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Juveniled Justice System Structure & Process
JJDPA Core Requirements
Q: How do state statutes align with the JJDPA core requirement of sight and sound separation?
A: Most states (33) and the District of Columbia have explicit language in statute that requires that juveniles being securely detained must be "sight and sound" separated from adult inmates.

Sight and sound separation, 2012

State Sight and sound separation
required by statute
Sight and sound separation
explicitly not required
for transferred youth
Juveniles may not be
confined in a facility that
also confines adult inmates*

Number of states 34 8 6

Alabama X
Alaska X
Arizona X

Arkansas X
California X
Colorado X

Connecticut X
District of Columbia X

Florida X
Hawaii X

Illinois X
Indiana X

Iowa X X
Kansas X
Kentucky X X

Louisiana X
Maine X X
Maryland X

Massachusetts X
Michigan X X
Minnesota X

Missouri X
Montana X

Nebraska X X
New Hampshire X

New Jersey
New Mexico
New York

North Carolina
North Dakota X
Ohio X

Oklahoma X
Oregon X
Pennsylvania X

Rhode Island X
South Carolina X
South Dakota X

Tennessee X
Texas X
Utah X

Virginia X X
Washington X

West Virginia X
Wisconsin X X
Wyoming X

Notes: An "X" in a column denotes that the sight and sound separation is explicitly addressed in statute. States that do not have an "X" may have practices that are aligned with the JJDPA; however these practices are not explicitly stated in statute.

* The separation requirement applies in all secure facilities, including juvenile detention and correctional facilities. Many states have separation violations as a result of adult inmate trustee labor that is used at juvenile correctional centers. Some states also accrue separation violations as a result of “Scared Straight” programs that bring diverted youth to adult facilities for tours and other programming.

  • The JJDPA states that a juvenile being securely detained should not have sight or sound contact with adult inmates. This means that they may not be detained in any situation where there is a possibility of seeing or interacting with adult inmates (or adult inmate trustees).
  • Six (6) states have language in their statues that never allows a juvenile to be detained or confined in an adult jail or lockup, so the sight and sound requirement is a not applicable. Eight (8) states have explicit language in statue that states that sight and sound separation is not required for transferred youth.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/structure_process/qa04306.asp?qaDate=2012. Released on February 25, 2014.

Developed for the State Training and Technical Assistance Center by the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ), with funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The following NCJJ staff contributed to this state profile: Sean Addie, Teri Deal, Kathy Firestine, Anne Fromknecht, Hunter Hurst, Anne Rackow, Crystal Robson, Lauren Vessels, and Andrew Wachter.


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