The function of Detention is to provide temporary care for youth requiring secure custody pending court study and disposition, or pending transfer to another jurisdiction or agency. Detained youth are ones whose offenses are so serious that release would endanger public safety or the welfare of the child.
The Berrien County Juvenile Center (BCJC) has two detention programs: Secure Detention and Alternative Detention.
The Secure Detention Unit has a co-ed capacity of 16 beds and is physically secure. This means that all the doors and windows meet high security standards and are locked. The Secure Detention Unit and everyone in it are subject to continuous video monitoring and intensive staff supervision.
The Alternative Detention Program is an 8 bed, staff-secured unit located on the Residential Treatment wing of the building. These programs serve primarily as a temporary holding unit for youth that have been apprehended by law enforcement agencies and petitioned to Juvenile Court for committing criminal offenses.
Each detained youth has a preliminary hearing within twenty-four hours. At an adjudication hearing, the case is disposed of, or the youth is adjudicated delinquent. If adjudicated delinquent, he/she may be released and placed on probation, placed in a foster home, be committed to the Residential Treatment and Family Services Program of the Berrien County Juvenile Center, be committed to the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) for placement in one of their programs, or placed in a private residential facility.
Court Hearings held at the BCJC will proceed with Secure Detention youth having no contact with parents/guardians or relatives prior to or after their hearing. Secure Detention youth are required to be placed in mechanical restraints (handcuffs and shackles) during the proceedings and while being transported to and from their Court Hearing.