Resident Handbook (Online version)

Introduction
This information has been prepared to help you understand the operations of the Detention Center. It will help you to know what to expect and what is expected of you during your stay at the Center. Read it carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear to you.

The rules and regulations contained in this booklet do not cover all situations that may arise, but rather serve as a basic guide for your conduct and Detention Center procedures. These Rules and Regulations are subject to change and these changes will be posted inside the Center.

Philosophy
The Juvenile Detention facility provides short-term care in secure custody as well as basic rehabilitative services to those juveniles placed here under the provisions of New Jersey statutes.

In addition there is an attempt to change the juvenile’s behavior through the establishment of a therapeutic environment founded on behavior therapies.

Clear, concrete, realistic behavioral rules are therefore established to develop:
  • an awareness of the consequences of personal actions,
  • desirable behavioral alternatives,
  • self control skills, and
  • a sense of personal responsibility
What is expected of you:
  • Respect the rights of other residents
  • Have respect for the staff
  • Treat the buildings and equipment properly
  • Keep your room clean, neat, and orderly
  • Maintain your personal hygiene
  • Take part in all required activities
  • Follow the directions of the staff.

Classification unit
Upon admission to the facility, residents are assigned to the Classification Unit and will remain there for a minimum of 5 days to complete educational testing, Social Service Intake, and orientation to facility rules and procedures.

In this unit, resident behavior will be monitored using the point system.

Once the orientation process is completed, combined with acceptable behavior, new residents may be placed directly into a housing pod or following a housing unit, pending space availability. Once placed into a housing unit, residents may lose this privilege for failure to follow facility rules and procedures and be reassigned to the Classification Unit, where they will undergo a reorientation process focusing on social skills and anger management.

While reassigned to Classification, residents will be expected to participate in any assigned work details, as well as all assigned classes and counseling.

Classification Unit privileges are as follows:
  • 2 visit per week from parent or guardian
  • 1 collect phone call per week
  • 3 letters and envelops per week

Visits
Visiting hours are scheduled for weekend days (Saturday and Sunday).

One weekday evening (Wednesday) is scheduled for Special Visits for residents on Honors Level.

Middlers Level residents may receive a Special Visit after 30 days subject to approval by Social Services.

Hours are posted according to housing unit and room assignment.

Only parents and or guardians are allowed to visit. Any exceptions for visiting must be requested by the resident in writing, submitted to Social Services for approval.

Professionals such as Lawyers, Social Workers, DYFS Workers, Probation Officers, Clergy, etc. may visit daily from 9 AM to 4 PM and are not counted as a visit.

Telephone calls
Only outgoing collect calls are allowed. Residents on Middler Level are allowed two (2) calls per week on Tuesday and Friday evenings. Each call can be seven (7) minutes long. Residents on Honors Level can make earned calls any night.

Calls to professionals such as Lawyers, DYFS workers, Probation Officers, etc. are requested in writing to Social Services.

Mail
You are permitted to receive and send letters while you are at this facility. Envelopes and paper are provided by the facility. Incoming mail is distributed daily. All incoming mail is opened in your presence in order to remove any money or other items not permitted while in residence. All money will be counted, logged, and placed in your personal property envelopes.

Clothing and personal property
All residents are issued facility clothing and grooming supplies upon admission. All personal property (money, jewelry, etc.) is placed in a personal property envelope and either given to parents and/or guardians at their first visit or returned to you upon discharge.

Additional grooming aids may be supplied by parents/guardians to those residents on Middler or Honors Level. These aids must be non-aerosol, and/or clear plastic containers. Sneakers are the only approved footwear to be worn in the facility. Togs will be provided upon admission to those residents not having sneakers.

Medical services
You will be given a complete physical examination upon your admission to the Center.

A Doctor and/or nurse will be available daily.

Any resident wishing to see the Doctor or Nurse must make the request to the Shift Supervisor through a Detention Officer.

Residents are not permitted to have or use medication unless it has been authorized or prescribed by the Center’s Doctor.

You will also receive a dental screening after your admission. Emergency dental services will be provided as needed.

Social services
The Social Service staff are here to help you solve problems and to provide counseling and support. Residents who wish to see the Social Service staff must make the request through the Detention Officer staff on a written request form.

Recreation
A minimum of one (1) hour of outdoor activity is scheduled daily throughout the year - weather permitting. A weight training program and other indoor and/or outdoor activities are also available.

Smoking
State Law does not permit smoking by residents in the facility.

Discipline
Discipline is necessary, not only to maintain control and security, but also to provide a safe, sound, and civilized environment. Cruel and humiliating punishment is NOT allowed.

All privileges are based upon a positive behavior system. Your cooperative behavior throughout the day will earn you the necessary points to receive all available privileges.

Uncooperative behavior will prevent you from earning the points necessary to receive the available privileges. The less points you earn the less privileges you receive.

There are two (2) types of uncooperative behavior that you must be aware of - Minor offenses and Serious offenses.

  • Minor Offenses: The following offenses are not all inclusive. The sanctions specified are the minimum imposed. The circumstances of the offense may increase its seriousness thus requiring a more serious sanction or sanctions. All minor offenses require a loss of one (1) point.
    • Failure to follow proper room order
    • Littering
    • Out of assigned area
    • Non-participation in a program activity
    • Horseplay
    • Disrespect
    • Offensive Language
    • Aggravating or harassing others
    • Malingering
    • Minor Contraband
    • Refusing Room Placement
    • Intimidation
  • Serious Offenses: All serious offenses will result in the resident losing four (4) points on the day of the offense and referral to the Behavior Review Board. Residents may continue to gain or lose points during the day that they have early bed. It is thus possible for a resident to earn ten (10) points on an early bed day. All points lost on the days of early bed will be recorded on the Residents Behavior Record.
    • Sexual contact
    • Tampering with security and/or fire alarm systems
    • Resisting room placement
    • Conspiring to escape
    • Theft
    • Fighting
    • Improper Behavior
    • Threatening
    • Disobeying a direct order
    • Possession of major contraband
    • Engaging in or encouraging a group demonstration
    • Disruptive behavior at Court
    • Abusive Behavior
    • Assault
    • Escape or attempted escape
    • Arson or attempted arson
    • Destruction of property/graffiti
    • Lewdness

Level system
  • Classification Level
    • Upon admission or demotion back to Classification Level the resident will be required to earn 5 consecutive 10’s to be advanced to the Middler Level and the Pods.
    • Bedtime (lights out) 2000 hours (early beds based on a half-hour deduction per point from the designated shower time)
    • 1 phone call per week on Tuesdays
    • Residents will be returned to the Classification level if they receive 5 points or a major infraction while they are on the Middler Level.
  • Middler Level (Mid-Level)
    • Upon reaching the Middle Level the resident will be required to earn 14 consecutive 10s in order to advance to the Honors Level.
    • Bedtime 2200 hours (early beds based on a point loss will require that residents will remain in their room after showers. On Sunday Movie night this level can stay up until the end of the movie).
    • 2 phone calls per week on Tuesday and Friday nights
    • 1 special visit per month approved by Social Services after 30 days in Detention.
    • Hot Chocolate with hot breakfasts.
  • Honors level
    • Upon reaching the Honors Level the resident will maintain this status until he receives a major infraction or loses 3 points within a 30-day period. Some of the privileges received on this Level are mentioned below. The full list of privileges will be posted in the Housing Units.
    • Bedtime 2255 hours.
    • 1 phone call daily at night.
    • On weekends an additional phone call can be made during the day between 1000 and 1430 hours.
    • 1 Special visit per week on Wednesday nights.
    • Hot Chocolate with hot breakfasts.
    • Ice cream with Saturday lunches.

Behavior review board
This Board shall consist minimally of one (1) Social Services staff member, and a Shift Supervisor or OIC.

The Board shall review all serious rule infractions by residents, all referred rule infractions, and the resulting disciplinary measures.

The Board shall convene within 24 hours, including weekends and holidays, after it has been notified by the Shift Supervisor unless such hearing is prevented by exceptional circumstances, unavoidable delays, or reasonable postponements.

The Board can curtail, modify, or add to any disciplinary measure already imposed depending on the facts of the incident.

All decisions are reviewed by the Chief/Assistant Chief of Custody for appropriateness and fairness.

Grievance procedures
You can grieve the conditions, rules, and treatment by the staff.

You CANNOT grieve Court decisions and policies, agencies outside the Detention Center, disciplinary decisions, Probation decisions, and Legislative actions that affect the Detention Center

Education
The purpose of the Detention Center School is to provide an individual ized educational program to residents of the institution aimed at providing for the cognitive and developmental needs of each resident in compliance with all applicable rules, regulations and provisions of the New Jersey Educational Act of 1975 (NJSA 18:1 et seq.).

This will enable each resident to return to his/her district school upon discharge from the Ocean County Detention Center and continue where he/she left off academically.

Each resident’s educational skills, interest and talents are assessed and an individualized program will be developed.

Educational goals
  • To rehabilitate educationally disadvantaged students so that that they return to their home school upon discharge.
  • To develop the students’ communicational skills to their fullest.
  • To develop the students’ computational skills to their fullest potential.
  • To motivate educationally disadvantaged students to remain in school.
  • To provide the educationally disadvantaged student with a chance to experience success

Program requirements
English, Social Studies, Science, Math, and Physical education are taught during the academic year, which is a minimum of 220 days.

Progress Reports : The progress reports will reflect improvements and satisfactory adjustments. The reports are forwarded to the residents’ school district for credit.

Sanitation and hygiene
  • You are responsible for the daily cleaning and neat appearance of your room.
  • You will also be assigned specific cleaning duties to other common areas of the Center during general and weekly cleanup times.
  • You are expected to shower daily during scheduled shower times and to maintain a clean and neat appearance while at the Center.

Discharge
You cannot be released from the Detention Center without the approval of the Family Court Judge.