Basic services, 2017

  • Overall

    State operated

  • Detention

    State operated

  • Probation

    State operated

  • Reentry

    State operated

Utah's delinquency services are organized at both the state and local level.

Community supervision is administered by the Utah State Juvenile Court across eight judicial districts.

The Division of Juvenile Justice Services, within the Department of Human Services, a state level human services agency, administers secure detention, commitments to state facilities, and reentry services for those youth leaving those facilities.

Corrections agency, 2015

  • Independent juvenile corrections agency

  • Family/child welfare agency or division

  • Broad human services agency

  • Adult corrections agency or division

The Division of Juvenile Justice Services (JJS), within the Utah Department of Human Services administers commitments to state juvenile correctional facilities and reentry services for youth leaving those facilities.

Solitary confinement, 2016

  • Prohibits punitive confinement

  • Limits punitive confinement

  • No limits on punitive confinement

  • Did not respond

Solitary confinement for punitive purposes is not allowed in Utah's juvenile correctional facilities. Confinement for non-punitive reasons exceeding 1 hour requires supervisory approval and if more than 3 hours, requires authorization from facility Director or designee. The youth is to be released from confinement once they have demonstrated a sufficient level of self control.  (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 Division of Juvenile Services are the responsibility of the Youth Parole Authority (YPR), which also determines the length of commitment. Release decisions are highly structured in Utah through a series of YPR administrative hearings and procedures. Risk and Needs Assessments are used throughout the process, and youth are reassessed by staff every 90 days. The court is notified of the original length of stay, but not of the release.

Risk assessment, 2017

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

In Utah, juvenile probation officers are employed by the State Juvenile Court and work in district offices. The use of risk/needs assessments are integrated into training for probation officers and codified in state and probation policies. Utah uses the Pre Screen Risk Assessment (PSRA) and the Protective and Risk Assessment (PRA) statewide.

Information from these assessments is used to guide diversion from formal process decisions and informal adjustment planning, develop/inform pre-disposition investigation reports and/or planning, develop probation disposition recommendations to the juvenile court, assign probation supervision level, and develop probation case plans. Probation also uses the risk/needs assessment data to match juveniles to appropriate interventions.

Aggregated data is used to validate the risk/needs assessments, to assist probation managers in supervision and planning, and to inform ongoing policy and organizational needs.

Risk instruments, 2017

  • Statute or agency policy

    Required by state or administrative regulation

  • Agency recommended

    Recommended by probation oversite agency

Risk instruments tool used
Protective and Risk Assessment

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)

Utah requires the use of a research-based mental health screening tool for all residential facilities including detention and corrections.  A policy from the Department of Human Services Division of Juvenile Justice Services supports the implementation of mental health screening, and the names specific instruments, the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument, 2nd Edition (MAYSI-2) and the Suicide Probability Scale as the instruments of choice.

Probation settings administer a risk and needs assessment that includes a section for mental health, rather than a screening tool.

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

Utah supports the proliferation of evidence-based programs and practices (EBPs) in juvenile justice through funding only those programs and practices that are considered by the state of Utah to be considered evidence based. Utah's commitment to EBPs is evident in their policies and practices and the Utah Juvenile Court Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) Website.

The Utah Board of Juvenile Justice, part of the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, partners with University of Utah and serves as a resource center to advance the use of evidence based programming in Utah through projects that provide program evaluations and training and technical assistance around implementing quality improvement processes in various juvenile justice settings.

Utah collects outcome data from its juvenile justice service providers but that data is not currently publicly available. The Utah Yellow Pages for Youth serves as a directory of programs available for at delinquent or at-risk youth.

Recidivism reporting, 2016

Study populations

The group(s) of youth being studied in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Re-offense events

Events that are used to measure recidivism in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Follow-up periods

Details regarding the length of time and frequency that youth are tracked in states that publicly report recidivism data.

12 months

Details

Additional levels of analysis provided in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • County

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Race/ethn.

  • Risk level

  • Initial offense

  • Re-offense

  • Prior history

Utah publishes recidivism data in two sources. The Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services (DJJS), Research and Evaluation reports success rates as opposed to recidivism rates for youth served by DJJS. This includes youth in community based programs, residential programs, and juvenile corrections. Success is measured by remaining free of charges during the program as well as during a follow up period after release.  The Utah State Courts published a Juvenile Court Report Card to the Community which includes re-offense data for youth adjudicated for a felony or misdemeanor offense. Recidivism was defined as a new felony-level or misdemeanor-level finding, or admission of guilt, within one year of the original adjudication date.

Data sources

Division of Juvenile Justice Services 2014 Annual Report
Division of Juvenile Justice Services, Research and Evaluation
Juvenile Court Report Card to the Community 2015
Utah State Courts

Progressive recidivism data

The Utah Division of Juvenile Services publishes an annual report which includes performance measures for the various delinquency services provided by the Division. The report includes performance measures for diversion and work program populations as well as youth in residential programs. Utah’s report is unique in that it is one of a few examples of reports which present a success rate, or a measure of youth who did not reoffend, both during and after completion of a program or service.

Youth placed in secure facilities

Youth placed in secure facilities

Report excerpt, 2015 Division of Juvenile Services Annual Report (p. 70).

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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