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Introduction

by Karyl-Ann Roehl last modified Feb 29, 2016 03:55 PM


Evidence-based practices suggest engaging with families early on in the process and maintaining consistent communication with them throughout the youth’s involvement in the juvenile justice process. Family engagement should begin at the first decision point and continue until the conclusion of the case. KDOC Juvenile Services is preparing a plan for enhancing youth and family’s communication by implementing a Polycom Webcam system in Kansas. Our goals are to:

  • Encourage more contact between incarcerated youth and their supportive family members while also emphasizing safety and security as necessary;
  • Enhance interdisciplinary case management teams to include case managers at the facility and/or provider, behavioral health services, education, social services, family members and community supervision officers;
  • Use webcams to encourage and/or increase participation by family members in the case management and pre-release process; and,
  • Enhance communication between incarcerated youth and supportive family members who are unable to visit the facility.


The juvenile correctional facilities will each receive one Polycom judicial unit to assist with enhancing meaningful family connections between internal and external service providers, family members, and incarcerated youth. A webcam will be installed in each of the 31 judicial districts in order to encourage contact between service providers, parents and youth who are placed either at the JCF or in one of the YRC IIs across the state. 

The use of webcams and Polycom judicial carts is not intended to eliminate telephone or face-to-face visits between justice-involved youth and their families. The system may assist families and service providers to safely and cost effectively work more closely together during the reintegration process. Implementation of webcams as a means of communication will assist families for whom travel across the state is not possible. The use of webcams allows service providers and families to engage with incarcerated youth so a relationship is maintained. They can also assist in organizing the transition from incarceration to the post-custodial stage of discharge planning and re-entry.

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