Basic services, 2022

  • Overall

    State operated

  • Detention

    State operated

  • Probation

    State operated

  • Reentry

    State operated

Rhode Island's delinquency services are organized centrally by the Department of Children, Youth, & Families (DCYF) a state family and children services agency. Secure detention, community supervision, commitments to state public facilities, and reentry services for youth leaving state facilities are all administered by DCYF.

Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Corrections agency, 2015

  • Independent juvenile corrections agency

  • Family/child welfare agency or division

  • Broad human services agency

  • Adult corrections agency or division

The Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, & Families (DCYF) administers commitments to state juvenile correctional facilities and reentry services for youth leaving those facilities.

Intake and diversion, 2016

Initial intake and diversion decision is at the discretion of the juvenile court intake officer.

Post-petition court diversion time limit/s exist.

Solitary confinement, 2016

  • Prohibits punitive confinement

  • Limits punitive confinement

  • No limits on punitive confinement

  • Did not respond

Solitary confinement for punitive purposes is allowed in Rhode Island's juvenile correctional facilities. Punitive confinement is allowed for up to 3 days. The juvenile has right to a disciplinary hearing. Pre-hearing confinement may be imposed if the juvenile is deemed to be at risk for harm to himself or others.  (Adapted from 51 Jurisdiction Survey of Juvenile Solitary Confinement Rules in Juvenile Justice Systems, 2016. Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest at Lowenstein Sandler LLP)

Release decision, 2016

  • Agency

  • Court

  • Parole board

  • Agency and court

Release decisions for youth committed to the Department of Children, Youth and Families, Division of Juvenile Services are the responsibility of the committing courts. The Division can recommend release, however by statute the Family Court must give final approval, after a hearing with due notice to the parties. Release approval is based on the best interests of the child and the safety of the public. The SAVRY risk assessment is used to inform release decisions.

Risk assessment, 2020

Organization 2013 2017 2020
Statewide uniform assessment
Layered/regional assessment
Locally administered assessment

In Rhode Island, the Department of Children, Youth and Families' (DCYF) Division of Juvenile Correctional Services is responsible for probation supervision. The (DCYF) has recently transitioned from using the Probation Risk / Needs Assessment to the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY). Information from the SAVRY is used to develop probation case plans and inform probation supervision levels.

Prior to the adoption of the SAVRY, DCYF required the use of the Probation Risk Needs Assessment (PRNA) statewide in juvenile probation.

Sex offender registration, 2015


Risk instruments, 2017

  • Statute or agency policy

    Required by state or administrative regulation

  • Agency recommended

    Recommended by probation oversite agency

Risk instruments tool used
Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY)

Mental health screening, 2014

Requires a research-based mental health screening

  • Secure detention

  • Probation

  • Corrections

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

Rhode Island requires the use of a research based mental health screen at secure detention, correction, and intake to diversion. Additionally, after a youth has been arraigned, a judge may order a youth to receive screening from a specialty unit in the court.

A Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families policy supports the implementation of mental health screening upon intake to the Rhode Island Training School, which provides both secure detention and corrections, and specifically names the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument, 2nd Edition (MAYSI-2). The state currently has grant funding to support the use of the MASYI 2 and provides automation support for administering the screen as well as provides training and technical assistance around its implementation.

Frameworks for evidence-based practices, 2014

  • Statute

    Supporting commitment to EBPs

  • Administrative regulations

    Either in corrections, probation, or the juvenile court

  • Support center

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

  • No stance

    No official stance on EBPs

  • Did not respond

    State did not respond to the survey

Rhode Island supports the proliferation of evidence based programs and practices (EBPs) in juvenile justice through Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) policies. DCYF has a review committee that includes representatives from CYF and the University of Rhode Island that work together to review and select EBPs for Rhode Island. Currently Rhode Island funds the implementation of two EBPs: Parenting with Love and Limits (PLL) and multisystemic therapy (MST).

Training and technical assistance around the implementation of MST is provided by the developers and DCYF provides more general staff training around the use and significance of EBPs.

DCYF has a data and development committee that collects and review service delivery and outcome data from the juvenile justice service providers and works with Yale University to analyze and provide feedback to the providers. 

Recidivism reporting, 2016

Does not publish recidivism consistently over time.

About this project

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

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