “[g]oals for repairs are totally the opposite from [goals for] isolation.” Room confinement
teaches young people what it’s like to be isolated, while repairs teach them the value of healthy
connections with other residents and staff. The two main goals of repairs are (1) to help youth
understand the impact of their actions on themselves and others and (2) to give youth the skills
necessary to process and change their behavior.
Repairs include an acknowledgment of the negative behavior, an apology to the affected person
or group, and actions to compensate for the harm done. Programs created their own repair
systems with menus of activities for each category of behavioral infraction. Some activities involve
staff or other residents.

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Figure 12. Sample Guidance for Repair Assignments

Triggering Event
Duration

Activities

Repair 1

Class 1 Infraction

Up to one active shift

Two items from List 1
One item from List 2

Sample
Repair List 1	
Behavior Chain Analysis	
Written apology	
Mindfulness worksheet	
Infraction essay	
Journaling assignment	

Repair 2

Class 2 Infraction

1–3 active shifts

Repair 3

Two items from List 1
Four items from List 2
One item from List 3

Class 3 Infraction
3–7 active shifts

Three items from List 1
Four items from List 2
Three items from List 3

Repair
Repair List 2		
Clean bathroom		
Fold laundry		
Sweep room		
Clean windows		
DBT poster			

Activities

Repair List 3				
Whole unit apology
DBT posters and role plays
Co-facilitate DBT group/activity
Write speech for community meeting
Extra/personalized DBT skill packets

During a repair, youth are separated from other residents for a period of time (usually measured
in shifts) or until they complete the assigned repair activities. Separation during a repair is not a
substitute for room confinement. Youth on repair status remain in the same physical space with
other youth. They participate in regular school, DBT groups, and other programming, usually
sitting at a separate table or in a chair several feet away from other youth. During recreational
activities, youth work on repair assignments, which often involve assistance from staff. The length
of the repair and the assigned actions are based on the level of infraction.
The introduction of repairs helped DYS chip away at opposition from staff who believed that
room confinement was necessary to hold youth accountable. The concept of repairs highlighted
an important distinction between accountability and punishment. While both concepts may
require youth to do things they don’t enjoy, accountability means that youth take responsibility
for their actions. The difference between accountability and punishment is that repairs
(accountability) require the youth to make amends with those negatively affected by the youth’s
behavior, while punishment is just a sanction. All repairs involve a written task the youth must
present to a group of staff. As the Director of Clinical Services explains, youth must demonstrate
that they “understand how their actions affected other people and how they will act differently in
the future, so there’s a lot of work.” Meanwhile, youth miss out on recreational programming and
incentives. Repairs also require that youth acknowledge their misbehavior to another resident(s)
or staff, which is a difficult task for most people—especially teenagers.
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4. Incentives

The positive-based behavior management system is based on recognizing behavioral progress.
Evidence from many criminal justice and youth-serving contexts shows that incentives are more
effective at changing youth behavior than sanctions. As an agency, DYS has worked to create an
environment where staff are searching for opportunities to “catch youth doing something right.”
Programs recognize and reward youth who practice positive skills and behaviors with a range of
incentives that include verbal praise and group recognition. “We don’t look to punish our kids
while they are here. The fact that they are here losing their freedom, we feel is hard enough,”
explains a program director. “In order to have our kids buy into our system and follow our rules
we offer them incentives.”
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5. Individual Support Plans

Another tool used by DYS to prevent room confinement is the Individual Support Plan (ISP). An
ISP is a short-term intervention plan for youth who continuously act out or cannot respond to
programming. The DYS Assistant Commissioner of Program Services describes the Individual
Support Plan Policy as an “all-hands-on-deck approach.” When DYS implemented the new room
confinement policy, “we recognized . . . this challenge in either assisting youth preventing or
minimizing the recurrence of another isolation incident.”
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The ISP process can be initiated by a request from any staff member, a family member, or a young
person. Within 48 hours, the program director organizes an interdisciplinary team that includes
the youth and his or her parent or guardian. The team holds a meeting and produces a written
plan that identifies the youth’s needs and lists specific interventions that the youth or staff may
use. The collaborative structure of ISP meetings is critical. As one regional director explains, “If the
clinicians are just writing up an ISP and telling people what to do, it will fail. If you get everyone’s
input, there is more follow-through and buy in. All of this stuff leads to less room confinement.”
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ISPs list the youth’s strengths, behavioral triggers, warning signs, interventions, and incentives.
Room confinement cannot be part of an ISP, although an ISP can state that staff may use room
confinement if the youth engages in specific violent behavior that causes an immediate risk of
physical harm. All direct care, clinical, and educational staff are expected to be familiar with the
ISP.
Examples of ISP Interventions
•	 Youth “will receive multiple staff check-ins during a shift to receive attention; these checkins will be conducted at minimum three times per shift and documented in the log.”
•	 “I can ask to speak to my clinician when I am feeling stressed out.”
•	 Youth “will be permitted to take a time out when frustrated and may read, complete word
searches, crossword puzzles, utilize music and stress-balls, or draw.”
•	 “I will receive ramen on Sundays if I have not received any repairs for the week.”
•	 “Staff will approach me when I look heated (am showing warning signs) and review coping
skills with me.”
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STEPS TO SUPPORT STAFF SAFETY

DYS Behavior
Management in a
Nutshell

Staff and labor unions voiced concerns about how
changes to the room confinement and behavior
management policies affected staff safety. They
pointed out other problems including mandatory
overtime, burnout, and high staff turnover. DYS
took several steps to affirm the importance of staff
safety and provide resources and support to staff.

Youth earn incentive points/opportunities
for positive participation in programming
and using DBT skills.

Agency Safety Committee

Youth must make repairs for negative
behavior. Youth lose the opportunity to
participate in recreational programming or
redeem previously earned incentives during
the repair period.

To create a regular and structured process for
addressing concerns from staff, DYS established
a state Safety Committee. Members include
management and frontline staff from DYS
Regional and Central Offices, human resources
staff, labor relations and workers’ compensation
staff from the Executive Office of Health and
Human Services, and representatives from all
major labor unions. The committee structure
allows union leaders to discuss concerns in
an open problem-solving forum. The Safety
Committee meets every two months to review
data in safety index areas, evaluate potential
reforms, and make recommendations to DYS.
Safety Committee reports begin with data on
room confinement, assaults on youth, assaults
on staff, restraints, property damage, industrial
accidents, and staff time out of work.
DYS also founded a Workforce Planning and
Development work group to address issues and
make recommendations regarding recruitment,
on-boarding, training, coaching, retention, and
evaluations.

Repairs are categorized by the severity of
the rule violation. Violence against other
youth or staff are the most serious.
Youth have a menu of incentives and
repairs and can make choices based on the
situation.
Youth who continuously act out or cannot
respond to programming may receive an
ISP.
Serious behaviors may result in an agencylevel Incident Response Team (IRT) hearing.

Incident Response Team Procedure

DYS created an Incident Response Team Procedure to provide a consistent response to serious
incidents in DYS facilities involving youth violence against other youth, youth violence against staff,
escape attempts, and significant property damage. If an IRT is requested, administrators convene a
team within two business days to review all reports, statements, and video footage. The IRT includes
the DYS caseworker, program or facility director, director of residential services, regional director,
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regional clinical coordinator, the resident, any staff who were involved, and the youth’s parent or
guardian. The team discusses the treatment plan and all parties have a chance to speak and give
input. The IRT can support the program’s response, change the consequences imposed by the
program, transfer the youth to another program, or take other actions.
In some situations when a young person seriously injured staff,
the IRT could recommend that the youth go to a program called
“The really difficult kid is
the Stabilization Unit, a small (10–12 bed) program for youth who
one who punches a staff
were violent or struggled in other DYS programs. Youth could stay
anywhere from 30 days to 6 months. DYS administrators stress that the person. Staff are going to
Stabilization Unit was not designed to be or operated as an isolation
confront you with that,
or punishment unit. It operated like other DYS secure facilities, except
and you have to have
all programming and clinical sessions were individual and the staff to
a response. We have a
youth ratio was very high. DYS ultimately closed the Stabilization Unit
detailed protocol in the
in 2018 because they no longer had a need for such a program.
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MOU to Support Staff

event that it happens.”

In response to a recommendation from the Safety Committee, DYS
and AFSCME Local 1368 created a protocol if a staff member chooses

to pursue a criminal complaint against a youth. DYS does not require staff to press charges, but it
supports staff who elect to do so. The protocol was reflected in a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) designed to help staff navigate the court process. The MOU established communication
duties between staff, agency administrators, union representatives, law enforcement, and the local
prosecutor. Assaults on staff have remained similar with a slight decrease per quarter between
Calendar Year (CY) 2015 to CY 2016 and CY 2016 to CY 2017.
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Figure 13

83

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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUTH ASSAULT STAFF?
Youth who commit an assault do not necessarily receive room confinement.
If a youth is de-escalated and has regained control, room confinement is not
necessary.
Staff use the behavior management system to respond to youth’s behavior
(repairs, “freezing” incentives, Behavior Chain Analysis, updating a Distress
Tolerance Plan).
If a young person is physically violent and less restrictive interventions have failed,
staff may use room confinement to ensure safety.
If a youth is in room confinement, staff follow the DYS room confinement policy
and Guidelines for Release from Room Confinement to help youth exit as quickly
as possible.
Staff or youth may request an ISP.
The program follows the IRT procedure.
Staff initiate the MOU process if they choose to pursue criminal charges.

DYS BASIC TRAINING TOPICS
Adolescent development
Trauma-informed care
Positive youth development
Suicide awareness and prevention
Safety, security, and searches
De-escalation and DBT
Practical application of physical restraints and defensive disengagement
techniques Educational services
Working with girls
Working with gang-involved youth
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ANNUAL RECERTIFICATION TRAINING TOPICS
Positive youth development
Adolescent brain development
Suicide prevention
De-escalation
Use of force
Situational awareness
Defensive and disengagement techniques

DYS STAFFING
DYS programs have an average of 21 FTE direct care staff for each 12–15 bed
program. Staff in the pilot staffing program work overlapping 10-hour shifts.

DIRECT CARE STAFF
First shift:	
1:5
Second shift:	 1:4
Third shift:	
1:7 (minimum of three direct care staff)

CLINICAL STAFF
Clinical staff are on site during evening and weekend hours.
Clinical director (psychologist or licensed independent social worker).
Two master’s level clinicians who are licensed or license-eligible.
Each of the five regions of the state has a licensed clinical psychologist, a Regional
Clinical Coordinator, and a Regional Clinician who is licensed clinical psychologist
or licensed independent social worker, in addition to the Clinical Directors and
clinicians who are program based.

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Training

DYS invested heavily in ongoing training to give staff skills to prevent room confinement and the use
of force. New hires attend three weeks of Basic Training at the DYS Training Academy. During Basic
Training, staff receive a full day of training on de-escalation techniques, and another eight hours on
suicide prevention. Direct care staff also attend an annual recertification training at the Academy. Both
Basic Training and recertification require staff to participate in scenarios and demonstrate proficiency
in DYS-approved physical restraint techniques. When staff are confident in their ability to physically
intervene if necessary, they are less likely to preemptively use room confinement.
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“We’ve also done a lot of training with our staff on adolescent brain development,” says Rovezzi. “That
has helped our staff step back a little bit and think ‘this isn’t necessarily personal, this is the way this
young person reacts.’”
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Suicide Prevention Training

“IF YOU HAVE A
RELATIONSHIP WITH A
YOUNG PERSON, YOU CAN
ENGAGE THEM IN MAKING
DIFFERENT CHOICES
BEFORE IT COMES TO THE
NEED TO PUT SOMEONE IN
THEIR ROOM.”

Suicide prevention is a priority topic in Basic Training and
annual recertification. Staff learn how to distinguish between
situations which require suicide assessment and situations that
may require room confinement. The DYS Director of Clinical
Services Sparling explains that trainers spend a lot of time with
both new and experienced staff “on how placing the youth
in room confinement really increases the likelihood that they
may make a serious suicide attempt. [They] really stress the
importance of doing everything you can to keep a kid out of
room confinement.”
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Relationships Equal Safety

Training also highlights the role of positive relationships with youth as a tool to keep staff safe.
One shift supervisor observes: “It’s safer now from when I started 17 years ago. There is much more
training for us. Less restraints are happening because staff are communicating between themselves
and talking to the kids, building the relationships with the kids to make them understand that we are
not here just to put hands on them. We are here to talk to them, to help them make a better change
in their life.” Another facility administrator agrees that “[t]hose conversations build trust… those
conversations that we have with them equal safety and security.”
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Pilot Staffing Program

Although DYS has high staffing ratios compared to many other systems, facility staff have challenging
and complex jobs. In 2018, DYS began piloting a new schedule to reallocate staffing resources without
increasing full time employee (FTE) positions. The pilot program also reduces stress by giving staff
an additional day off and reducing the likelihood of forced overtime. Staff in the pilot program work
four consecutive 10-hour days with three days off rather than five consecutive eight-hour days. This
schedule provides more staff positions during times when assaults are most likely to occur, which data
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show are between dinner and bedtime. Staff in the pilot reported feeling more rested and, because
shifts overlap, they have more time to communicate information from one shift to another.
92

93

Lost Time and Staff Turnover

Many of the strategies discussed in this report cannot be implemented without enough qualified
staff. Two data indicators to support the need for additional staff positions are lost time and turnover
or attrition rates. DYS measures lost time by dividing lost time workers’ compensation claims by the
agency’s FTEs. Massachusetts disaggregates this data by category of staff. Between FY 2015 and FY
2018, the rates of lost staff time for all levels of group workers decreased from 27 to 17.4.
DYS also tracks group worker attrition by calculating the turnover rate within one year of hire and
the turnover rate during the initial six-month probationary period. As outlined in the DYS Safety Task
Force, this information is straightforward if administrators know what information to track. Based on
the example below, which does not disaggregate turnover by staff position, DYS reduced its turnover
rate for new hires by more than 50%.
94

Figure 14 DYS Group Worker I Attrition

Calendar
Year
2014
2015
2016
2017

Total Group Worker 1
Hires
88
87
114
103

STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTION

Turnover Rate Within
Year of Hire
31.8%
42.5%
39.5%
14.6%

Turnover Rate During
Probationary Period
4.5%
4.6%
12.3%
1.0%

The State Task Force

Although assaults on staff have gone down, several staff were seriously injured by youth in 2015 and
2016. In response, DYS and AFSCME created the DYS Safety Task Force. Task Force members included
representatives from DYS, AFSCME, the state legislature, and other child-serving and oversight
agencies. The Task Force’s purpose was to make recommendations to the secretary of the Executive
Office of Health and Human Services on how to increase safety for DYS staff and youth. Over the
course of a year, the Task Force held six meetings and conducted a comprehensive review of relevant
policies and best practices. Members reviewed data on risk indicators including assaults, use of
restraints, room confinement, suicidal behaviors, and staff injuries resulting from being assaulted or
using restraints. The Task Force also heard from national experts and DYS staff.
In February 2018, the Task Force released its DYS Safety Task Force Final Report. The report
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included several recommendations to enhance resources and support for staff. The Task Force also
recommended that DYS review the internal communication structure—especially with respect to room
confinement—so that “practice expectations articulated at the DYS executive level are understood
and embraced throughout agency operations.” Specifically, the Task Force addressed situations
when youth become suddenly violent without warning. While infrequent, situations where verbal deescalation is not practical and staff need to use room confinement immediately to prevent physical
harm are possible. Although this is consistent with the room confinement policy, DYS administrators
agreed to work more closely with unions and regional directors to ensure clear communication with
direct care staff.
97

State Law Follows Agency Policy

In 2018, Massachusetts passed legislation that codifies DYS policy limits on room confinement. The
change was part of a broad criminal justice reform bill. Section 10B of Bill S. 2371 prohibits DYS from
putting youth in room confinement “as a punishment, harassment or consequence for noncompliance
or in retaliation for any conduct.” The law took effect on December 31, 2018.
98

99

Figure 15 DYS Suicidal Behavior in Secure Facilities

CONCLUSION

The average duration of room confinement in DYS programs was 44 minutes during the last quarter
of 2018 and 39 minutes for the 2018 calendar year. Some staff quoted in this report couldn’t
remember the last time they saw a youth in room confinement. Although the Massachusetts story
of reducing room confinement was rooted in policy change to protect youth from self-harm. To
be sure, the rate of suicide and self-harm has gone down, but the agency’s story of reducing room
confinement evolved into part of a broader transformation of how the agency works with young
people. As a deputy commissioner said, the agency’s “work as a juvenile justice agency is preparing
young people to return to their communities as citizens, as contributing members of their community.
For that, they need skills. They need to be able to manage the demands of life. They need to have an
education that prepares them for employment. They need to have positive relationships with others.
They are not going to get any of that locked in a room somewhere.”
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NOT IN ISOLATION
HOW TO REDUCE ROOM CONFINEMENT
WHILE INCREASING SAFETY
IN YOUTH FACILITIES

Shelby County, TN
Photo credit: Richard Ross

NOT IN ISOLATION
HOW TO REDUCE ROOM CONFINEMENT
WHILE INCREASING SAFETY
IN YOUTH FACILITIES

Shelby County, TN

Shelby County, TN: Major Reforms by a Sheriff’s Office
IMPETUS FOR CHANGE

On April 26, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Findings Report notifying the
Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County that the court was violating the civil rights of youth
detained at the Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center by failing to provide them with reasonably
safe conditions of confinement and freedom from undue bodily restraint. The report also found that
the court violated the due process rights of children appearing for delinquency hearings, and that the
court’s administration of justice violated the equal protection rights of the children by discriminating
against black children.
102

The report was the culmination of an extensive investigation by the DOJ. In January 2007, the DOJ’s
Civil Rights Division had received a complaint about a variety of issues from the Juvenile Court Ad
Hoc Committee, a committee of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners. Later that year, the
National Center for State Courts and the Memphis Bar Association issued reports on the ongoing
problems. The DOJ investigation began in August 2009. It included consultation with experts in the
field; interviews with court personnel, children appearing before the court on delinquency matters,
and administrators; and review of policies and procedures, court documents, recordings of hearings,
case files, materials, and statistical data. The Juvenile Court fully cooperated with the assessment.
103

104

105

106

After the Findings Report was issued, the Juvenile Court quickly decided to cooperate with the DOJ
to remedy the deficiencies. It retained national suicide prevention expert Lindsey Hayes to assess
the facility and make recommendations, which were subsequently adopted. In addition, the Health
Department agreed to assist in providing round-the-clock medical and mental health care.

Memorandum of Agreement

On December 17, 2012, the DOJ, the Juvenile Court, and the county announced a Memorandum of
Agreement (MOA) with detailed reforms and timelines for their implementation. With respect to the
use of physical restraints and seclusion, the MOA provided that staff would use the least amount of
force necessary to stabilize the situation and protect the safety of the child and others; prohibited
unapproved forms of physical restraint and seclusion; limited restraint and seclusion to those
circumstances where a child posed an immediate danger to self or others, and when less restrictive
means had been attempted but were unsuccessful; required prompt and thorough documentation
of all incidents; required that staff be held accountable for excessive and unpermitted force; required
immediate evaluation of all children involved in incidents by medical staff; and called for formal
reviews of all uses of force and allegations of abuse.
107

108

The MOA also prohibited routine use of isolation for children on suicide precautions unless specifically
authorized by a qualified mental health professional, and such situations had to be documented in
incident reports.
109

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The MOA included other provisions. It prohibited the use of a restraint chair and pressure point
controls. It required improvements in suicide prevention. It also included extensive provisions
regarding due process in delinquency hearings and protection from racial discrimination. To assess
the implementation process and compliance with the MOA, the agreement appointed two monitors,
one each for due process and equal protection violations, and a facility consultant, also known as the
protection from harm consultant, who would receive documentation and visit the county every six
months.
The facility consultant was David Roush, Ph.D., who ran secure juvenile programs and served as a
consultant to many jurisdictions across the country.
The Findings Report noted several times that the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention
Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) had begun work in Shelby County earlier in 2012. JDAI is a national
initiative to reduce unnecessary incarceration of young people without jeopardizing public safety.
It operates in almost 300 jurisdictions throughout the country. Core strategies for JDAI include
using objective instruments to determine admissions of young people to juvenile justice facilities,
developing alternatives to secure facilities, reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile
justice system, and ensuring safe and humane conditions of confinement for young people who are
incarcerated. Thus, there was considerable overlap between JDAI’s mission and core strategies and the
provisions of the MOA. The MOA recommended continued engagement by the county and Juvenile
Court in JDAI.
110

111

112

Transferring Operation of the Detention Center to the County Sheriff

In August 2014, Dan Michael was elected judge of the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County
(the county also has multiple magistrates or referees to handle juvenile cases). In July 2015, after
extensive discussions, assessments, planning, reorganizing, and budgeting, Judge Michael and the
Juvenile Court transferred operation of the Juvenile Detention Center to the Shelby County sheriff.
There was significant concern about having a law enforcement agency run a juvenile justice facility,
but the effort had several potential benefits. The sheriff was able to hire juvenile justice facility staff
into his office at higher salary levels and was able to provide more extensive training for correctional
staff than had been available. The DOJ already operated a facility, Jail East, for young people
transferred to prosecution in adult criminal court. The Sheriff’s Office was a large agency, with more
than 2,000 employees, and therefore had more staff who could be assigned to the juvenile facility. It
already had contracts in place for food and medical services, which could quickly be utilized for youth
in juvenile justice facilities. In addition, as a law enforcement organization, the Sheriff’s Office had a
clear chain of command structure that could help in implementing changes in policies and practices.
113

At the time of the transfer, the juvenile justice facility had multiple problems, including and beyond
the ones identified in the DOJ Findings Report. The physical plant was old and outmoded. There were
only three classrooms, so many youth were not able to go to school or went only for a few hours
per day, which was itself a violation of the law. Other than school, two hours of recreation, and two
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hours of “leisure” time, young people generally spent the rest of their time confined to their rooms.
There was no other programming. With little to do most of the day, many youth got bored, noisy,
and disruptive. Youth were regularly put into room confinement for three days for discipline. There
were chronic staff shortages, so single staff on duty were often responsible for 16–24 youth at a time,
when professional standards limit staff-to-youth ratios to 1:8. In addition, youth wore prison-type
jumpsuits.
114

Challenges

After the transfer of responsibility and development of a new system of reporting remedial
actions, the key indicators of safety and well-being of youth went the wrong way. According to the
Consultant’s Sixth Report, between July and October 2015 there was a 12% increase in the reported
use of disciplinary room confinement. There also was a 30% increase in the reported average duration
of room confinement. In addition, during that period, there was a 58% increase in suicidal behaviors, a
31% increase in the rate of assaults of youth on youth, a 36% increase in the use of physical restraints,
and a 303% increase in the use of mechanical restraints. Frequent staff turnover exacerbated these
problems.
115

116

Parts of the increases were a result of documentation practices. Staff were documenting the use of
restraints during routine transportation for medical and dental visits as uses of force within the facility.
Likewise, staff were documenting routine time in rooms for sleeping as isolation, room confinement,
and suicide watch precautions.
Some changes requested by Roush were
implemented prior to his visit in September
2015, including improved food service,
larger meals and healthy snacks, improved
room lighting and painting, and allowance
of books in youths’ rooms. In addition, all
staff had received 40 hours of training and
were certified by the State of Tennessee for
the first time.
By April 2016, there had been more
improvements that affected the use
of isolation. Programming and group
activities were added, a full-time counselor
was hired to expand programs for young
people, visits were extended, and additional
phone calls were allowed. The Positive
Behavior Management System (PBMS) was
implemented and all staff were trained on
117

Figure 16 Youth Recreation at Shelby County
Juvenile Detention Center

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it. Youth received information about PBMS in the
Detainee Handbook which they could keep in
their rooms.
118

At the same time, youth complained of a “22/2”
program on weekends which kept them confined
in their rooms for all but two hours a day. Youth
also identified issues with “Red Card” disciplinary
status, which carried 23/1 room confinement for
three days and the use of handcuffs and shackles
during the one hour out of their rooms. In
addition, documentation of room confinement
incidents was unreliable; too much information
was collected by hand, data forms were not
completed consistently, and there were problems
with storage and retrieval of data. Roush labeled
the situation “…unacceptable. It is the ‘canary in
the coal mine,’ a reliable indicator of more serious
problems.”
119

120

121

Six months later, there were additional
improvements. Staff were conducting daily circleup groups, or ad hoc counseling sessions, in the
units, sometimes multiple times a day. The groups
provided youth with information about the daily
schedule, including upcoming activities during the
shift. They also provided a “safety valve” for youth
who needed to vent or express emotions. The
groups also provided youth with staff models of
respectful, caring adults.
122

PBMS had begun to take root, with colorful
posters about the system being displayed
throughout the building. Youth and staff described
positive outcomes as a result of the new token
economy system. A youth advisory committee
provided information to the director of PBMS
about any youth concerns.
123

Staff also began receiving a variety of new
trainings. Chief Inspector of Juvenile Detention
Deidra Bridgeforth implemented a 16-hour
Massachusetts
of Youth Services
Shelby County, Department
TN

Initial Improvements in Shelby County
State certification of all staff
Positive Behavior Management System
Training on how to work with youth
Improved data metrics tracking key behaviors
Standardized review of videos and
documentation of room confinement
incidents
A full-time staff position to expand programs
for young people
Additional programming
Daily circle-up groups
Youth advisory committee
Improved conditions in youth rooms
Increased visitation and phone calls
Definition of Room Confinement in Shelby
County Juvenile Detention Center
Room confinement is defined as the
placement of the youth in any secured
room away from general population, with
authorization. The youth’s behavior and/or
the safety and security of the youth and the
Assessment for Release determine when the
youth leaves the room.
Shelby County measures room confinement
as involuntary confinement for longer than 59
minutes. The data does not include periods
of involuntary confinement of less than 59
minutes, which they consider “time-outs.”

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training on differences between youth and adults, and how to work with youth who are incarcerated.
With funding from OJJDP, two outside consultants delivered a 40-hour training for trainers on youthspecific issues. The training clarified adult learning styles and helped the trainers understand how to
teach in ways that were effective for staff. The Sheriff’s Office also sent a staff member to a training on
safe crisis management with special emphasis on de-escalation skills.
124

The data system, used for tracking room confinements and uses of force, showed significant
improvement, due to a focused effort by the lead data researcher from the Juvenile Court and her
counterpart in the Sheriff’s Office. They developed an improved data metrics plan that identified key
behaviors to track. Monitoring of the use of restraints also improved with a standardized review of
videos and documentation of all incidents.
125

At the same time, however, Roush reported that room confinement remained an ongoing concern,
as did the use of physical restraints. Youth complained of widespread inconsistencies among staff in
awarding points under the PBMS. Youth also complained of favoritism and group punishment, and a
level of disrespect and profanity toward them by a majority of the male staff.
126

127

By April 2017, the number of room confinements had dropped significantly, but the average duration
of room confinements increased substantially. The facility consultant reported that “youth are
remaining in their rooms after incidents for a far longer time than is necessary for them to ‘cool down’
or reduce their agitation to near normal levels.”
128

129

The Turning Point

But by October 2017, just six months later, things had changed significantly. Staff more fully
incorporated their training, new facility policies, and the developmental approach to adolescents
into their relationships with youth and responses to misbehavior. Programming increased to fill up
time when youth had been idle. The facility consultant noted that use of room confinement longer
than one hour “has dropped to zero,” and he pronounced the facility in compliance with the room
confinement provision of the MOA.
130

For 2018, juvenile justice facility records show a very low level of room confinement—none at all in
February, March, June, and October; only one instance in January and April; and five each in July and
September. November was an outlier: there were 19 uses of room confinement on 39 youth.
Facility administration attributes that primarily to a group of 10 youth who were arrested together and
detained in early November, who proceeded to cause considerable disruption on November 3 and
for days afterward. All in all, however, the data show a very strong reduction in room confinement,
completely or virtually eliminating it for most months of the year. The figure below shows two
useful ways that administrators viewed data to determine the overall chronological trend in room
confinement incidents, but also to determine during which months more incidents occurred.
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Figure 17 Comparison of Displaying Trends in Room Confinement

Reducing room confinement in a sustainable, meaningful way was a challenge that, in Fessenden’s
words, “required all hands, and brains, on deck.”   It began with staff engaging the youth in their
rooms every 15 minutes to see if they were calm, safe to be around others, and had insight into what
triggered the bad behavior and how to control it moving forward. This process could go on for long
periods of time as staff tried different approaches to reach the youth. Sometimes the discussions
resulted in behavior “contracts” written by the staff and youth. Now youth occasionally ask staff to
allow them be alone in their rooms when they are struggling with emotions or issues that they feel
will cause them to be disruptive. This process underscores the importance of relationships between
youth and staff.
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Staff must now obtain permission for room confinement at every level up the command chain,
including medical and a Chief Inspector. Not surprisingly, staff realized it was more efficient to utilize
de-escalation and adolescent behavior techniques to resolve the problem.
Room confinement reduction and PBMS went hand in hand.  As staff became more creative in
offering meaningful rewards, such as increased visitation and phone calls, they realized that removing
some of those rewards could be a significant deterrent. Staff complained in the beginning that youth
were not being sufficiently “punished” for assaultive behavior, so staff were asked to participate in
developing a disciplinary matrix that would ensure consistency on each shift.  Youth were also allowed
input, since they were very vocal about inconsistencies. 
Recently, Roush suggested rewarding staff for positive outcomes, particularly de-escalation. An officer
appreciation program is now in place. Peers nominate each other for monthly honors which include
gift cards and meals with the Chiefs. 

WHAT WORKED

There were many factors that made it possible for the Sheriff’s Office to achieve significant reductions
in the use of room confinement.

Leadership

The chief architects of reform at the Sheriff’s Office were Sheriff Bill Oldham, who supported reforms
and made the financial commitment to train current staff, add new staff, improve food services, add
programming, and make improvements to the physical plant; Assistant Chief Kirk Fields, who became
the director of the juvenile justice facility when responsibility was transferred from the Juvenile Court;
and Bridgeforth, who was promoted to assistant chief and director of the facility in September 2018,
when Fields was promoted to chief jailer.
Fields and Bridgeforth were committed from the beginning to making changes and going beyond
the mandates of the MOA. Early on, they wanted to be proactive. They were particularly concerned
about the extensive use of room confinement. When Bridgeforth asked why there was so much use
of solitary, staff told her that it was because of staff shortages. “It hurt me so much to see children in
rooms like that,” she said. She also felt that isolation was the wrong approach. “Room confinement
causes mental illness,” she says. “You’re teaching violence when you use force.”
132

Department of Justice Investigation and the MOA

Although agreements between the DOJ and state or local governments are often sources of friction,
the overall experience was positive for the Sheriff’s Office. The close involvement by Roush and the
many suggestions he made for new policies, practices, and training were particularly valuable. Debra
Fessenden, the sheriff’s legal advisor, helped connect the Sheriff’s Office to the National Partnership
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for Juvenile Services as a way to bring in more training, as well as to other resources recommended by
Roush. Bridgeforth says that “DOJ was a great learning experience.”
Roush was particularly helpful in explaining what makes “behavior management” work: not the type
or severity of the sanctions, but rather the importance of developing rewarding relationships between
youth and staff, and having extensive programming to keep youth occupied throughout the day.
Bridgeforth also says that Fessenden, who was positioned between the DOJ attorneys and the Sheriff’s
Office, “kept us accountable.”
133

134

New Policies at the Juvenile Justice Facility

The Sheriff’s Office revised a number of policies that had been in effect at the juvenile justice facility
and wrote new ones. The policy on Involuntary Room Confinement, put into effect a year after the
transfer of responsibility, states that staff may only put a youth in room confinement if the youth
poses an immediate danger to self or others, and less restrictive crisis intervention techniques have
failed. Room confinement requires approval and documentation by a lieutenant, a captain, the
chief inspector, and medical personnel. When the youth is put in his or her room, staff must advise
the youth on the reason for the confinement and the expectations for release. Cited examples of
expectations for release are the youth appearing calm for 2–5 minutes and verbally stating that
they are ready to return to regular activities. Each incident is reviewed by a Multidisciplinary Review
Team that includes correctional senior staff, the director of mental health, and a health department
senior representative. The members of the
team also view all videos of confrontation
incidents.
135

A new policy on juvenile justice services ,
put into effect in February 2017, sets forth
four levels in the use of force continuum
and clear parameters as to when and what
kind of physical force can be used. The
policy is keyed to training for staff by Safe
Crisis Management and Crisis Prevention
Institute, two programs of verbal and nonphysical intervention that have been very
successful in other jurisdictions. Importantly,
the policy states that “The use of physical
force or seclusion as a disciplinary sanction,
punishment, or as a training or behavior
modification technique is strictly prohibited”
(emphasis added).
136

137

138

Figure 18 Shelby County Programming

At the same time, in February 2017, the facility put into effect a new policy on the Positive Behavior
Management System. The PBMS outlines positive behavioral expectations in five areas such as
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cooperation, participation, and positive reinforcement by youth of good behavior by other youth.
It also lists basic skills—following instructions, accepting consequences, showing respect, showing
concern—for which youth can be rewarded with coupons redeemable for snacks. The facility created
a list of items available to youth in the Adams’s Street Corner Store, which is named after the street
on which the juvenile justice facility is located. It is called a “store” instead of a “commissary” to avoid
an association with jails and prisons. In addition to the snacks and treats on the list, youth also can
sleep late, get extra time on phone calls, or get extra visitors. Prior to the transfer of responsibility to
the sheriff, there had been a positive behavior management point system, but the rewards were more
limited.

New Training for Juvenile Detention Facility Staff

Correctional administrators were well aware that, as Bridgeforth says, “To change something, you
need to replace it with something better.” With recommendations from Roush, the Sheriff’s Office
brought in a variety of new training for correctional staff.
140

First, staff working in juvenile justice facilities at the time of
the transfer of responsibility had to be trained and certified as
corrections deputies. Bridgeforth conducted much of the training,
which provided an opportunity for her to develop relationships
with the staff who were now working under her command.
The staff benefitted from new training on Safe Crisis Management,
a program that is recommended by the DOJ and has been
effective in reducing the use of force and isolation in many
juvenile facilities across the country. Before the transfer of
responsibility, staff said that “room confinement was the only
punishment we had.”
141

Some correctional staff could not or would not go along with the
new program and had to leave. Most, however, did cooperate and
appreciated the new training.

Equally important, the new
training was evidencebased and developmentally
appropriate; Bridgeforth
says the staff was trained
“on the science of rewards.”
This required a real
adjustment from their
previous orientation, but
staff eventually saw the
improvements firsthand in
their new roles as teachers,
coaches, and mentors. “It
worked” she says.

New Programming

One of the first moves after the transfer of responsibility was to hire a new program manager. This
provided a point of focus for new programming opportunities. The number of volunteers coming
into the facility was increased from 15 to the current 45. The sheriff built a new classroom so that all
youth can go to school every day. There is enrichment programming after school, and group circleups several times a day, with an emphasis on positive developments in the units. In the evening, table
games, television, and other programs are available, including mentoring programs, baptisms, and
“Wild Wednesdays” with speakers such as a former television news reporter, judges, police officers,
ministers, and fraternity brothers. Community partners who help to broaden youths’ cultural horizons
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also are involved. These include a famous artist who helped youth create a mural of historical figures
in the dining room, a Shakespeare company that puts on plays and teaches dramatics, and musicians
providing gospel, blues, and classical music. “I want all kids out all day,” Bridgeforth says.
142

Visit to Another Juvenile Justice Facility

It was also helpful for juvenile correctional administrators and staff to visit another facility that
already had several of the components they wanted to bring to Shelby County. In June 2017, two
administrators and three juvenile officers visited the Youth Center of High Plains in Amarillo, TX. They
had discussions and round tables with administrators, staff, and youth on the individual responsibility
value system and Rational Behavior Therapy in use in the facility, disciplinary management, and the
token economy. The Shelby County group found that the site visit helped them to better understand
the behavior management training materials provided to them by Roush and the training presented
by the National Partnership for Juvenile Services consultants.
143

Additional Staffing

There was a staffing analysis done in 2016 that showed the need for more staff and more
programming. The Sheriff’s Office brought in new people for intake and added three sergeants and
two captains from its adult corrections facility, in addition to new staff in the units. All new staff had to
complete 40 hours of youth-specific training.
144

There was general agreement on the need to keep an appropriate ratio of youth to staff. This was
challenging because the daily population at the facility fluctuates, ranging from over 100 to as low as
40 during 2018. Youth can be situated in nine areas of the facility: the boys north unit, the boys south
unit, the girls unit, four classrooms, and two gyms. The incidents of room confinement decreased
substantially in 2017 and 2018 at the same time as additional staff were added and training was
enhanced.
145

Mental Health Resources

There also was an increase in availability of mental health clinicians. A qualified mental health
professional is onsite during the day Monday through Friday, and part-time on the weekends. A
clinician is available on call during other times. Clinicians now facilitate programs with youth, conduct
one-on-one counseling, and are more involved in the workings of the facility.

Support and Appreciation for Staff

The emphasis on positive youth behavior was accompanied by increased support for correctional
staff. The additional training showed staff that administrators wanted them to have the tools to do
their job better. Administrators added specific positive reinforcers for staff. There is now an employee
of the month and an employee of the quarter, and staff can receive breakfast or lunch with the chief.
One staff reported, “I feel more appreciated than ever before.”

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Environment in Juvenile Justice Facilities

The physical plant for the juvenile justice facility is older and has design flaws. Nevertheless,
correctional administrators made some important positive changes in the experience of living in the
facility. The youth no longer wear prison-like jumpsuits,
and instead have t-shirts and khakis. They are referred to
as “youth” or “children” instead of “juveniles.” The time
“When we cut their hair,
for lights out increased two hours—from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
After a visit from members of the county commission
their whole demeanor
and a supplemental appropriation, the facility stopped
changed,” says
charging parents for calls from their children. Now all
calls are free, which has made a substantial difference to
Bridgeforth. “Children
youth and their families.
146

For a time, there were no regular hair cutting services
available to youth in the facility. After the transition,
facility administrators brought in hair cutting services
monthly to attend to youths’ needs.

saw we cared about how
they looked, so they
cared about how they
looked.”267

Accountability

Correctional administrators also acted to provide greater accountability of staff. At the time of the
transfer of responsibility, review of incidents was inconsistent. Now the Major Incident Review Form
provides three levels of review and specifically asks whether there was any wrongful conduct by staff
or any violations of policies and procedures, and if so, what steps were taken to address and correct
any violations. Staff who violate the rules or use force in a way contrary to Safe Crisis Management
are subject to progressive discipline, from verbal warnings to written reprimands to suspensions from
work for one, three, or five days.
147

The teams that review videos of incidents focus on what happened just before the confrontation
occurred. Where was the officer located on the unit? What was he or she doing? Were they aware
that a confrontation was brewing? What action could they have taken to resolve the conflict before a
confrontation occurred? This focus on antecedents enables administrators to counsel individual staff,
modify training, and clarify policies as needed.

CONCLUSION

Detention administrators and staff in Shelby County have not resolved all issues involving room
confinement. A sudden uptick in the use of isolation in November 2018 shows that a group of very
disruptive youth can test the patience and commitment of even the best administrators and staff.
After ten months of an average of 1.8 room confinements per month, a group of youth flooded their
rooms the day before a facility audit by the American Correctional Association.

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Figure 19 Shelby County Room Confinements, Restrains, Assaults
& Average Duration of Confinement

Data on youth and staff assaults not available for 2015.

In addition, the new written policy on Detainee Discipline provides for room restriction for up to
five days as a sanction for misbehavior, which is inconsistent with the Involuntary Room Confinement
and Juvenile Detention Services policies, and which seems unnecessary in light of the very rare use of
room confinement during 2018.
148

Furthermore, the population of the facility varies considerably during the year, usually decreasing
early in the year until reaching a low point during the summer, then growing from October to the
end of the year, when the population can be almost double that of the summer months. This creates
challenges for the plan to have no more than eight youth in each area of the facility other than
classrooms and special programs during daytime activities.
Moreover, reform in the use of room confinement is time-consuming and staff-intensive, and
requires patience. Correctional administrators and staff in Shelby County stayed committed to their
duties during the transfer of responsibility, and have brought together the necessary components
for significant reductions in the use of isolation. However, they are aware that continued success

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will depend on constant attention to detail and regular review of behavior by both youth and staff.
Their efforts toward that end include posting of monthly statistics on assaults, de-escalations, and
use of force; daily observation of staff performance by supervisors to ensure compliance with policies
and procedures; and facilitation of Youth Advisory Council meetings twice a month, which provide
detained youth with opportunities to discuss and have input on ways to improve the Positive Behavior
Management System.
Nevertheless, the reductions in the use of room confinement at the Shelby County Juvenile Detention
Center are impressive. The many changes in policies, practices, training, programming, staffing,
environment, and available resources put correctional administrators and staff in a strong position to
continue the reforms.
The sheriff’s continuing commitment to reform is shown through the ongoing partnership with the
judge and the court. The DOJ had terminated many provisions of the MOA in the intervening years,
as the county came into compliance. On October 19, 2018, the DOJ terminated the final provisions,
removing DOJ oversight of the juvenile detention facility. However, on December 11, less than
two months later, Sheriff Floyd Bonner reached out to Roush to serve as a consultant to ensure the
forward trajectory. Roush continues to provide technical advice and support.
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NOT IN ISOLATION
HOW TO REDUCE ROOM CONFINEMENT
WHILE INCREASING SAFETY
IN YOUTH FACILITIES

Oregon Youth
Authority
Photo credit: Richard Ross

NOT IN ISOLATION
HOW TO REDUCE ROOM CONFINEMENT
WHILE INCREASING SAFETY
IN YOUTH FACILITIES

Oregon Youth
Authority

Oregon Youth Authority
REGON YOUTH AUTHORITY
INTRODUCTION

When current Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) Director Joe O’Leary joined the agency as the deputy
director in 2012, the agency was experiencing significant challenges managing youth with disruptive
behaviors. OYA’s average length of stay in isolation was twice the national average. “A lot of bad
outcomes were happening for the kids. Kids were ending up in the Behavior Management Unit for a
long time. Luckily, we had no suicides during that time. A lot of bad outcomes were happening for the
staff. The staff burnout was super high. The staff morale was super low. We were putting staff in an
untenable situation. We realized that we had a big issue. And it was cyclical and deeply engrained in
the culture.”
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151

Oregon’s story of reducing room confinement is unconventional. While many of the ingredients of
reform are similar to those used by other agencies, OYA followed a very different recipe. In order to
create an environment that would support and sustain policy changes, OYA began by changing the
institutional culture around the use of room confinement. Implementing a new policy was one of the
final steps in the process. Agency leaders saw that nationally accepted practices were shifting away
from the use of isolation and decided to change the practice on their own terms rather than wait for
a tragedy, lawsuit, or external litigation. “The research about the impact of isolation on kids is there. If
we didn’t take it head-on and start to change our own practices, then other people were going to do
it for us,” Erin Fuimaono, OYA’s assistant director of development services said.
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Despite an older population charged with serious offenses, OYA was able to make significant
reductions in isolation and implement a policy that bans isolation as punishment. Under Oregon state
law, youth sentenced as adults may remain in OYA custody until age 25. Almost 60% of youth in OYA
facilities are 18 years or older. Oregon’s story sets an important example for other jurisdictions as the
recently reauthorized federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) prevents states
from housing youth charged as adults in adult facilities and jails, which means that facilities across the
country will soon accommodate more youth charged with serious offenses.
153

The number of incidents of isolation in OYA facilities dropped from 370 in July 2016 to 140 in
December 2018. Violence has decreased and staff report feeling safer. Rather than isolation, staff
rely on proactive approaches and intervene at the earliest point, versus reactive approaches of
waiting until behavior has escalated to the point of requiring isolation. Despite these improvements,
OYA administrators acknowledge that they still have a long way to go. While the frequency of
isolation has gone down, the average duration of isolation incidents is still longer than average. The
average duration of isolation in February 2019 was just under 24 hours, while national data from
Performance-based Standards shows that more than 80% of isolation incidents in other juvenile
justice correctional facilities end in less than eight hours. Administrators explain that the duration
of isolation remains high because the threshold for isolation has increased to include only serious
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155

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behavior. The current OYA policy threshold for isolation requires actual violence or an imminent threat
of violence. OYA is working to reduce duration by creating specialized positions and developing
reintegration requirements, as discussed below. “This is not easy,” said O’Leary. “We are mid-stream in
our transition, and it takes a long time and a lot of intentionality.”
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Figure 20 Total Isolation Incidents (2015-February 2019)

Figure 21 Isolation Duration in Hours (Jan 2017-Feb 2019) (HH:MM)

I. AGENCY BACKGROUND
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The OYA was created by Senate Bill 1 in 1995. OYA is responsible for the supervision, management,
and administration of juvenile justice commitment facilities; state parole and probation services; and
community out-of-home placements for youth. The agency has nine secure facilities, which are also
called close custody facilities. Five are secure commitment facilities and four are camp facilities with
transitional and vocational programs. Approximately 505 young people are committed to OYA close
custody facilities. In 2017, OYA closed two facilities, including one of its largest correctional facilities,
Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility.
OYA works with many older youth with serious charges. In 1994, Oregon passed Ballot Measure 11,
which required youth as young as 15 years old to be charged and sentenced to mandatory sentences
as adults for certain offenses. To minimize the impact of youth charged as adults on the Department
of Corrections, state legislation also permits youth who are sentenced as adults to stay in OYA custody
up to age 25. Almost 45% of the youth in OYA secure facilities are serving adult sentences. As of
January 2019, 280 youth were committed to OYA through the juvenile justice system, while 225 were
committed by the Department of Corrections. In 2019, 45% of youth in OYA close custody facilities
were ages 18–21. Youth ages 21 years and older made up 15% of the population.
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159

160

Figure 22 Age of OYA Youth	

		

Figure 23 Most Serious Offenses of OYA Youth

Although the population of youth in OYA secure programs has decreased by 55% since 2000, a large
part of the population is made up of older youth, youth charged with serious offenses, and youth with
significant mental health and trauma histories. More than 75% of youth committed to OYA facilities
have diagnosed mental health disorders. Almost 43% of girls and 16% of boys are victims of sexual
abuse, while 29% of girls and 12% of boys have exhibited past suicidal behavior.
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162

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164

Notably, Oregon just enacted legislation that would reverse many aspects of Measure 11. In May
2019, the Oregon House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 1008, which would require all cases to

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begin in juvenile court and establish a “second look” process for youth sentenced as adults halfway
through their sentence. The bill, which would apply to matters pending after January 1, 2020, passed
by two-thirds of both chambers of the state legislature and is on the way to the governor, who has
indicated she will sign it into law.
165

THE CHALLENGES
Lack of Clear Policy Guidance on Isolation

Like many juvenile justice facilities and agencies, OYA historically relied on isolation to control youth
behavior. Although OYA prohibited room confinement as punishment in 2005, there was little
policy guidance, and staff continued to use the practice as a punishment or sanction. Prior to 2010,
youth with serious and chronic behavioral issues frequently spent periods of 60 to 90 days in the
agency’s Behavior Management Unit, which was housed in an isolation unit. Staff also could impose
consecutive periods of isolation, and there was no limit on the maximum length of time youth could
spend in isolation.
In 2010, OYA introduced a behavior matrix to create consistency in behavior management responses
across the agency. The matrix system created categories of behavioral offenses and corresponding
“refocus options” that staff could use. A refocus option was defined as an “appropriate response to,
or sanction for, behavior.” Because a refocus option could be either a sanction or a response to youth
behavior, the behavior matrix listed isolation as a refocus option without technically violating OYA’s
existing policy against isolation as punishment. However, the behavior matrix did cap the amount of
isolation that staff could use at five days.
In practice, facility staff continued to use isolation as a punishment even after the behavior matrix was
introduced. Although the matrix banned consecutive periods of isolation and established an upper
time limit on isolation, it did not provide any other guidance for staff. Staff continued to use isolation
as punishment, generally for the maximum allowable time. As one facility administrator explains,
“Where people got stuck is [the behavior matrix] still had isolation listed as ‘up to five days.’ Just
because the matrix said up to five days doesn’t mean it needed to be five days, or it’s the right thing
to do.”
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167

II. HOW OYA MADE REDUCTIONS IN ISOLATION
Letting Staff Lead the Reform Process

In 2013, OYA administrators put the task of reducing isolation on the top of their agenda. Securing
buy-in from all levels of staff was critical. Former OYA Director Fariborz Pakseresht explained why
OYA could not successfully implement changes in isolation practices without the front-line staff: “The
culture we have in the organization predates us by many years. In attempting to shift the culture
some staff may see us as just another flavor of the day, week, month…. Those who are resistant to
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change may be fairly confident that they can outlast us and the new initiative. In most cases they are
correct.” OYA administrators structured staff participation in the isolation reduction process so that
staff could feel ownership and pride in the results.
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Internal Isolation and Reintegration Oversight Committee

OYA did not eliminate isolation, but the agency asked staff to reshape the way it was used. In
October 2014, OYA established an Internal Isolation
and Reintegration Oversight Committee (Internal
“You can’t go away in the
Isolation Committee) made up of management staff
lab and come up with a
from facilities, direct care staff (called Group Life
Coordinators or GLCs), union representatives, and
great policy. You have to
treatment staff. OYA instructed the committee to use
go out there and get the
research and national best practices to do two things:
(1) create a new definition of isolation, and (2) redefine folks that are doing the
when and how staff could use isolation. The Internal
work, know the kids, know
Isolation Committee recommended the following
revisions to the definition and threshold for the use of
the operations, know the
isolation:
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The Isolation Definition Implementation
Workgroup

Once the Internal Isolation Committee developed
recommendations for the new isolation definition
and threshold, OYA faced the larger task of mapping
out a successful implementation process. To do this,
administrators again formed a diverse committee of
staff in early 2015 to develop alternative interventions
to isolation and to identify the necessary resources to
make those alternatives work.

clinical piece, know youth
development, and get them
around the table to be part
of this effort. You can’t go
from the top down.”
—Assistant Director Clint
McClellan268

As with the Internal Isolation Committee, the Isolation
Definition Implementation Workgroup (Implementation
Workgroup) included a broad range of approximately 30–40 staff throughout the agency with
multiple layers of direct care workers from every facility. This included supervisors, mental health
professionals, training staff, and GLCs. Diverse representation on the workgroups was critical, said
Fuimaono, “because it allowed for the cross section of folks to become much more educated on the
issue of why reducing isolation was the right choice for everyone and the different factors at play. We
chose that group of folks carefully because we wanted them to be message carriers when they went
back to their facilities and to speak about their own experiences on the workgroup when [other staff]
had questions about the process.”
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COMMUNICATING CHANGE TO THE WORKFORCE

Acting on recommendations of the Implementation Workgroup, Fuimaono and OYA Assistant Director
Clint McClellan went to all 38 housing units in OYA secure facilities to meet with staff. Their goals were
to explain that a major change was coming in the isolation policy and to ask staff what resources they
needed to make this change happen. The plan was for Fuimaono, McClellan, and members of the
Implementation Workgroup to continue these conversations with staff over a period of months.
They began conversations by asking staff members why they decided to work for OYA. “Almost
everyone said they wanted to make a positive difference with kids, or to help communities by helping
kids,” said Fuimaono. If some staff disagreed with this, Fuimaono and McClellan pushed. The goal
was to get everyone to agree on some shared positive values. “We acknowledged that there was a
time when [isolation] was thought of as the appropriate thing to do, but we are shifting mindsets and
have new research and an understanding of skill development in behavior change,” Fuimaono said.
“None of us would be using computers from 2000. The same is true in how we interact with young
people.” Administrators focused on linking the impetus for reducing isolation directly to OYA’s
mission and values.
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172

173

Fuimaono elaborated, “We clarified that OYA was not eliminating the use of isolation, but we were
talking about how to use it differently. We had to balance our message about what is effective for kids
with the acknowledgement that our staff are in harm’s way sometimes. [Isolation] would still be an
option as a safety intervention, but not as a punishment. Because that doesn’t work.”
174

The message to staff from the beginning was that the agency was moving toward a model where staff
used isolation only if violence was imminent. However, they explained that the agency would create
alternatives and ensure that the culture was ready to support the change. “Messaging it this way was
great because it didn’t freak everyone out,” said McClellan, “but there was still a lot of inconsistency in
how staff and facilities were using isolation.”
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176

177

Ongoing Communication with Staff

Implementation Workgroup members traveled to individual units two to three times over the next
year, continuing discussions at the team level, reinforcing that the leadership at the highest level was
listening to their concerns and fears about what could happen. With time and support from other
agency initiatives to change culture and provide more resources like Skill Development Coordinators,
most staff began to accept the idea that reducing isolation was possible. However, despite careful
messaging, some staff still interpreted the information to mean that the agency would eliminate
isolation without workable alternatives. As McClellan emphasized, “The key about culture change is
that key messages have to go out over and over again. You will still have people say that what they
heard was that we’re taking away their tools. You just have to get the message out as many times and
ways as possible.”
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Staff as Credible Messengers

One of the ways that administrators reinforced reasons to reduce isolation was by relying on local
staff members as credible messengers. Leaders worked to support and energize those credible
messengers so they could reach others. Alicia Cozad, then the deputy superintendent at Oak Creek
Youth Correctional Facility (Oak Creek) said, “What we found were some champions. Those who
understood the facility’s vision and goals to reduce isolation. They were able to carry those words
forward because other staff respected them.”
180

Making a Compelling Case Against Isolation

Clear and frequent communication with staff about the impending policy change was only half the
battle. The agency also needed staff to understand why the change was necessary. “It’s not enough
to just to tell our employees that they will have to do things differently. We must take the time to
put a compelling case together that makes sense to staff. Is the change going to improve safety? Is it
going to create a more pleasant working environment? Is it going to create better futures for youth?”
Pakseresht explained. OYA made a compelling case against isolation with some of the following
messages:
181

•	 Administrators and Implementation Workgroup members showed staff data that high rates of
isolation were correlated with high rates of youth-on-staff violence. “Youth-on-youth violence was
steady, but youth-on-staff violence went up. That got a lot of people’s attention,” said McClellan.
182

•	 “What is the human cost of continuing to do business as usual? For example, the trauma
that could be inflicted on youth, potentially increasing the numbers of future victims and
compromising the safety of the community. At the same time there is the fiscal impact and a
monetary cost of continuing the current practice. For example, longer stays in youth correctional
facilities, potential transfer to adult prison, and the unquantifiable cost of future crime and
victims,” said Pakseresht.
183

•	 “When I was out working in community programs and we would get youth who experienced
isolation, they would struggle when they were in the community. In the community, our main
tool is to work with them, talk to them—we don’t use isolation. But their go-to was to run away
from the community programs. It took a lot of time to figure out how we could work with them in
the community. Shifting the approach in a facility away from punitive isolation and teaching how
to regulate and problem-solve before they ever leave gives them a better chance at successful
reentry,” said Program Director Jamie McKay.
184

•	 “When you rely on a door between you and a kid as your primary source of safety, you create an
‘us vs. them’ environment. Then, when you have to open that door for something, now it’s ‘you vs.
them.’ That dynamic doesn’t go away automatically, and bad things can happen,” said Operations
Policy Analyst Heber Bray.
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CHANGING CULTURE BEFORE POLICY

In 2015, the Implementation Workgroup made a critical recommendation: OYA should change the
culture around isolation before implementing a new policy on isolation. As OYA shifted from a punitive
model to a developmental model, administrators faced the challenging process of countering an
existing culture.

Why Focus on Culture First?

OYA administrators and staff expressed
the importance of changing culture in
order to achieve sustainable reductions
in the practice of isolation. Pakseresht
noted, “We can rewrite policies and
procedures, develop the best manuals
and practice models, issues directive
and decrees, but if [we] are not able to
shift those shared values and beliefs and
understandings that define the present
culture, very little will change.”
186

In addition, Fuimaono recalled, “[We]
started out thinking that we needed
more staff, we needed in-between
spaces where kids can go when they
need a break, but not isolation. We
thought about creating rooms with
calming furniture and paint and music.
Then we thought, ‘Well wait a minute—
we can throw staff at this issue, we
can create these spaces, but if staff
aren’t thinking differently about how
to intervene with these behaviors and
address them, we are just going to use
those things in the same way.’” Without
a culture change, staff would continue
to use new resources as punishments.
Likewise, youth would interpret them as
punishments. “You can’t just throw out a
policy and hope that it sticks,” McClellan
reiterated.
187

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ROLE OF LEADERSHIP IN CULTURE CHANGE

Leaders at different levels of the agency played a critical
role in changing the culture. OYA leaders describe their
approach:
•	 “Leadership plays a critical role in organizational
change. We must understand the impetus for the
change and explain it to others. Why are [we] moving
in this direction and what is the price that [we] might
pay for inaction? We always want to be ahead of the
wave of change rather than being overtaken by it,”
said Pakseresht.269
•	 “We have a saying: ‘Executive team leaders are here
to support and develop our managers, who support
and develop our staff, who support and develop our
youth.’ You can’t have one of those out of place. They
all have to be in alignment,” said McClellan.270
•	 “We have to be the message—not the messengers.
There’s a huge difference. People look for weakness
in the armor. They think if you are not really bought
in [to a practice or policy change], they don’t have to
do it,” said Superintendent Dan Berger.271
•	 “We must model the change that we want to
implement. To change behavior and culture
consistently, as an organization, we as top leaders as
well as our executive team, our managers at every
level of the organization, must walk the talk. How we
treat staff as leaders and how effectively we listen will
translate directly and indirectly to how staff exhibit
the same behavior with youth,” said Pakseresht.272
•	 “Don’t say, ‘Central Office says we have to do this
thing.’ If you are a leader here, you should be out
there saying, ‘Here’s what we are doing. Here’s why
we are doing it. And here’s how you are a part of
this,’” said Berger. 273

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A CULTURE OF POSITIVE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

As OYA was working to reduce isolation, the agency was simultaneously making a shift to a
developmental approach. OYA anchored its new approach around Positive Human Development
(PHD). The core principles of PHD effectively reinforced the agency’s efforts to prevent isolation.
Defining Positive Human Development
Positive Human Development, which is based on the underlying model of Positive Youth Development
(PYD), relies on research on adolescent brain development and developmental psychology to help
youth become healthy, productive, and crime-free adults. To represent the five elements of PHD, OYA
uses the PHD Pyramid, which is included in training materials, brochures, and on posters throughout
facilities. A summary of PHD is available in the agency’s online publication, Positive Human
Development at a Glance.
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190

Figure 24 Positive Human Development Pyramid

		

PHD prioritizes safe and normative environments that support healthy adolescent brain development
and maximize positive changes in youth and staff. Isolation does the exact opposite.

Positive Human Development (PHD) vs. Positive Youth Development (PYD)

In 2017, the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) released the CJCA Toolkit:
Positive Youth Development which defined PYD as “a way of seeing young people in terms of
who they are becoming, rather than their past behaviors or current situations.” The CJCA Toolkit
highlights several core components of PYD:
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•	 Youth are resources to be developed, not problems to be fixed;
•	 Young people have strengths and the ability to develop new competencies and
pro-social skills;
•	 People behave negatively as a normal response to unmet needs (for adolescents
these are often status, belonging, autonomy, and excitement);
•	 Change occurs when youth build skills and receive support to meet their needs;
and
•	 Primary strategies to work with youth are skill development, attachment, and
engagement.
192

PHD differs from PYD primarily in the recognition that staff also benefit from PYD approaches.
O’Leary described an experience that led OYA to adopt PHD: “Initially we thought OYA would
adopt the PYD model. We sent some of our staff to PYD trainings. They came back and told us
that they could buy into the PYD approach of treating youth as resources, but they wanted to
be viewed as resources as well. Staff said,
Figure 25 Why Positive Human Development
‘If OYA can get to a place where I feel as
though I’m being viewed as a resource,
then I can do that with the kids [who] we
work with every day.’”
193

194

The Why Positive Human Development Guide
includesa visual break down of how the PHD
culture is integrated into OYA living units.
195

Safety

The foundation of PHD (as can be seen in the
PHD pyramid) is safety—both emotional and
physical. OYA’s experience shows that isolation
undermines safety. Administrators knew that
staff were most likely to be injured when
attempting to use isolation. As the agency
reduced isolation, several safety indicators in
facilities improved. Although success was not
linear and the agency faced setbacks, data
trends showed that, over time, fewer staff were
injured and more staff felt safe.
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Figure 26

Figure 27

Fundamental Practices Guide

In 2018, OYA Facility Services designed, developed, and disseminated Fundamental Practices for
Living Units–Moving PHD Into Practice to support the application of PHD in OYA facilities. The
practice guide gives OYA staff practical and specific examples of how to use PHD. Berger describes
Fundamental Practices as a “playbook for the living units” on using five important practices to help
operationalize PHD. “We had to find something tangible for people,” he said. Each fundamental
practice links back to a core element of PHD.
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Fundamental Practices
1.	
2.	
3.	
4.	
5.	

Clean, Safe, and Organized Living Units
Youth and Staff Engagement
Developmentally Appropriate Milieu Services
Building Community
Community Skill Building
Figure 28 Sample from Fundamental Practices for Living Units Guide

200

When staff raised concerns that they could not hold youth accountable without isolation,
administrators focused on redefining accountability. For McClellan, that meant giving youth “the skills
to be able to learn from their mistakes and hold themselves accountable. Because that’s really the
only way they’re going to create safety in the community . . . Isolation is not a place where you can
develop skills at all. There are plenty of things we have to develop to hold kids accountable in terms
of consequences. Isolation just isn’t one of them.”
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Cozad described shifting the narrative away from behavioral control to behavioral support at Oak
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Creek: “It has taken time to pivot. Just because one kid is taking advantage or doing something
doesn’t mean they all will. What we need to put into perspective for staff is that we have not gone
through what most of these kids have experienced. So when [staff] think that punishing a little bit
harder is the key to success, our culture has pushed back. What we need is empathy and to have high
expectations. In essence, treating these kids as your own children goes a long, long way.”
202

EXTERNAL PARTNERSHIPS
Community Advisory Group

To the surprise of many staff, OYA administrators reached out to a group of advocates and
organizations as part of the external Isolation Community Advisory Group (Advisory Group). The
Advisory Group’s role was to give feedback on Internal Isolation Committee recommendations.
Members included Youth Rights and Justice, Disability Rights Oregon, Partnership for Safety and
Justice, a child psychiatrist, a juvenile court judge, a juvenile detention manager, a juvenile prosecutor,
a public defender, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Oregon Commission on Black Affairs.

O’Leary saw the benefit of involving a group that he describes as “essentially, everyone who would
sue us” early in the process. McClellan says, “Initially, we were a bit skeptical about doing workgroups
and then inviting [the external Advisory Group members] in and them tearing it apart, but that didn’t
happen.”  [W]e wanted these people close to us during the process, but the beauty of the execution
was how they embraced the partnership and the insights we got from them,” said O’Leary. While the
Advisory Group was not involved in drafting policy, they were invited to give advice and perspective.
When outside stakeholders who might otherwise challenge agency practices with lawsuits or
legislation were allowed insight into the process of reducing isolation through a transparent process,
they were more likely to support the agency’s plan.
203

204

205

LEVERAGING POLITICAL AND LEGISLATIVE RELATIONSHIPS
The state legislature controls OYA’s budget and resources. Strategic involvement and communication
with state political leadership was an essential component of OYA’s process of reducing isolation.
O’Leary pointed out that “changes around isolation would not have worked if we had not been given
budget flexibility, if we were not given additional funding through creative means to modify some of
our physical environments. So having engagement with political leadership was critical.”
206

In 2015, the legislature considered legislation that would have banned isolation but would have been
challenging for OYA to implement. The bill was drafted without input from OYA or other juvenile
justice practitioners. The bill ultimately did not pass. OYA then asked the Joint Committee on Ways
and Means to create a 2015 budget note requiring OYA to study the issue of isolation and create a
set of recommendations to reduce the practice by February 2016. The Ways and Means Committee
is the legislative appropriations committee that determines state budget policy and sets the biennial
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state budget. “The request for a budget note and our subsequent recommendations
were literally a nail banged into the wall on which we could hang some funding requests.
And some policy requests too,” stated O’Leary. As a result of the response that OYA
submitted, the 2017–2019 biennial budget allocated OYA funding for additional staff and
physical structures to reduce isolation.
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OYA Supports Legislation to Reduce Isolation
Even though it had failed to pass, the 2015 bill to ban isolation allowed OYA leaders to
highlight the urgent need for the agency to invest in steps to reduce isolation on its own
terms. “It gave us the opportunity to go to our staff and say, ‘[L]ook, this is coming. We
can choose to get ahead of this, or we can let something happen to us that may or may
not be administrable. What do you want to do?’ That helped to create a mandate to drive
planning and action to reduce isolation. In the next legislative session, we offered our own
bill,” said O’Leary.
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OYA sponsored Senate Bill 82, which was passed in 2017. The bill adopted OYA’s policy
that youth cannot be placed alone in a locked room as “sanctions and punishment for
violation of rules regulating the conduct of youth offenders and any other persons in the
custody of the youth authority.”
The law doesn’t apply to local juvenile detention facilities. Part of OYA’s stated purpose in
sponsoring the law was that the agency policy banning isolation as punishment could be
reversed if not codified in state law.
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III. WHAT WORKED
Skill Development Coordinators

In 2013, OYA closed its Behavior Management Unit, which relied primarily on isolation, and
repurposed staff positions to create 11 Skill Development Coordinators (SDCs). SDCs are
specially trained staff who work with youth with the long-term goal of reducing isolation
and helping youth reintegrate out of isolation as quickly as possible.
Rather than moving challenging youth to another unit, SDCs are designed to help youth
be successful in regular housing. “When staff asked us what to do about difficult youth,”
recounted Bray, “we said, ‘You’re going to keep them on your unit. And we’re going to give
you these extra staff to help that kid ‘skill up.’”
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In February 2015, OYA used existing vacancies to create and deploy an additional nine
SDCs at four facilities. Several of the agency’s strategies to reduce isolation required
additional funding. “We had to commit to being proactive instead of reactive,” said Bray.
“Making that shift is really hard. It costs money up front to save money on the back end,
and that’s not the way our society is wired.”
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Figure 29 OYA SDC Resource

Skill Development Coordinator Functions
SDCs serve three main functions:
1.	 Work Regularly with Youth to Prevent Isolation
SDCs work multiple times a week with youth who are prone to behavior that could
result in isolation to develop and practice self-regulation and appropriate interaction
with peers and staff. “We teach them how to problem-solve, stabilize themselves, take
‘no’ for an answer without getting into conflict. We reduce isolation by teaching kids
how to act in the system and how to ask for resources,” one SDC explained. MacLaren
Youth Correctional Facility (MacLaren) has six campus SDCs who staff the facility,
including weekends.
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2.	 Assist with Unit Management to Allow Unit Staff to Work with Youth
When a youth escalates or acts out, unit staff help the youth use skills to process their
emotions and calm down. In order to do this, an SDC can “sub in” and help manage other
youth while the assigned GLC works with the individual youth. SDCs are not meant to replace
unit staff in dealing with crisis situations.
3.	 Help Youth in Isolation Transition Back to Living Units Quickly
In some OYA facilities, youth who meet the new threshold for isolation are transferred to a
separate physical unit until staff determine they are ready to reintegrate back to their living
unit. MacLaren, for instance, has an Intervention Unit (IU). Four SDCs staff the IU for sixteen
hours a day. According to Berger, youth on the IU “spend most of their time in what’s called
Core, which is like a dayroom. They go out, work with SDCs, and have meals together out in
the Core. As long as there isn’t a serious conflict between kids, they are out in Core together.”
Once a youth on the IU is emotionally regulated and ready to engage in reintegration planning,
OYA policy requires that the youth spend as much time as possible out of the isolation room.
Superintendent of the Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility Ken Jerin noted, “Once [youth]
are regulated—they are no longer hitting the walls, threatening other people, when they
are talking reasonably—which may take an hour or two, they may not be able to be safely
reintegrate back into the living unit immediately. SDCs work with the kids at this moment to
move them along.” During that period, SDCs also communicate with the living unit leadership
team to create a plan to bring the youth back to the unit as quickly as possible.
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In order to enhance the staffing pattern for the IU at MacLaren, Berger selected additional
staff when the Hillcrest and MacLaren facilities were combined in 2017. Before the new
staffing pattern became operational, the IU staff took a two-week team retreat. “We
completely rebuilt the program in the light of PHD,” he said. “We didn’t want kids to just go
down there and sit. If kids had to go to isolation and had to go to IU, they were engaged in
skill development when they were there. That was the basis of rebuilding this program.”
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ENVIRONMENTS MATTER: CHANGING PHYSICAL SPACES
The traditional design of OYA facilities and living units contributed to overuse of isolation. OYA
structures and staffing plans were built around the concept of group milieu management, so staff
had two choices for managing youth behavior: one large group living space or isolation. If a youth
couldn’t handle the group environment, it was impossible to separate him or her to allow for reregulation without isolation.

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Physical environments play a critical role in healthy adolescent development. If facilities
put youth in institutional environments, youth are more likely to become institutionalized,
which prevents successful transitions back to the community. In order to prevent
institutionalized thinking and behavior, the agency also needed to create secure
environments that were as normal as possible.
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In 2013 the Oregon Legislature directed OYA to produce a 10-year plan for secure facilities
to address the decreasing youth population and develop long-term goals to align physical
spaces with best practices, including reducing the use of isolation. In 2014, OYA worked
with consultants to develop a 10-Year Strategic Plan for Facilities (10-Year Plan) for
creating physical environments that support PHD. In 2015, the state legislative budget fully
funded the 10-Year Plan. The consultants who conducted assessments as part of the 10Year Plan found that “The current mix of facilities within the OYA system does not support
the vision, mission, and culture of OYA. Housing and living areas reflect the most serious
gap between vision and reality. The majority of youth are housed (with long lengths of
stay) in densely populated dormitory living units. Program and treatment space is not
adequate to support relief and break-out space.”
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10-Year Plan Recommendations

The 10-Year Plan recommended several major environmental changes:
•	 Environments that support relationships by creating open, comfortable spaces to
connect;
•	 Living spaces with natural lighting and views of nature and the horizon;
•	 Environments with non-institutional furniture, fixtures, and decor;
•	 Display boards that show youth accomplishments; and
•	 Increased access to recreational and treatment spaces to develop skills with staff and
better prepare youth to transition back to the community.
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New Units				
			

Another key feature of the 10-Year Plan is reducing the size of living units from 25 beds
to 16 beds. In 2017, OYA consolidated two large correctional facilities. As part of the
10-Year Plan for smaller living units and to help absorb the additional population from
consolidating MacLaren with now-closed Hillcrest facility, OYA built six 16-bed living units
at MacLaren. The new living buildings house the intake units, two mental health units, and
a pilot trauma unit called the University of Life. The new units include individual rooms,
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with natural light. The individual rooms have visual display boards that youth may decorate, large
windows, and light switches that youth control. OYA created the Letting in the Light video to
showcase the design process and benefits of the new buildings.
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Figure 30 OYA Letting in the Light Vide

Figures 31-35 Before and After

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“If it’s more institutionalized,
it looks more like prison, like
a dungeon, then obviously
we’re not going to change.
We’re just going to be what
we’re looked at upon as, like
criminals, or animals.” —
Youth at MacLaren
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Moreover, OYA secured meaningful youth
participation during the process of designing
the new buildings. A youth intern participated in
all design meetings and a team of youth worked
with a local artist to create artwork throughout
the buildings. OYA also organized a visioning
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charrette—“a technique for consulting with some of the most interested stakeholders” —with 15
youth to structure input to designers. It involved meetings where participants discussed challenges
and opportunities to develop a shared vision and goal for the project.
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In-Between Spaces
As discussed, the design of older OYA structures prevented youth from stepping away from the
group milieu to calm down and process emotions. This was especially problematic for adolescents,
who are more impulsive, emotional, and susceptible to peer influence than adults. Because OYA
houses a population of especially reactive adolescents more likely to have experienced trauma or
mental illness, the traditional correctional design model wasn’t helpful for their situation. As part of
the 10-Year Plan, OYA focused on creating spaces and rooms that allowed youth to be somewhere
between the large group and an individual cell, or “in-between” spaces. Staff also identified and
used pre-existing in-between spaces such as repurposed buildings or rooms and outdoor areas.
For example, Oak Creek removed the door from a room, painted it, and added rocking chairs and
comfortable furniture. “Now it’s a playing space, so girls can come and go freely. It’s not a place
where they get placed,” says Denessa Martin, chief of operations for Facility Services.
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STAFFING AND HIRING
Staffing

In order to transition away from using isolation, OYA needed to hire additional staff and repurpose
existing staff. Each living unit is made up of a Unit Leadership Team, which consists of the
Living Unit Manager (LUM), a Case Coordinator (CC), and a dedicated Qualified Mental Health
Professional (QMPH or Q). OYA’s staffing numbers vary based on the needs of youth, but all
units have a 1:8 staff-to-youth ratio. On specialty mental health or trauma units, the agency adds
an additional GLC and keeps the youth population at 16 or less. Specialty units also share an
additional QMPH to provide coverage seven days a week, or 1.5 FTE per unit.

Current Hiring Practices

All OYA direct care positions require a high school diploma or a GED. Almost 90% of direct care
staff are Level II GLCs, which also requires six months experience working with young people. If
applicants do not have that experience, they can start as Level I GLCs and move their way up.
OYA’s hiring goals are to select applicants with a “youth-first” mindset who are interested in
working with youth in close custody settings. “We don’t want corrections officers. We want folks
who can work with kids and can learn security protocols as well,” explained Berger.
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To attract qualified candidates, OYA’s human resources recruitment team attends jobs fairs
and conducts outreach at local colleges and universities. They also created an Oregon
Youth Authority Recruitment Video. Application materials are also designed to convey the
agency’s PHD philosophy. Cozad described Oak Creek’s tailored application package: “We
send out a hiring letter to potential applicants about the work we do. In essence—working
with girls is challenging and rewarding at the same time. There will be accountability when
youth make mistakes, which is inevitable with teenagers. What we want to tell [applicants]
is that we expect kids to be kids.”
Figure 36 OYA Recruitment Video
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USING DATA TO TARGET ISOLATION
Oregon’s Statewide Juvenile Justice Case Management and Reporting
System
OYA has a well-developed data collection system. When the agency was established
in 1995, one of its initial activities was to create a statewide, collaborative, integrated
information management system that became known as the Juvenile Justice Information
System (JJIS). OYA provides training and technical support on JJIS to juvenile justice
facilities in all Oregon counties and more than 100 external partner agencies. Counties
can access data on juvenile recidivism and programs as well as track individual youth
information from initial contact with the juvenile justice system throughout all stages of
their involvement. According to OYA, Oregon is one of only three states with a statewide
data system for youth in the justice system. As discussed below, OYA requires staff to
complete a series of online forms when placing a youth in isolation. Because the forms
capture information through drop down menus, the agency can track why youth are
placed in isolation and, at every 15-minute interval, why the youth is not ready to exit
isolation.
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Using Data Strategically

OYA uses data to identify underlying factors (or as seen through a PHD lens, unmet needs)
associated with isolation and responds by developing staffing resources, specialized units, and
behavior management interventions to address those factors. For instance, OYA executive staff
knew that a large percentage of the youth population had mental health issues and past trauma
histories. However, by backing up this knowledge with quantifiable data, they were able to justify
requests for additional resources and allocate those resources in effective ways.

EXAMPLE OF SMART DATA USE

Bray asked staff to track serious behavior incidents in a unit over a three-month period by day
and time. While he suspected that most incidents would occur at bedtime, he was wrong. Most
incidents occurred around 4 p.m., the time that youth returned to the unit from recreation.
“Kids were still amped up. There was no cooling-down time,” said Bray. “They had to shift from
outside rules to inside rules with the snap of a finger. You’d think that 15, 16, 17-year-olds
could shift, but shifting from one set of rules to another is actually an advanced cognitive skill.
We would have fights in the line and fights right when we got inside. We’d have kids blowing
up because they wanted to get a drink of water and it wasn’t their turn yet.” As a team, staff
decided to end recreation five minutes early and take steps to ease the transition for youth.
“We’d have kids walk one slower deep-breathing lap before they came inside. While they walked
the lap, staff reminded them of the inside rules in a nice calm voice by saying, ‘Hey, remember
guys, we’re going inside. We’re going to take our shoes off, we’re going to line up, and table by
table, we’re going to go to the drinking fountain.” After making these small changes, isolation
incidents during the 4–5 p.m. period dropped dramatically.
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Facility Safety Index

The Facility Safety Index is one method that OYA uses at both an agency and facility level to
evaluate the progress or problems in facilities.
Facility Safety Index Measures
•	 Number of isolation placements
•	 Frequency of isolation placements (adjusted to account for unit and facility population)
•	 Average duration of isolation placements
•	 Restraints
•	 Youth-on-youth assaults
•	 Youth-on-staff assaults
•	 Youth fights
•	 Contraband

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While managers can check the safety index factors at any time, the agency performs
quarterly target reviews. Administrators meet to discuss the safety index data
and discuss what factors are “behind the numbers.” Berger said that leaders ask
questions such as: What do these numbers mean? Why have they gone up? Why
have they gone down? Are the data points connected with programs, resources, or
management? “Then we come up with actual plans to see what we need to move,”
he said. “Is this a one-off? Is this a rough month? Or do we have a trend here we
that need to do a major shift?” Another important aspect of the safety index as a
tool is the ability to see the trends in data. “One point about following numbers is
that we have to focus on the trendlines and not react extremely to any one point in
time,” explained O’Leary.
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When interpreting data to guide reforms, OYA leaders also stress the importance
of disaggregating data. “In Oregon we have big facilities. We have 13 living units in
one facility,” said McClellan, “so getting one big conglomerate of data doesn’t tell
us a lot. We have to break those [data] down to the individual living units, shifts, or
other factors.”
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Rolling Average

OYA also uses a “rolling average” as a measure of the agency’s overall use of isolation. The
rolling average uses a measure of isolation hours per day by combining the number of
incidents and duration. “One youth in for 10 hours and 10 youth in for 1 hour will still
tell us that we relied on 10 hours of isolation to maintain a safe environment,” explained
Bray. Also, because the number of isolation incidents
varies considerably from month to month—especially
when data includes all facilities or units within a
facility—the monthly rolling average is the average
Tips When Using Data
of the past three months. This allows the agency to
	Ask what is “behind the
better see trends over time. Finally, the rolling average
numbers.”
corrects for the youth population. In other words, the
	Meaningful data is
use of isolation may decrease simply because there are
disaggregated.
fewer youth in a facility or agency. The rolling average
allows administrators to see true isolation use and
	Change takes time—
change over time. Based on the rolling average, OYA
focus on trends.
has reduced the use of isolation by 71% in five years.
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up and down.

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Figure 37 Rolling Average–OYA Use of Isolation

SPECIALIZED UNITS AND OPPORTUNITIES
Mental Health Units

As mentioned above, many youth in OYA facilities have significant mental health needs. Bray
explained that “we can look at the data and say that 83% of our kids have a mental health
diagnosis.” According to OYA budget documents, “[a]s of 2018, 45% of OYA youth were
previously served by the child welfare system and 41% were served by the I/DD system.” Based
on this information, OYA created specialized mental health units to address the staffing and
behavioral support needs of youth with mental health issues.
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The University of Life

Another part of the Internal Isolation Committee’s work was to make recommendations on how to
prevent isolation. “One way we’ve done this,” said Bray, “is by looking at the youth who account for
isolation incidents.” In 2014, OYA identified that approximately 20% of youth account for 73% of
isolation episodes.
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Figure 38

This information allowed OYA to do two things: (1) focus SDCs’ efforts on those youth to
reduce isolation, and (2) develop a specific unit-based community and programming to
better address this group’s needs. When the agency took a closer look at the population
involved in most isolation incidents, they found that most were emotionally reactive youth
with a history of trauma or mental health issues. The agency created a trauma-informed
pilot unit at MacLaren called the University of Life. The unit is housed in one of the facility’s
new buildings. OYA designed a staff-intensive environment and curriculum focused on
skill development and emotional regulation rather than behavioral compliance. For this
particular subset of youth, OYA leaders realized that using isolation and force to control
behavior wasn’t working. “As soon as you meet resistance with resistance, you’re going to
get escalation—every time,” stated Bray. “You just can’t do it with these kids.”
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Asking staff to make the switch to focusing on emotional regulation was not easy. Bray
summarized the challenges that OYA staff faced when making the change: “Now we are
asking [staff] to think of [themselves] not as corrections officers but as brain developers.
This kid’s brain wasn’t developed normally because of trauma, and his ‘How do I calm
down?’ mental pathway isn’t fully formed. We have to develop it. Staff on the [University
of Life] will tell you that it’s the hardest work they’ve ever done and also the most rewarding.”
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For youth entering the University of Life, there was a 77% decrease in incidents and an 84% decrease in isolation.
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Programming and Vocational Opportunities for Other Youth

Although many isolation incidents involved emotionally reactive youth, data showed that the
second largest group who ended up in isolation were more aggressive or gang-involved youth. For
these young people, the prospect of valuable vocational and education programs was a powerful
incentive. “We had all these older kids here,” said Berger. “Some of them were very entrenched
gang members and there was violence because frankly, they didn’t have anything else to do here.
We weren’t making the program about them. We were making it about control.” OYA has since
focused on enhancing college and vocational programming. The agency now has more than 50
work and training programs and more than 30 professional certifications or achievements available
to youth, including computer science, construction/woodshop, culinary arts, horticulture, HVAC
Assistant Worker, welding, barbering license, LBME Electrician’s License, and Automotive Service
Excellence Certificates. At MacLaren, 40 youth are working on their bachelor’s degree. “As we
build programs to really have them engage in developing their own futures,” Berger continued,
“these guys kind of pulled out of that mindset. We saw huge reductions in incidents in all of our
units, especially kids that had longer-term Department of Corrections sentences.” Current data
shows that less than 20% of isolation incidents are caused by youth committed as adults.
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SAFETY PROGRAMS
When less restrictive interventions are not effective, OYA may create a safety program for youth. A
safety program is defined as an “intensive, youth-specific, time-limited intervention that modifies
a youth’s activities to focus on developing the youth’s emotion regulation and problem-solving
skills.” The two types of safety programs include Individual Safety Plans (ISPs) and Community
Safety Protocols (CSPs). ISPs are used to create on-unit programming for youth who need more
structure and skill-building. Youth who demonstrate a pattern of unsafe behavior that may lead to
violence may receive an ISP.
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Some youth may also receive a CSP, which may require youth to spend time on the IU or another
space outside their housing unit. Staff may use a CSP if a youth demonstrates “continuously violent
or aggressive behavior that creates significant safety concerns for the living community milieu or
if they have a significant incident that results in serious bodily harm or extreme property damage
that jeopardizes youth or staff safety and has significant living community negative impact.” A
CSP may result in youth spending a longer period of time in isolation, which presents concerns.
However, youth on CSP must spend at least 8 hours of awake time each day out of their room
(out of isolation) working with staff and other youth. These hours are tracked electronically and
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monitored. CSPs are meant to slowly reintegrate youth back into normal programming.
CSPs are heavily regulated, and the agency uses them as a last resort. A multi-disciplinary
committee must agree to place a youth on a CSP and administrators in the OYA Central
Office in Salem, OR, review the CSP weekly. As of June 12, 2019, OYA has three youth on
CSPs agency-wide.

THE NEW POLICY AND BEHAVIOR MATRIX

Although the Internal Isolation Committee’s recommendations in 2015 determined
where the agency’s isolation threshold would be, the new policy based on those
recommendations did not go into effect until July 2018. The previous threshold permitted
isolation if there was danger to institutional order, which allowed staff to use almost
unlimited discretion. “You could drive a truck through that,” said O’Leary. “When we
changed our policy, we took away that catchall and adopted a much more unambiguous
threshold.” Policy II-B-1.2, Use of Time-out, Room-lock Other, Isolation, and Safety
Programs in OYA Facilities permits isolation only: (1) if a youth is in danger of physically
harming others; (2) where a serious threat of violence is present; or (3) violence has
occurred.
Figure 39 Isolation Decision Tree
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The policy also contains a prescriptive
process and timeline for moving a
youth out of isolation. To help clarify the
isolation threshold for staff, the agency
created an isolation decision tree. If
staff use isolation, they must complete
an electronic isolation checklist to be
reviewed by the superintendent. As
seen in Figure 40, the form reminds
staff that isolation must be used only to
manage a youth’s crisis behavior when
the youth is in danger of physically
harming others, where a serious threat
of violence is present, or violence has
occurred. Staff must indicate yes or no
to questions about each one of the
three threshold questions as well as
whether or not the youth was in crisis.

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The updated version of the behavior matrix no longer includes isolation as a refocus option for any
type of youth behavior. When the agency implemented the revised policy on isolation in 2018, it
also implemented two related policies on behavior management:
•	 Incentives and Reinforcing Behavior
•	 Youth Refocus Options
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Reintegration from Isolation

A subgroup of the Internal Isolation Committee was charged with making recommendations for
a reintegration protocol to ensure that youth exit isolation as quickly as possible. The subgroup’s
recommendations were adopted as part of OYA’s new policy:
•	 A reintegration plan for each youth with specific interventions to help youth re-regulate and
transition back to the living unit. The Youth Reintegration Form prompts staff to describe the
underlying or triggering event, what intervention or conflict resolution has been done, and
what skills youth will use to reintegrate back into a group setting. This must also be completed
and submitted electronically via the form shown in Figure 42.
•	 Interventions provided by living unit staff, QMHPs, and SDCs. Interventions could include peer
or staff mediation, emotion management/re-regulation skills and strategies, behavior analyses,
and goal setting. Staff must also complete an electronic form detailing
•	 Evaluation every 15 minutes for behavioral changes, and continuous updates in a “youth
engagement readiness” assessment. As shown in Figure 41, staff must indicate whether the
youth is re-regulated and ready to exit his or her room and begin reintegration planning. If the
staff marks that the youth is not re-regulated, the electronic system requires staff to select one
of three reasons why: verbally aggressive, physically agitated, or non-communicative.

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Figure 40 Electronic Initial Isolation Placement Review Checklist

Figure 41 Electronic 15-Minute Readiness Check for Youth in Isolation

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Figure 42 Electronic Reintegration Plan

Isolation Policy (2018) Key Components:
•	 Staff must carefully deliberate and consider the risk and needs of a youth and
situation prior to using isolation as an intervention.
•	 Isolation cannot be used for administrative convenience, as a substitute for staff
supervision, or as a substitute for individualized treatment.
•	 Staff must use other less restrictive interventions when appropriate.
•	 A staff member not involved in the incident must try to help the youth with
regulation and problem solving prior to using an isolation intervention.
•	 The manager on duty must immediately be notified and approve the isolation.
•	 A QMHP must conduct a mental health status assessment within one hour of
isolation.
•	 Self-harming behaviors may not result in isolation unless deemed appropriate by a
QMHP.
•	 Staff must monitor the youth in isolation every 15 minutes for well-being and
possible return to the general population.
•	 A documented assessment must be completed every two hours of youth’s
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engagement and readiness to begin the reintegration process.
•	 Once a reintegration plan is created, the manager on duty must document and review the
plan twice daily to ensure the youth’s quick return to unit programming.
•	 The facility superintendent and facility services assistant director must approve placement
in isolation at 72 hours and five days, respectively.
OYA chose not to implement a new isolation policy until alternatives were in place and the institutional
culture was ready to support the change. Since implementing the revised isolation policy in July
2018, isolation incidents have continued to go down. The total number of isolation incidents initially
increased in September and October of 2018, and data for the following months shows a steady
decline, reaching an all-time low in January 2019.

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Guidelines for Contact with Jurisdictions in This Report

This report highlights examples of how state agencies and local juvenile justice facilities have
implemented developmentally appropriate and youth-centered responses to successfully reduce
room confinement.
The state and local examples in this paper should be understood largely as promising approaches,
not perfect examples. We greatly appreciate the time and resources that these jurisdictions
dedicated to making this publication possible and ask that readers credit the four jurisdictions
when adopting their materials. Also, we ask that readers respect administrators’ time and
contact the jurisdictions only with serious and clear requests for information. Please follow the
jurisdictions’ preferred method of contact:

COLORADO DIVISION OF YOUTH SERVICES

Please contact:
Heidi Bauer
Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs
Division of Youth Services, Officee of Children, Youth & Families
Heidi.Bauer@state.co.us 
www.colorado.gov/cdhs/dys

MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH SERVICES

DYS prefers that requests are forwarded the Center for Children’s Law and Policy. Please contact:
Jenny Lutz
Attorney, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
Campaign Manager, Stop Solitary for Kids
jlutz@cclp.org

OREGON YOUTH AUTHORITY

Please contact:
Benjamin Chambers
Communications Director
Oregon Youth Authority
Benjamin.chambers@oya.state.or.us

SHELBY COUNTY JUVENILE DETENTION CENTER

Please contact:
Debra Fessenden
Legal Advisor
Shelby County Sheriff’s Office
debra.fessenden@shelby-sheriff.org

Appendix
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Jurisdiction-Based Resources
COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH SERVICES: POLICIES AND
RESOURCES
•	 Colorado Division of Youth Services policies and associated links: https://www.colorado.
gov/pacific/cdhs/policies-3.
•	 Colorado Division of Youth Services, Phase Behavior Matrix, http://www.
stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Colorado-Phase-Matrix.pdf.
•	 Policy S 14.3 B, Time-out; Seclusion and Program Refusal, Colorado Division of Youth
Services, (effective 11-1-2017, amended 04-01-2018), https://drive.google.com/file/
d/0B32vshZrERKsUTBqZjFMcnNUS28/view.
•	 Youth Services Specialist I Job Description – Mount View Youth Services Center,
Colorado Division of Youth Services, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/
uploads/2019/05/Job-Description.pdf.
•	 Colorado HB16-1328, Use of Restraint and Seclusion on Individuals, 2016 Regular
Session, https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb16-1328.
•	 Colorado HB17-1329, 2017 Regular Session, Reform Division of Youth Corrections,
https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb17-1329.
•	 Youth Seclusion & Restraint Working Group, Semi-Annual Report: March 1, 2018
– August 31, 2018 (Colorado Office of Children, Youth & Families, Division of
Youth Services, January 1, 2019). http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/
uploads/2019/05/Seclusion-Restraint_COMMITTEE_Mar18-Aug18_Jan2019_Report_
FINAL_1-1-19-2.pdf.

MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH SERVICES: POLICIES AND
RESOURCES
•	 Massachusetts Department of Youth Services policies: https://www.mass.gov/lists/dyspolicies-regulations.

104
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•	 Policy on Involuntary Room Confinement 03.03.01(a) (effective 03-13-2013), Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services, https://www.mass.gov/lists/dys-policies-regulations.
•	 Policy on Suicide Assessment in Secure Facilities 02.02.05(c) (effective 11-01-2005),
Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, https://www.mass.gov/lists/dys-policiesregulations.
•	 Incident response team procedure in support of the management guidelines for responding
to traumatic workplace incidents, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, http://www.
stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IRT-Procedure.pdf.
•	 Policy on Individual Support Plan 02.02.02(c) (effective 03-15-2013), Massachusetts Department
of Youth Services, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/02.02.02cIndividual-Support-Plan.doc.
•	 DYS Guidelines for Release from Room Confinement, 11-21-2016, Massachusetts Department of
Youth Services, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Guidelinesfor-Release.pdf.
•	 Dr. Yvonne Sparling, DBT as a Behavior Management Approach, Massachusetts Department of
Youth Services, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/DBT-as-BMA.
pdf.
•	 Sample Distress Tolerance Coping Plan, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/
uploads/2019/05/Sample-DTP.pdf.
•	 Sample DBT Diary Card, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/
Sample-Diary-Card.pdf.
•	 Based Residential Programming Advisory, 06-11-2014, Massachusetts Department of Youth
Services, Positive http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Advisory.
pdf.
•	 Job Description for Group Worker I, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, http://www.
stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Youth-Services-Group-Worker-I-CentralRegion.pdf.

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•	 Lenny Beatty, Facility Administrator, Video Clip on Positive-Behavior Management,
https://youtu.be/bTj5XLJhgfs.

SHELBY COUNTY JUVENILE DETENTION SERVICES: POLICIES AND
RESOURCES
•	 Policy Procedure Manual (June 2015), Shelby County Juvenile Detention Services
Bureau, https://www.shelbycountytn.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11670/DetentionPolicy-Procedure-Manual?bidId=.
•	 Policy on Juvenile Detention Services, Standard Operating Procedure 356 (effective
02-08-2017), Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wpcontent/uploads/2019/05/MEMPHIS-JDS-SOP-356.pdf.
•	 JDS Positive Behavior Management System, Standard Operating Procedure 357 (effective
02-08-2017), Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wpcontent/uploads/2019/05/Positive-Behavior-Management-System-SOP.pdf.
•	 JDS Detainee Involuntary Room Confinement, Standard Operating Procedure 713,
(effective 07-06-2016), Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.
org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/JDS-SOP-713-Detainee-Involuntary-RoomConfinement.pdf.
•	 Detention Services, Major Incident Review Form, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Juvenile
http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Major-IncidentReview-Form.pdf.
•	 Detention Policy and Procedure Manual, Policy #VII-2, Detainee Disciplinary Procedures
(reviewed 07-14-2015), Shelby County Juvenile Court, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.
org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Shelby-County-Detainee-Disciplinary-ProceduresPolicy-VII-2.pdf.

OREGON YOUTH AUTHORITY: POLICIES AND RESOURCES

•	 Policies, Rules, and Statutes (webpage), Oregon Youth Authority, https://www.oregon.
gov/oya/Pages/policy_rule.aspx.
•	 Reports and Publications (webpage), Oregon Youth Authority, https://www.oregon.gov/
oya/Pages/rpts_pubs.aspx.

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•	 OYA Quick Facts, January 2019, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/docs/QuickFacts/QuickFacts.pdf.
•	 Positive Human Development at a Glance, Oregon Youth Authority, January 2019, https://www.
oregon.gov/oya/docs/glance/AtAGlance-PHD.pdf.
•	 Juvenile Justice Information System (webpage), Oregon Youth Authority, https://www.oregon.
gov/oya/pages/jjis.aspx.
•	 Senate Bill 82, An Act relating to rules regulating conduct of persons in the custody of
the Oregon Youth Authority, 2017 Regular Session, https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/
Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB82/Enrolled.
•	 Letter from OYA Director Fariborz Pakseresht to Interim Joint Committee on Ways and Means
(12-07-2015), http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/OYA_IsolationBudget-Note-Response.pdf.
•	 10-Year Strategic Plan for Close Custody Facilities, 08-26-2014, Oregon Youth Authority, http://
bit.ly/oya10yrplan-doc.
•	 Youth Reintegration Plan template, Oregon Youth Authority, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/
wp-content/uploads/2019/06/OYA-Youth-Re-Integration-Plan.docx.
•	 Letting in the Light Video, 02-16-2017, Oregon Youth Authority https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=SdXbzB8YpT8&feature=youtu.be.
•	 Fundamental Practices for Living Units – Moving PHD Into Practice (2018), Oregon
Youth Authority, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/
FundamentalPractices-2018.pdf.
•	 OYA Recruitment Video, 11-02-2016, Oregon Youth Authority, https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=qq7VQ7jgki8&feature=youtu.be.
•	 Isolation Decision Tree (2018), Oregon Youth Authority, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wpcontent/uploads/2019/06/Isolation-Tree-JPEG.jpg.
•	 Policy II-B-1.2, Use of Time-out, Room-lock Other, Isolation, and Safety Programs in OYA Facilities
(effective 07-16-2018) Oregon Youth Authority, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/policies/II-B1.2.pdf.

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•	 Policy II-B-2.0, Behavior Management – Behavior Incentives and Reinforcing Behavior
(effective 12-21-2018), Oregon Youth Authority, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/policies/
II-B-2.0.pdf.
•	 Policy II-B-2.1 – Behavior Management – Youth Refocus Options (effective 07-16-2018),
Oregon Youth Authority, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/policies/II-B-2.1.pdf.
•	 Policy II-B-2.1 – Behavior Management – Youth Refocus Options Chart (effective 07-162018), Oregon Youth Authority, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/policies/II-B-2.1.pdf.

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QUOTATIONS
•	

“We collect data on everything. We use data every day.” Jamie Nuss, Director, Gilliam Youth Services
Center

•	

“It’s not just about room confinement. It’s about staff being assaulted, fights among the kids,
any kind of property damage that you track, and room confinement and restraints.” Peter Forbes,
Commissioner, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“[P]utting kids in their rooms makes them less safe.” There is an impulsivity that makes kids act in
ways that they wouldn’t outside of room confinement.” Peter Forbes, Commissioner, Massachusetts
DYS

•	

“It require[d] people getting in their cars and driving out to the secure programs and meeting with
people at shift change in the facility to talk about the purpose and the why and the implementation
plan.” Peter Forbes, Commissioner, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“Policy development is a great place to get people on board. Getting a policy written is really
important, but the process is as important as the substance.” Peter Forbes, Commissioner,
Massachusetts DYS

•	

“The biggest mistake we made was we said ‘no room confinement’ rather than a ‘reduction’ [in
room confinement]. When we said ‘no’ staff felt like there was never a circumstance that it could be
useful, even if the youth was extremely violent. In reality, it’s still a tool, but it needs to be used under
specific circumstances. Messaging is so important.” Daniel O’Sullivan, Metropolitan Regional Director,
Massachusetts DYS

•	

“Staff think, if I cannot lock this kid in his room for 12 hours, or the weekend – I am unsafe. We are
trying to say, you are safer if the kid has a relationship with you.” Ruth Rovezzi, Deputy Commissioner,
Massachusetts DYS

•	

Change is difficult for everyone, but all everyone ever wants to know about change is ‘how is it going
to affect me and how to do my job, and how to keep me safe’. The benefit has to be personalized. It
should have said ‘here’s the benefit to reducing room confinement because you are building positive
relationships with the kids.’ If we can get kids out [of room confinement] faster into the population, it
increases the safety in the moment and long term. Lynn Allen, Facility Administrator, Massachusetts
DYS

•	

“How they get out [of room confinement] is just as important as how they get in.” Peter Forbes,
Commissioner, Massachusetts DYS

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110
110

•	

“We don’t just close the door and leave them in there to calm down on their own. That’s not
helpful if we want them to regain control.” Lynn Allen, Facility Administrator, Massachusetts
DYS

•	

“Initially staff thought that there was no room confinement and we were going to put the
kids in the population no matter what – and that’s not what we do.” Lenny Beatty, Facility
Administrator, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“It’s really important to have youth see that a skill is something that adults use and it’s not
just a clinical tool.” Yvonne Sparling, Director of Clinical Services, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“How do you address staff concerns but not concede that we are going back to model with
room confinement. “We need to acknowledge it. We need to have a response to it. Then
locally, we have to look at the underlying causes.” Ruth Rovezzi, Deputy Commissioner,
Massachusetts DYS

•	

“Goals for repairs are totally the opposite from [goals for] isolation.” Yvonne Sparling,
Director of Clinical Services, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“They need to understand how their actions affected other people and how they will act
differently in the future, so there’s a lot of work [in repairs].” Yvonne Sparling, Director of
Clinical Services, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“We don’t look to punish our kids while they are here. The fact that they are here losing their
freedom, we feel is hard enough. In order to have our kids buy into our system and follow our
rules we offer them incentives.” Elisa Samuels, Program Director, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“We recognized when we revamped our room confinement practices in 2007 this challenge in
either assisting youth preventing or minimizing the recurrence of another isolation incident.”
Robert Turillo, Assistant Commissioner of Program Services, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“If the clinicians are just writing up an ISP and telling people what to do, it will fail. If you get
everyone’s input, there is more follow-through and buy in. All of this stuff leads to less room
confinement.” Daniel O’Sullivan, Metropolitan Regional Director, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“The really difficult kid is one who punches a staff person. Staff are going to confront you
with that and you have to have a response. We have detailed protocol in the event that it
happens.” Peter Forbes, Commissioner, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“We’ve also done a lot of training with our staff on adolescent brain development. . . That has
helped our staff step back a little bit and think - this isn’t necessarily personal, this is the way

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this young person reacts.” Ruth Rovezzi, Deputy Commissioner, Massachusetts DYS
•	

“We spend a lot of time [in training] on how placing the youth in room confinement really increases
the likelihood that they may make a serious suicide attempt. We really stress the importance of doing
everything you can to keep a kid out of room confinement.” Yvonne Sparling, Director of Clinical
Services, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“If you have a relationship with a young person, you can engage them in making different choices
before it comes to the need to put someone in their room.” Ruth Rovezzi, Deputy Commissioner of
Massachusetts DYS

•	

“It’s safer now from when I started seventeen years ago. There is much more training for us. Less
restraints are happening because staff are communicating between themselves and talking to the
kids, building the relationships with the kids to make them understand that we are not here just to
put hands on them. We are here to talk to them, to help them make a better change in their life.” Rudy
Kolaco, Shift Administrator, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“I believe that those conversations build trust… those conversations that we have with them equal
safety and security.” Lenny Beatty, Facility Administrator, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“Our work as a juvenile justice agency is preparing young people to return to their communities as
citizens, as contributing members of their community. For that they need skills. They need to be able
to manage the demands of life. They need to have an education that prepares them for employment.
They need to have positive relationships with others. They are not going to get any of that locked in a
room somewhere.” Ruth Rovezzi, Deputy Commissioner, Massachusetts DYS

•	

“It hurt me so much to see children in rooms like that. Room confinement causes mental illness. You’re
teaching violence when you use force.” Deidra Bridgeforth, Assistant Chief, Shelby County Sheriff’s
Office

•	

“DOJ was a great learning experience.” Deidra Bridgeforth, Assistant Chief, Shelby County Sheriff’s
Office

•	

“I want all kids out all day.” Deidra Bridgeforth, Assistant Chief, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

•	

“To change something, you need to replace it with something better.” Deidra Bridgeforth, Assistant
Chief, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

•	

“When we cut their hair, their whole demeanor changed. Children saw we cared about how they
looked, so they cared about how they looked.” Deidra Bridgeforth, Assistant Chief, Shelby County
Sheriff’s Office

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111

112
112

•	

“This required a real adjustment from their previous orientation, but staff eventually saw the
improvements firsthand in their new roles as teachers, coaches, and mentors: “It worked.”
Deidra Bridgeforth, Assistant Chief, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

•	

“A lot of bad outcomes were happening for the kids. Kids were ending up in the Behavior
Management Unit for a long time. Luckily, we had no suicides during that time. A lot of bad
outcomes were happening for the staff. The staff burn out was super high. The staff morale
was super low. We were putting staff in an untenable situation. We realized that we had a big
issue. And it was cyclical and deeply engrained in the culture.” Joe O’Leary, Director, OYA

•	

“The research about the impact of isolation on kids is there. If we didn’t take it head on
and start to change our own practices, then other people were going to do it for us.” Erin
Fuimaono, Assistant Director of Development Services, OYA

•	

“Where people got stuck is [the Behavior Matrix] still had isolation listed as ‘up to 5 days.’
Just because the Matrix said up to 5 days doesn’t mean it needed to be 5 days, or it’s the right
thing to do.” Alicia Buettner, Superintendent, OYA

•	

“The culture we have in the organization predates us by many years. In attempting to shift
the culture some staff may see us as just another flavor of the day, week, month…. Those
who are resistant to change may be fairly confident that they can outlast us and the new
initiative. In most cases they are correct.” Fariborz Pakseresht, Former Director, OYA

•	

“You can’t go away in the lab and come up with a great policy. You have to go out there and
get the folks that are doing the work, know the kids, know the operations, know the clinical
piece, know youth development, and get them around the table to be part of this effort. You
can’t go from the top down.” Clint McClellan, Assistant Director, OYA

•	

“We acknowledged that there was a time when [isolation] was thought of as the appropriate
thing to do, but we are shifting mindsets and have new research and an understanding of
skill development in behavior change. None of us would be using computers from 2000. The
same is true in how we interact with young people.” Erin Fuimaono, Assistant Director of
Development Services, OYA

•	

“We clarified that OYA was not eliminating the use of isolation, but we were talking about
how to use it differently. We had to balance our message about what is effective for kids with
the acknowledgement that our staff are in harm’s ways sometimes. [Isolation] would still be
an option as a safety intervention, but not as a punishment. Because that doesn’t work.” Erin
Fuimaono, Assistant Director of Development Services, OYA

•	

“Messaging it this way was great because it didn’t freak everyone out, but there was still a
lot of inconsistency in how staff and facilities were using isolation.” Clint McClellan, Assistant
Director, OYA

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•	

“The key about culture change is that key messages have to go out over and over again. You will still
have people say that what they heard was that we’re taking away their tools. You just have to get the
message out as many times and ways as possible.” Clint McClellan, Assistant Director, OYA

•	

“What we found were some champions. Those who understood the facility’s vision and goals to reduce
isolation. They were able to carry those words forward because other staff respected them.” Alicia
Buettner, Superintendent, OYA

•	

“It’s not enough to just to tell our employees that they will have to do things differently. We must take
the time to put a compelling case together that makes sense to staff. Is the change going to improve
safety? Is it going to create a more pleasant working environment? Is it going to create better futures
for youth?” Fariborz Pakseresht, Former Director, OYA

•	

“Youth on youth violence was steady but youth on staff violence went up. That got a lot of people’s
attention.” Clint McClellan, Assistant Director, OYA

•	

“What is the human cost of continuing to do business as usual? For example, the trauma that could be
inflicted on youth, potentially increasing the numbers of future victims and compromising the safety
of the community. At the same time there is the fiscal impact and a monetary cost of continuing the
current practice. For example, longer stays in youth correctional facilities, potential transfer to adult
prison, and the unquantifiable cost of future crime and victims.” Fariborz Pakseresht, Former Director,
OYA

•	

“When I was out working in community programs and we would get youth who experienced isolation,
they would struggle when they were in the community. In the community, our main tool is to work
with them, talk to them – we don’t use isolation. But their go-to was to run away from the community
programs. It took a lot of time to figure out how we could work with them in the community. Shifting
the approach in a facility away from punitive isolation and teaching how to regulate and problem
solve before they ever leave gives them a better chance at successful reentry.” Jamie McKay. Program
Director, OYA

•	

“When you rely on a door between you and a kid as your primary source of safety, you create an us vs.
them environment. Then when you have to open that door for something, now it’s you vs. them. That
dynamic doesn’t go away automatically, and bad things can happen.” Heber Bray, Operations Policy
Analyst, OYA

•	

“We can rewrite policies and procedures, develop the best manuals and practice models, issues
directive and decrees, but if [we] are not able to shift those shared values and beliefs and
understandings that define the present culture, very little will change.” Fariborz Pakseresht, Former
Director, OYA

•	

“[We] started out thinking that we needed more staff, we needed in-between spaces where kids can

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113

go when they need a break but not isolation. We thought about creating rooms with calming
furniture and paint and music. Then we thought, ‘well wait a minute - we can throw staff
at this issue, we can create these spaces, but if staff aren’t thinking differently about how to
intervene with these behaviors and address them, we are just going to use those things in the
same way.” Erin Fuimaono, Assistant Director of Development Services, OYA

114
114

•	

“You can’t just throw out a policy and hope that it sticks.” Clint McClellan, Assistant Director,
OYA

•	

“Leadership plays a critical role in organizational change. We must understand the impetus
for the change and explain it to others. Why are [we] moving in this direction and what is the
price that [we] might pay for inaction? We always want to be ahead of the wave of change
rather than being overtaken by it.” Fariborz Pakseresht, Former Director, OYA

•	

“We have a saying: ‘Executive team leaders are here to support and develop our managers,
who support and develop our staff, who support and develop our youth.’ You can’t have one of
those out of place. They all have to be in alignment.” Clint McClellan, Assistant Director, OYA

•	

“We have to be the message – not the messengers. There’s a huge difference. People look
for weakness in the armor. They think if you are not really bought in [to a practice or policy
change], they don’t have to do it.” Daniel Berger, Superintendent, OYA

•	

“We must model the change that we want to implement. To change behavior and culture
consistently, an organization, we as top leaders as well as our executive team, our managers
at every level of the organization, must walk the talk. How we treat staff as leaders and
how effectively we listen will translate directly and indirectly to how staff exhibit the same
behavior with youth.” Fariborz Pakseresht, Former Director, OYA

•	

“We tell staff, “don’t say, ‘central office says we have to do this thing.’ If you are a leader here,
you should be out there saying, ‘Here’s what we are doing. Here’s why we are doing it. And
here’s how you are a part of this.’” Daniel Berger, Superintendent, OYA

•	

“Initially we thought OYA would adopt the PYD model. We sent some of our staff to PYD
trainings. They came back and told us that they could buy into the PYD approach of treating
youth as resources, but they wanted to be viewed as resources as well. Staff said, ‘If OYA can
get to a place where I feel as though I’m being viewed as a resource, then I can do that with
the kids [who] we work with every day.’” Joe O’Leary, Director, OYA

•	

Accountability is “[giving] them the skills to be able to learn from their mistakes and hold
themselves accountable. Because that’s really the only way they’re going to create safety
in the community . . . . Isolation is not a place where you can develop skills at all. There
are plenty of things we have to develop to hold kids accountable in terms of consequences.
Isolation just isn’t one of them.” Clint McClellan, Assistant Director, OYA

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•	

“It has taken time to pivot. Just because one kid is taking advantage or doing something doesn’t mean
they all will. What we need to put into perspective for staff is that we have not gone through what
most of these kids have experienced. So when [staff] think that punishing a little bit harder is the
key to success, our culture has pushed back. What we need is empathy and have high expectations.
In essence, treating these kids as your own children goes a long, long way.” Alicia Buettner,
Superintendent, OYA

•	

“Initially, we were a bit skeptical about doing workgroups and them inviting [the external Advisory
Group members] in and them tearing it apart, but that didn’t happen.” Clint McClellan, Assistant
Director, OYA

•	

“[W]e wanted these people close to us during the process, but the beauty of the execution was how
they embraced the partnership and the insights we got from them.” Joe O’Leary, Director, OYA

•	

“Changes around isolation would not have worked if we had not been given budget flexibility,
if we were not given additional funding through creative means to modify some of our physical
environments. So having engagement with political leadership was critical.” Joe O’Leary, Director, OYA

•	

“It gave us the opportunity to go to our staff and say, ‘[L]ook, this is coming. We can choose to get
ahead of this, or we can let something happen to us that may or may not be administrable. What do
you want to do?’ That helped to create a mandate to drive planning and action to reduce isolation. In
the next legislative session, we offered our own bill.” Joe O’Leary, Director, OYA

•	

“The request for a budget note and our subsequent recommendations were literally a nail banged into
the wall on which we could hang some funding requests.” Joe O’Leary, Director, OYA

•	

“When staff asked us what to do about difficult youth, we said ‘you’re going to keep them on your
unit. And we’re going to give you these extra staff to help that kid ‘skill up.’” Heber Bray, Operations
Policy Analyst, OYA

•	

We had to commit to being proactive instead of reactive. Making that shift is really hard. It costs
money up front to save money on the back end, and that’s not the way our society is wired.” Heber
Bray, Operations Policy Analyst, OYA

•	

“We teach them how to problem-solve, stabilize themselves, take ‘no’ for an answer without getting
into conflict. We reduce isolation by teaching kids how to act in the system and how to ask for
resources.” Korey Ramsay, Skill Development Coordinator, OYA

•	

Youth on the IU “spend most of their time in what’s called Core, which is like a dayroom. They go out,
work with SDCs, and have meals together out in the Core. As long as there isn’t a serious conflict
between kids, they are out in Core together.” Daniel Berger, Superintendent, OYA

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116
116

•	

“Once [youth] are regulated – they are no longer hitting the walls, threatening other people,
when they are talking reasonably – which may take an hour or two, they may not be able to
be safety reintegrated back into the living unit immediately. SDCs work with the kids at this
moment to move them along.” Ken Jerin, Superintendent, OYA

•	

We completely rebuilt the program in the light of PHD,” he says. “We didn’t want kids to just
go down there and sit. If kids had to go to isolation and had to go to IU, they were engaged
in skill development when they were there. That was the basis of rebuilding this program.”
Daniel Berger, Superintendent, OYA

•	

“If it’s more institutionalized, it looks more like prison, like a dungeon, then obviously we’re
not going to change. We’re just going to be what we’re looked at upon as, like criminals, or
animals.” Youth at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility

•	

“We don’t want corrections officers. We want folks who can work with kids and can learn
security protocols as well.” Daniel Berger, Superintendent, OYA

•	

“We send out a hiring letter to potential applicants about the work we do. In essence
– working with girls is challenging and rewarding at the same time. There will be
accountability when youth make mistakes, which is inevitable with teenagers. What we want
to tell [applicants] is that we expect kids to be kids.” Alicia Buettner, Superintendent, OYA

•	

“Kids were still amped up. There was no cooling down time. They had to shift from outside
rules to inside rules with the snap of a finger. You’d think that 15, 16, 17-year-olds could shift,
but shifting from one set of rules to another is actually an advanced cognitive skill. We
would have fights in the line and fights right when we got inside. We’d have kids blowing
up because they wanted to get a drink of water and it wasn’t their turn yet. We’d have kids
walk one slower deep-breathing lap before they came inside. While they walked the lap, staff
reminded them of the inside rules in a nice calm voice by saying, ‘Hey, remember guys, we’re
going inside. We’re going to take our shoes off, we’re going to line up, and table by table,
we’re going to go to the drinking fountain.’” Heber Bray, Operations Policy Analyst, OYA

•	

“One point about following numbers is that we have to focus on the trendlines and not react
extremely to any one point in time.” Joe O’Leary, Director, OYA

•	

“In Oregon we have big facilities. We have 13 living units in one facility. So getting one
big conglomerate of data doesn’t tell us a lot. We have to break those [data] down to the
individual living units, shifts, or other factors.” Clint McClellan, Assistant Director, OYA

•	

“As soon as you meet resistance with resistance, you’re going to get escalation - every time.
You just can’t do it with these kids.” Heber Bray, Operations Policy Analyst, OYA

Appendix
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.com

•	

“Now we are asking [staff] to think of [themselves] not as corrections officers but as brain developers.
This kid’s brain wasn’t developed normally because of trauma, and his ‘how do I calm down’ mental
pathway isn’t fully formed. We have to develop it. Staff on the [University of Life] will tell you that
it’s the hardest work they’ve ever done and also the most rewarding.” Heber Bray, Operations Policy
Analyst, OYA

•	

“We had all these older kids here. Some of them were very entrenched gang members and there was
violence because frankly, they didn’t have anything else to do here. We weren’t making the program
about them. We were making it about control.” Daniel Berger, Superintendent, OYA

•	

“As we build programs to really have them engage in developing their own futures, these guys kind of
pulled out of that mindset. We saw huge reductions in incidents in all of our units, especially kids that
had longer term Department of Corrections sentences.” Daniel Berger, Superintendent, OYA

•	

“When we changed our policy, we took away that catchall and adopted a much more unambiguous
threshold.” Joe O’Leary, Director, OYA

•	

“After implementing the University of Life, there was a 77% decrease in incidents and an 84% decrease
in isolation.” Fariborz Pakseresht, Former Director, OYA

Appendix
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.com

117

1	

Colorado Child Safety Coalition, Bound and Broken: How DYC’s Culture of Violence is Hurting Colorado’s Kids and What to Do About it (Colorado: Colorado Child Safety

2	

Chester R. Chapman, Mark Silverstein, and Kim Dvorchak, Letter to CDHS Director Reggie Bicha, June 18, 2014, http://static.aclu-co.org/wp-content/

3	

Megan Schrader, Debbie Kelley, and Maria St. Louis-Sanchez, “Youth Lockups: Trouble behind bars, Solitary confinement, History lesson, Fixing the problem,” The Gazette

Coalition, 2017), http://static.aclu-co.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Bound-and-Broken-report-Feb17-complete.pdf.
uploads/2017/02/2014-06-18-Letter-to-DHS-Executive-Director-Bicha.pdf, cited in Bound and Broken, 8.

(Colorado Springs, CO), October 4, 2015, https://gazette.com/news/youth-lockups-trouble-behind-bars-solitary-confinement-history-lesson-fixing/article_faf8bfd8-d24b-559084d6-582f4a84884f.html.
4	

Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Services, Policy S 14.3 B, Time-out; Seclusion and Program Refusal (Denver, CO: Effective October 15, 2015,

5	

Colorado Revised Statutes, Section 26-20-102(3) (2016).

amended November 1, 2017), http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Colorado-2015-Policy-S-14.3B-.pdf.
6	

Colorado Office of the State Auditor, Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Corrections, Performance Audit (September 2016), 13. https://leg.colorado.gov/

sites/default/files/documents/audits/1557p_division_of_youth_corrections_performance_audit_september_2016.pdf.     
7	

Colorado HB16-1328, Use of Restraint and Seclusion on Individuals, 2016 Regular Session, https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/

9	

“Youth Seclusion Working Group,” Colorado Department of Human Services, accessed May 9, 2019, https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs-boards-committees-

10	

“Juvenile Detention Facility Assessment: Guidelines for Conducting a Facility Assessment (2014 Update),” Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative: A Project of the Annie

8	Ibid.

collaboration/youth-seclusion-working-group.

E. Casey Foundation (2014), at 68. http://www.cclp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/JDAI-Detention-Facility-Assessment-Standards.pdf; U.S. Department of Justice, National
Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape, 28 CFR § 115.313(c), (May 16, 2012), http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/programs/pdfs/prea_final_rule.pdf.
11	

Debbie Kelley, “‘Culture of violence’ in Colorado Youth Corrections includes physical restraints, solitary,” Colorado Springs Gazette (Denver, CO), March 2, 2017, https://

12	

See note 31.

14	

Missouri Youth Services Institute, accessed May 9, 2019, http://www.mysiconsulting.org/.

kdvr.com/2017/03/02/new-report-puts-colorado-division-of-youth-corrections-under-fire/.
13	
15	

Reform Division Of Youth Corrections, Colorado HB17-1329, 2017 Regular Session, https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb17-1329.
Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Services, Policy S 14.3 B, Time-out; Seclusion and Program Refusal (Denver, CO: Effective November 1, 2017,

amended April 1, 2018), https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B32vshZrERKsUTBqZjFMcnNUS28/view.
16	

Jennifer Brown, “Assaults Down by Nearly Half as Reforms Take Hold in Colorado Youth Lock-up Centers,” Denver Post, February 26, 2018, https://www.denverpost.

17	

“Youth Services Specialist I – Mount View Youth Services Center,” State of Colorado, accessed May 6, 2019. http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/

com/2018/02/26/colorado-youth-lock-up-centers/.
uploads/2019/05/Job-Description.pdf.
18	Ibid.
19	

Mark Soler and Anders Jacobson, “More States Need to Limit Solitary Confinement, Which Doesn’t Work,” Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, September 12, 2018,

20	

Reform Division of Youth Corrections, Colorado HB17-1329.

22	

Passage of the General Education Development (GED) test is considered by some, but not all, as equivalent to a high school diploma.

https://jjie.org/2018/09/12/more-states-need-to-limit-solitary-confinement-which-doesnt-work/.
21	

Juvenile Detention Facility Assessment: Guidelines for Conducting a Facility Assessment.

23	

Nevertheless, DYS seeks applicants with a bachelor’s degree for direct care staff.

25	

Drew Engelbart, “Report puts Colorado Division of Youth Corrections under fire,” Fox 31 News (Denver, CO), March 2, 2017, https://kdvr.com/2017/03/02/new-report-

24	

Colorado Child Safety Coalition, Bound and Broken, note 1.

puts-colorado-Division-of-youth-corrections-under-fire/.
26	
27	

Debbie Kelley, “‘Culture of violence.’”

DYS’s Mission statement is more traditional: To protect, restore, and improve public safety utilizing a continuum of care that provides effective supervision, promotes

accountability to victims and communities, and helps youth lead constructive lives through positive youth development. See, Ibid, https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/aboutyouth-services.
28	

118
118

Sandra L. Bloom, M.D., “The Sanctuary Model,” The Sanctuary Model, accessed May 2, 2019, http://sanctuaryweb.com/.

Endnotes
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

29	

Jennifer Brown, “Fewer youths, more staff mean less violence at once-embattled youth detention center in Colorado Springs,” Denver Post, April 1, 2017, https://www.

30	

Heidi Bauer, email message to Mark Soler, May 13, 2019.

denverpost.com/2017/04/17/spring-creek-detention-center-less-violence/.
31	

Verbal Judo is a widely-used method of verbal de-escalation, with more than one million graduates of Verbal Judo courses worldwide; See, “Verbal Judo” Verbal Judo

Institute, Inc., accessed May 2, 2019, http://verbaljudo.com/.
32	

Motivational Interviewing is a counseling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities in order to find the motivation they need to change

behavior. It is also useful as a non-confrontational, empathetic strategy to help hostile individuals move through the emotional stages of change; See, “Motivational Interviewing,”
Psychology Today, accessed May 2, 2019,

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/motivational-interviewing.
33	

Lee Underwood and Aryssa Washington, “Mental Illness and Juvenile Offenders,” International Journal of Environmental Research in Public Health 13, no. 2 (2016): 228,

34	

Jamie Nuss, interview with Mark Soler, December 19, 2018.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772248/.
35	

Youth Seclusion & Restraint Working Group, Semi-Annual Report: March 1, 2018 – August 31, 2018 (Colorado Office of Children, Youth & Families, Division of

Youth Services, January 1, 2019). http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Seclusion-Restraint_COMMITTEE_Mar18-Aug18_Jan2019_Report_
FINAL_1-1-19-2.pdf.
36

Ibid.

37	

Corey Dade, “Youth dies in DYS custody,” The Boston Globe, December 14, 2003, http://archive.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2003/12/14/youth_dies_

38	

Peter Forbes, “Stop Solitary for Kids Launch Event,” presentation, National Press Club, Washington, DC, April 19, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/

39	

“The circumstances that lead to room confinement at the time of death included failure to follow program rules/inappropriate behavior (47.3%), threat/actual physical

in_dys_custody/.

watch?v=173CfXLeMQs&feature=youtu.be.

abuse of staff or peers (42.1%), and other (10.6%).” Lindsay M. Hayes, Juvenile Suicides in Confinement: A National Survey (United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile

Justice and Delinquency Prevention, February 2004), x-xi, https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/grants/206354.pdf.
40	
41	

Dade, note 40. This figure includes youth in non-secure and community-based DYS programs.

Peter Forbes, Reducing isolation in youth facilities: strategies and lessons learned from the field webinar, Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, February 13,

2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpMTYRtXE4A&feature=youtu.be.
42	
43	

Ruth Rovezzi, email, May 16, 2019.

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, The DYS Safety Task Force Report: Recommendations for Promoting Youth and Staff Safety in DYS Residential Programs,

February 2018, 2, https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2019/02/26/SafetyTask%20Force%20Report_FINAL_2.9.18.pdf.
44	

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, 2017-2018 Internal Control Plan, 6, May 11, 2018, https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2018/05/14/DYS%202017-

45	

DYS Safety Task Force Recommendations, note 46, at 8.

2018%20ICP%20FINAL-CTR-5.11.18.pdf.
46	

DYS revised the policy in 2013. Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Involuntary Room Confinement 03.03.01(a) (effective 03-13-13), https://www.mass.gov/

lists/dys-policies-regulations.
47	

“Staff,” National Center on Institutions and Alternatives, accessed May 14, 2019, http://dev.ncianet.org/criminal-justice-services/suicide-prevention-in-custody/staff/.

49	

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Suicide Assessment in Secure Facilities 02.02.05(c) (effective 11-01-05), https://www.mass.gov/lists/dys-policies-

48	

See Hayes, note 42.

regulations.
50	

Peter Forbes, February 13, 2018.

52	

Daniel O’Sullivan, interview with Jennifer Lutz, July 9, 2018.

51	
53	

Ibid.

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Involuntary Room Confinement 03.03.01(a), Section G (effective 03-13-13), https://www.mass.gov/lists/dys-policies-

regulations.

Endnotes
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

119

54	

Peter Forbes, February 13, 2018.

56	

Lenny Beatty, interview with Pretrial Justice Institute, October 31, 2017.

55	
57	

Lynn Allen, interview with Jennifer Lutz, July 9, 2018.

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, DYS Guidelines for Release from Room

Confinement, November 21, 2016, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Guidelines-for-Release.pdf.   

58	
59	

Peter Forbes, February 13, 2018.

Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, Toolkit: Reducing the Use of Isolation, March 2015, 20, http://cjca.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/CJCA-Toolkit-

Reducing-the-Use-of-Isolation-1.pdf.
60	

Marsha Linehan, Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 1993); Marsha Linehan, Skills Training Manual for

61	

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Evidence for Implementation in Correctional Settings, March 2011, 1–2, https://

62	

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, DBT as a Behavior Management Approach, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/DBT-as-BMA.

63	

Ibid.

65	

Ibid.

Treating Borderline Personality Disorder (New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 1993).
www.cdcr.ca.gov/Juvenile_Justice/docs/DBT_Evidence_Draft_04_06_2011.pdf.
pdf.
64	
66	
67	
68	

“How DBT Helps,” The Linehan Institute, Accessed May 1, 2019, https://behavioraltech.org/research/how-dbt-helps/.
Meghan McDermott, interview with Jennifer Lutz, July 9, 2018.
Yvonne Sparling, telephone conversation, April 16, 2019.

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, DBT as a Behavior Management Approach, 4, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/DBT-as-

BMA.pdf.
69	

This acronym was developed by Dr. Yvonne Sparling, Director of Clinical Services, as an approach to help staff remember key steps to approaching youth in

70	

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, DBT as a Behavior Management Approach, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/DBT-as-BMA.

71	

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Positive Based Residential Programming Advisory, June 11, 2014, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/

72	

“Historically, the field of juvenile justice has primarily viewed youths as either a victim or villain. Positive youth development uses a primary lens of seeing youths as

developmentally appropriate ways.
pdf.

uploads/2019/05/Advisory.pdf.

resources to be developed.” Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, Toolkit: Positive Youth Development, April 2017, 10, http://cjca.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/
CJCA-Toolkit-final-doc-Aug.-9-2017.pdf.	
73	
74	

Yvonne Sparling, interview with Jennifer Lutz, April 25, 2019.

Effective Responses to Offender Behavior: Lessons Learned for Probation and Parole Supervision (American Probation and Parole Association, National Center for State

Courts, and The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2012), https://www.appa-net.org/eWeb/docs/APPA/pubs/EROBLLPPS-Report.pdf; H.S. Muscott, E.L.Mann, and M.R. LeBrun, “Positive

Behavioral Interventions and Supports in New Hampshire: Effects of Large-Scale Implementation of Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support on Student Discipline and Academic
Achievement,” Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions 10 (July 2008): 190–205, https://doi.org/10.1177/1098300708316258.
75	
76	

Elisa Samuels, interview with Pretrial Justice Institute, October 31, 2017.

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Individual Support Plan 02.02.02(c) (effective 03-15-13), http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/

uploads/2019/05/02.02.02c-Individual-Support-Plan.doc.
77	

Robert Turillo, Reducing isolation in youth facilities: strategies for working with your most challenging youth webinar, Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators,

78	

Ibid.

80	

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Incident response team procedure in support of the management guidelines for responding to traumatic workplace

September 25, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAWDQ5xdci4&t=395s.
79	

120
120

Daniel O’Sullivan, interview with Jennifer Lutz, July 9, 2018.

Endnotes
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

incidents, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/IRT-Procedure.pdf.
81	

Ruth Rovezzi, telephone conversation, April 25, 2019.

83	

Ibid.

82	
84	

DYS Safety Task Force Recommendations, note 46, at 23.
New hires may begin working in a secure facility after one week at the DYS Training Academy as long as they complete the remaining two weeks of Basic Training

within 90 days. This training structure gives staff important context for the second and third week of Basic Training. Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Training
Announcement: 2017 Annual Review Training, December 2016.
85	

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Training Announcement: 2017 Annual Review Training, December 2016; Massachusetts Department of Youth Services,

86	

Ruth Rovezzi, interview with Pretrial Justice Institute, April 17, 2017.

88	

Yvonne Sparling, telephone conversation, April 16, 2019.

Training Protocol for Basic Training, Annual Review, and DYS Statewide Restraint, December 2014.
87	
89	
90	
91	
92	
93	
94	
95	
96	
97	
98	
99	

100	
101	
102	

Ruth Rovezzi, interview with Jennifer Lutz, July 9, 2018.

Rudy Kolaco, shift administrator, interview with Pretrial Justice Institute, October 30, 2017.
Lenny Beatty, interview with Pretrial Justice Institute, October 31, 2017.
DYS Safety Task Force Recommendations, note 46, at 15.

DYS Safety Task Force Recommendations, note 46, at 18–19.
Ruth Rovezzi, interview with Jennifer Lutz, April 25, 2019.
DYS Safety Task Force Recommendations, note 46, at 26.

DYS Safety Task Force Recommendations, note 46, at 4–6.
DYS Safety Task Force Recommendations, note 46, at 15.
DYS Safety Task Force Recommendations, note 46, at 18.

Bill S. 2371: An Act Relative to Criminal Justice Reform, 190th, https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/S2371.
Ibid.

Ruth Rovezzi, email, May 14, 2019; Ruth Rovezzi, email, May 16, 2019.
Ruth Rovezzi, interview with Pretrial Justice Institute, April 17, 2017.

United State Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Investigation of the Shelby County Juvenile Court (Findings Report), April 26, 2012, https://www.justice.gov/

sites/default/files/crt/legacy/2012/04/26/shelbycountyjuv_findingsrpt_4-26-12.pdf.
103	
104	

Id. at 5.

David C. Steelman et al., A Brief Assessment of the Juvenile Court System in Shelby County, Tennessee: Report to Shelby County Government (National Center for State

Courts: June 2007), https://cdm16501.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/famct/id/176.
105	

Findings Report, note 114.

107	

United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Memorandum of Agreement Regarding the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County (MOA), December 17,

106	

Id. at 6.

2012, https://dashboard.shelbycountytn.gov/sites/default/files/file/pdfs/doj_moa%2012-12.PDF.
108	
109	

Id. at 28.

Id. at 29. The Report of Findings found that there was a high rate of suicidal behavior among youth at the Shelby County Juvenile Detention Facility, a lack of involvement of

Clinical Services, and a failure to engage in necessary suicide prevention in the physical plan. Investigation, note 1, at 58–59. The MOA contained remedial provisions to address
these problems. MOA, note 119, at 29–31.
110	

Findings Report, note 114, at 7.

112	

Findings Report, note 114, at 66.

111	
113	

“Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative” The Annie E. Casey Foundation, accessed May 2, 2019, https://www.aecf.org/work/juvenile-justice/jdai/.
The facility consultant noted several of those concerns in his Sixth Report: that accepted best practice in the juvenile justice field is to have a juvenile justice facility

operated by a juvenile court, local or state child and family services agency, or designated youth services or youth corrections division of a local or state social services agency,

Endnotes
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

121

but not local law enforcement; the adult-oriented (vs. developmental) approach to incarceration in law enforcement agencies; routine use of isolation for discipline; focus on

compliance with rules rather than developing staff relationships with youth; and seeing the family as tangential or even as an obstruction. David Roush, Letter to Winsome G. Gayle
and Richard Goemann, U.S. Department of Justice, December 17, 2015, 1–2, https://www.justice.gov/crt/file/802811/download.
114	

See United States Department of Justice. Prison Rape Elimination Act, Juvenile Facility Standards, Final Rule, 28 C.F.R. 115.313(c), May 17, 2012, https://www.

prearesourcecenter.org/sites/default/files/content/preafinalstandardstype-juveniles.pdf; Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, Juvenile Detention Facility Assessment:
Standard Instrument, 2014 Update (Baltimore: Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2014): 68, https://www.aecf.org/resources/juvenile-detention-facility-assessment/.
115	
116	
117	

Letter to Winsome G. Gayle, note 125, at 1–2.

Id. at 2.

David Roush, Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County (Juvenile Court), MOA Protection from Harm Stipulations: 7th Report of Findings and Recommendations, June

2016, 5, 12–13, https://www.justice.gov/crt/file/871626/download:.
118	

Id. at 3–4.

120	

Id. at 5.

119	
121	
122	

Id. at 12–13.
Id. at 19.

David Roush, Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County (Sheriff’s Department), MOA Protection for Harm Stipulations: 8th Report of Findings and Recommendations,

December 8, 2016, https://www.justice.gov/crt/case-document/file/936586/download, 4.
123	

Id. at 4.

125	

Id. at 16.

124	
126	
127	
128	
129	

Id. at 15.
Id. at 5.
Id. at 7.

Bernard Glos, Ph.D., had replaced David Roush.

Bernard Glos, Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County (Sheriff’s Department), MOA Protection for Harm Stipulations: 9th Report of Findings and Recommendations,

May 17, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/crt/case-document/file/974641/download, at 4, 8.
130	

Bernard Glos, Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County (Sheriff’s Department), MOA Protection for Harm Stipulations: 10th Report of Findings and Recommendations,

131	

Debra Fessenden, email to Mark Soler, May 1, 2019.

133	

Ibid.

November 28, 2017, https://www.justice.gov/crt/page/file/1022256/download.
132	
134	

Deidra Bridgeforth, interview with Mark Soler, December 12, 2018.
National Research Council, Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach (Washington, DC: The National Academies Press) 179–181, “…interventions with the

most success at altering the level of subsequent offending provide opportunities for an adolescent to develop successfully in a supportive social world.”
135	

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, JDS Detainee Involuntary Room Confinement, Standard Operating Procedure 713, (effective 07-06-16), http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/

136	

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Juvenile Detention Services, Standard Operating Procedure 356 (effective 02-08-17), http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/

137	

“The Safe Crisis Management Training Company,” JKM Training, Inc. accessed May 2, 2019, https://safecrisismanagement.com/. Safe Crisis Management is a comprehensive

wp-content/uploads/2019/05/JDS-SOP-713-Detainee-Involuntary-Room-Confinement.pdf.
uploads/2019/05/MEMPHIS-JDS-SOP-356.pdf.

training program focused on preventing and managing confrontation events and improving safety. It incorporates a trauma-sensitive approach with an emphasis on building
positive relationships with individuals,
138	

“Crisis Prevention Institute,” Crisis Prevention Institute, last modified 2019.  https://www.crisisprevention.com/. Crisis Prevention Institute is an international organization

139	

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, JDS Positive Behavior Management System, Standard Operating Procedure 357 (effective 02-08-17), http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/

140	

Deidra Bridgeforth, interview with Mark Soler, December 12, 2018.

that specializes in the safe management of disruptive and assaultive behavior.

wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Positive-Behavior-Management-System-SOP.pdf.

122
122

Endnotes
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

141	

Ibid.

143	

“Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy,” Psychology Today, last modified 2019. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy. The

142	

Ibid.

therapy is also known as Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.
144	

See, e.g., National PREA Resource Center, Developing and Implementing a PREA-Compliant Staffing Plan, https://www.prearesourcecenter.org/sites/default/files/content/

145	

See Figure 19.

staffing_plan_final_w_bja_logo_submt.pdf.
146	

Sarah Macaraeg, “Free calls for juveniles: Shelby County announces jail phone reform,” Memphis Commercial Appeal, November 18, 2018. https://www.commercialappeal.

com/story/news/2018/11/18/juvenile-detention-free-calls-shelby-county-gtl-justice-reform/1941618002/.
147	

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Juvenile Detention Services, Major Incident Review Form, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Major-

148	

Shelby County Juvenile Court, Detention Policy and Procedure Manual, Policy #VII-2, Detainee Disciplinary Procedures (reviewed 07-14-15), http://www.

149	

Omer Yusuf, “Justice Department ends federal oversight of Juvenile Court,” Daily Memphian, October 20, 2018,

150	

Joe O’Leary, “Thinking Outside the Box: Ways to Safely Reduce Room Confinement,” American Correctional Association Winter Conference presentation, January 12, 2019.

152	

Erin Fuimaono, interview, June 28, 2018.

Incident-Review-Form.pdf.

stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Shelby-County-Detainee-Disciplinary-Procedures-Policy-VII-2.pdf.
https://dailymemphian.com/article/799/Justice-Department-ends-federal-oversight-of-Juvenile-Court.

151	
153	

O’Leary, Thinking Outside the Box.

Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018, 34 U.S.C. 11117, December 21, 2018, https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6964/

text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22Juvenile+Justice+and+Delinquency+Prevention+Reauthorization+Act+of+2018%22%5D%7D&r=1&s=1.
154	

Audrey Wieber, “MacLaren takes STEPS to cool young offenders,” Portland Tribune, January 8, 2019, https://pamplinmedia.com/pt/9-news/416398-318881-maclaren-

155	

OYA Director Fariborz Pakseresht, letter, December 7, 2015, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/OYA_Isolation-Budget-Note-Response.pdf.

takes-steps-to-cool-down-young-offenders?wallit_nosession=1.
156	

Performance-based Standards (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. June 13, 2019, https://pbstandards.org/about-us.
157	

O’Leary, Thinking Outside the Box.

159	

Oregon Youth Authority, “OYA Facilities Services,” https://www.oregon.gov/oya/pages/facility_services.aspx.

158	
160	

Oregon Revised Statutes 137.700 and 137.707.

Oregon Youth Authority “January 2019 OYA Quick Facts,” https://www.oregon.gov/oya/docs/QuickFacts/QuickFacts-Jan2019.pdf.

161	 “Ways and Means Public Safety Committee Presentation,” Oregon Youth Authority, March 4–6, 2019, https://apps.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Downloads/
CommitteeMeetingDocument/166265.

162	 Oregon Youth Authority, “Oregon Youth Authority at a Glance,” January 2019, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/docs/OYAAtAGlance.pdf.
163	 “OYA at a Glance,” 2019.
164	 “OYA at a Glance,” 2019.

165	 Oregon Senate Bill 1008, 80th Oregon Legislative Assembly, 2019, Regular Session, https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB1008/
Enrolled.

166	 Pakseresht, letter, December 7, 2015.

167	 Alicia Cozad, phone interview, May 1, 2018.

168	 Fariborz Pakseresht, “Reducing isolation in youth facilities: strategies and lessons learned from the field” webinar, Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, May 15,
2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kF0CNXSAfM.
169	 Pakseresht, letter, December 7, 2015.
170	

Erin Fuimaono, interview, June 28, 2018.

Endnotes
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

123

171	

Clint McClellan, interview, June 28, 2018.

173	

McClellan, “Reducing isolation in youth facilities.”

172	
174	
175	
176	
177	
178	
179	
180	
181	
182	
183	
184	
185	

Fuimaono, interview, June 28, 2018.
Fuimaono, interview, June 28, 2018.
McClellan, interview, June 28, 2018.
McClellan, interview, June 28, 2018.
McClellan, interview, June 28, 2018.

Fuimaono, interview, June 28, 2018.
McClellan, interview, June 28, 2018.

Cozad, phone interview, May 1, 2018.

Pakseresht, “Reducing isolation in youth facilities.”
McClellan, interview, June 28, 2018.

Pakseresht, “Reducing isolation in youth facilities.”
Jamie McKay, phone interview, May 4, 2018.

Heber Bray, “Reducing isolation in youth facilities: strategies for dealing with your most challenging youth” webinar, Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators,

September 25, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAWDQ5xdci4&t=395s.
186	

Pakseresht, “Reducing isolation in youth facilities.”

188	

McClellan, “Reducing isolation in youth facilities.”

187	
189	
190	
191	

Fuimaono, interview, June 28, 2018.

Oregon Youth Authority, “OYA Budget Narrative,” 2019–2021 Biennium, 6, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/docs/2019-21/2019-21-GBB-OYA.pdf.

Oregon Youth Authority, “Positive Human Development at a Glance,” January 2019, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/docs/glance/AtAGlance-PHD.pdf.

Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, “Toolkit: Positive Youth Development,” April 2017, 9, http://cjca.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/CJCA-Toolkit-final-

doc-Aug.-9-2017.pdf.
192	

Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, “Toolkit: Positive Youth Development,” April 2017, 9-11, http://cjca.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/CJCA-Toolkit-final-

193	

Oregon Youth Authority, “OYA Budget Narrative,” 2019-2021 Biennium, 24, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/docs/2019-21/2019-21-GBB-OYA.pdf.

195	

Oregon Youth Authority Facility Services, “Why Positive Human Development,” http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/PHD-in-Practice-

doc-Aug.-9-2017.pdf.
194	

O’Leary, Thinking Outside the Box.

Graphic.jpg.
196	
197	

O’Leary, Thinking Outside the Box.

Oregon Youth Authority, “Fundamental Practices for Living Units–Moving PHD Into Practice,” January 2018, http://www.stopsolitaryforkids.org/wp-content/

uploads/2019/06/FundamentalPractices-2018.pdf.
198	

Oregon Youth Authority, “OYA Budget Narrative,” 2019-2021 Biennium, 23, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/docs/2019-21/2019-21-GBB-OYA.pdf.

200	

Oregon Youth Authority, “OYA Budget Narrative,” 2019-2021 Biennium, 25, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/docs/2019-21/2019-21-GBB-OYA.pdf.

199	
201	
202	
203	
204	
205	
206	
207	

124
124

Berger, phone interview, May 2, 2018.

McClellan, “Reducing isolation in youth facilities.”
Cozad, phone interview, May 1, 2018.
O’Leary, Thinking Outside the Box.

McClellan, interview, June 28, 2018.
O’Leary, Thinking Outside the Box.
O’Leary, Thinking Outside the Box.

Oregon Youth Authority, Budget Report and Measure Summary SB 5542 A, Joint Committee on Ways and Means, 2017–2019 Biennium, https://Olis.Leg.State.Or.Us/

Endnotes
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

Liz/2017r1/Downloads/Committeemeetingdocument/99485.
208	
209	

O’Leary, Thinking Outside the Box.

Oregon Legislative Information System, “Oregon Youth Authority Use of Isolation Agency Report,” January 2016, https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015I1/Downloads/

CommitteeMeetingDocument/82242.
210	
211	

O’Leary, Thinking Outside the Box.

Senate Bill 82, An Act relating to rules regulating conduct of persons in the custody of the Oregon Youth Authority, 2017 Regular Session, https://olis.leg.state.or.us/

liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB82/Enrolled.
212	

Sarah Radcliffe. “Don’t Look Around: A Window into Inhumane Conditions for Youth at NORCOR.” Disability Rights Oregon, 2017, 12, https://droregon.org/wp-content/

213	

Chris Lehman. “Bill would ban the use of solitary confinement to discipline youth offenders in Oregon,” NW News Network, February 8, 2017, https://www.

214	

Heber Bray, phone interview, May 1, 2018.

216	

Ken Jerin, phone interview, April 27, 2018.

uploads/REPORT-Dont-Look-Around-A-Window-into-Inhumane-Conditions-for-Youth-at-NORCOR-December-5-2017.pdf.
nwnewsnetwork.org/post/bill-would-ban-use-solitary-confinement-discipline-youth-offenders-oregon.
215	
217	

Bray, phone interview, May 1, 2018.

Korey Ramsay, quote from Fariborz Pakseresht and Joe O’Leary, Ways and Means Public Safety Subcommittee presentation, February 2017,

https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/98868.
218	

Berger, phone interview, May 2, 2018.

220	

Oregon Youth Authority Policy II-B-1.2, Use of Time-out, Room-lock Other, Isolation, and Safety Programs in OYA Facilities, 2018, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/policies/

219	

Berger, phone interview, May 2, 2018.

II-B-1.2.pdf.
221	

Jerin, phone interview, April 27, 2018

223	

Oregon Youth Authority, “OYA Budget Narrative,” 2019-2021 Biennium, 12, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/docs/2019-21/2019-21-GBB-OYA.pdf.

222	
224	
225	

Berger, phone interview, May 2, 2018.

Oregon Youth Authority, 2013-15 Biennial Report, July 1, 2015 at 4, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/reports/2013-15%20Biennial%20Report.pdf.

Oregon Youth Authority, “10-Year Strategic Plan for Close Custody Facilities, Section 4, Oregon Youth Authority Existing Facilities Assessment” (Aug. 26, 2014), p. 4-4,

http://bit.ly/oya10yrplan-doc.
226	

Oregon Youth Authority, 2013-15 Biennial Report, July 1, 2015 at 4, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/reports/2013-15%20Biennial%20Report.pdf.

228	

“OYA Budget Narrative,” 12.

227	
229	
230	
231	

Oregon Youth Authority, “10-Year Strategic Plan for Close Custody Facilities, Executive Summary” (Aug. 26, 2014), p. 1-3, http://bit.ly/oya10yrplan-doc.
O’Leary, Thinking Outside the Box.

Oregon Youth Authority, “Letting in the Light,” February 16, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdXbzB8YpT8&feature=youtu.be.
“The New Model for Remanded Youth: Spaces for Hope, Healing & Transformation,” Correctional News, June 27, 2018,

http://correctionalnews.com/2018/06/27/new-model-remanded-youth-spaces-hope-healing-transformation/.
232	

“Planning a Vision Charette,” D.I.Y. Creative Placemaking, http://www.artscapediy.org/Creative-Placemaking-Toolbox/Who-Are-My-Stakeholders-and-How-Do-I-Engage-

233	

“Planning a Vision Charette.”

235	

Heber Bray, “Reducing isolation in youth facilities: strategies for dealing with your most challenging youth” webinar, Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators,

Them/Planning-a-Visioning-Charrette.aspx.
234	

Denessa Martin, phone interview, April 23, 2018.

September 25, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAWDQ5xdci4&t=395s.
236	

Oregon Youth Authority Recruitment video, November 2, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq7VQ7jgki8&feature=youtu.be.

238	

Elizabeth Seigle, Nastassia Walsh, Josh Weber, “Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System Council of

237	

Cozad, phone interview, May 1, 2018.

State Governments Justice Center,” 2014, http://csgjusticecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Core-Principles-for-Reducing-Recidivism-a.nd-Improving-Other-Outcomes-

Endnotes
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

125

for-Youth-in-the-Juvenile-Justice-System.pdf.
239	

Seigle, Walsh, Weber, “Core Principles.”

241	

Oregon Youth Authority, “Juvenile Justice Information System,” https://www.oregon.gov/oya/pages/jjis.aspx.

240	
242	
243	
244	
245	
246	
247	
248	
249	
250	

Seigle, Walsh, Weber, “Core Principles.”
Bray, phone interview, May 1, 2018.

Berger, phone interview, May 2, 2018.
O’Leary, Thinking Outside the Box.

McClellan, interview, June 28, 2018.
Heber Bray, email, June 14, 2019.

Bray, phone interview, May 1, 2018.

OYA 2019-2021 Agency Budget Request, 16.
Bray, phone interview, May 1, 2018.

Erin Fuimaono and Joe O’Leary, “Reducing and preventing the use of isolation,” Oregon Youth Authority, presentation, slide 12, September 30, 2015, https://

apps.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015I1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/80489.
251	

Bray, phone interview, May 1, 2018.

253	

Fariborz Pakseresht and Joe O’Leary, Ways and Means Public Safety Subcommittee presentation, slide 56, February 2017, https://olis.leg.state.or.us/

252	

Bray, phone interview, May 1, 2018.

liz/2017R1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/98868.
254	
255	

Berger, phone interview, May 2, 2018.

Audrey Wieber, “MacLaren takes STEPS to cool young offenders,” Portland Tribune, January 8, 2019, https://pamplinmedia.com/pt/9-news/416398-318881-

maclaren-takes-steps-to-cool-down-young-offenders?wallit_nosession=1.
256	

Berger, phone interview, May 2, 2018.

258	

Oregon Youth Authority Policy II-B-1.2(b) Community Safety Protocol.

257	
259	
260	
261	

Oregon Youth Authority Policy II-B-1.2(1) Individual Safety Plan.
Oregon Youth Authority Policy II-B-1.2, 2018.
O’Leary, Thinking Outside the Box.

Oregon Youth Authority Policy II-B-2.0, Behavior Management–Behavior Incentives and Reinforcing Behavior, 2018, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/policies/

II-B-2.0.pdf.
262	

Oregon Youth Authority Policy II-B-2.1, Behavior Management–Youth Refocus Options, 2018, https://www.oregon.gov/oya/policies/II-B-2.1.pdf.

264	

Ibid.

263	
265	
266	
267	

Pakseresht, letter, December 7, 2015.

Ruth Rovezzi, interview with Jennifer Lutz, July 9, 2018.
Lynn Allen, interview with Jennifer Lutz, July 9, 2018.

Deidra Bridgeforth, interview with Mark Soler, December 12, 2018.

268	

Clint McClellan, “Reducing isolation in youth facilities: strategies and lessons learned from the field” webinar, Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators,

269	

Pakseresht, “Reducing isolation in youth facilities.”

271	

Dan Berger, phone interview, May 2, 2018.

February 13, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpMTYRtXE4A&feature=youtu.be.
270	
272	
273	
274	

McClellan, “Reducing isolation in youth facilities.”

Pakseresht, “Reducing isolation in youth facilities.”
Berger, phone interview, May 2, 2018.

Fariborz Pakseresht and Joe O’Leary, Ways and Means Public Safety Subcommittee presentation, slide 93, February 2017, https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz

/2017R1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/98868.

126
126

Endnotes
Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services

stopsolitaryforkids.org

 

 

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