Juvenile Justice Use of Force Continuum

Resource Date
Dec 2023

Juvenile justice leaders, facility administrators, and staff are responsible for the proper and safe supervision of youth, establishing clear rules and expectations that are fairly and consistently enforced, offering programs and services that meet youths’ needs, and creating a nurturing and supportive environment in which youth can thrive. When staff are trained to reinforce prosocial behaviors and assist youth in de-escalating potentially volatile situations, safety is enhanced. The following guidelines are designed to assist juvenile justice administrators in establishing policies, procedures, and practices that help create a safe environment for youth and staff. The intent of these guidelines is to provide guidance and evoke discussion within jurisdictions regarding existing practices and alignment with research-supported practices. Jurisdictions should consider these guidelines in the context of their unique juvenile justice system structure, state and local mandates, risk tolerance level, and other individual needs.