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Juvenile Intake and Assessment

by cpitts — last modified Feb 03, 2022 01:11 PM
The Kansas Department of Corrections – Juvenile Services (KDOC-JS) establishes operational standards for use by administrative counties for the operation of their local intake and assessment programs.

County-operated juvenile intake and assessment programs or systems (JIAS) are established in KSA 75-7023 and are to operate in all 31 judicial districts throughout Kansas to provide intake evaluations (screenings and assessments) for alleged juvenile offenders and children in need of care who are taken into custody by local law enforcement agencies. These local JIAS operate on a twenty-four hour a day, seven-day week basis to assist law enforcement by assessing the youth's needs after they are taken into police custody (See KSA 38-2232, KSA 38-2330 and KSA 75-7023). Custody of the youth is not transferred to JIAS during the assessment process.

The Kansas Department of Corrections – Juvenile Services (KDOC-JS) establishes operational standards for use by administrative counties for the operation of their local intake and assessment programs. Administrative contacts must use these standards to develop their local policies and procedures that direct the actions of their local employees for the intake and assessment process. These standards are the minimum standards that are intended to help guide the development of the local agency's policy and procedure manuals.

Some of the primary functions of a locally-operated JIAS include, but are not limited to:

24-Hour service Availability – The JIAS shall provide intake and assessment services 24-hours per day, 365 days per year.  Each Board of County Commissioners, local Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board and local law enforcement agencies authorize how these services are provided; whether by locally staffed facility, an on-call system, notice to appear process or other local process. At a minimum, 24-hour services must include who to contact (local name and or office) and how to contact the local JIAS for questions or assistance during the regular workday, after business hours, on weekends, and during holidays for regular or emergency situations.

Reaction and Response Time – Local JIAS staff shall respond to law enforcement upon their request within ten (10) minutes of notification.  The intake worker and law enforcement officer shall confer and determine whether an immediate assessment is required. If determined an immediate assessment is required, the assessment should commence by the local JIAS staff within thirty (30) minutes of the conversation.

County Operated - Because JIAS are operated by the local county and are staffed by county employees, different operations models are utilized based on the county organization and use of local staff and resources. In the more populated counties they typically operate JIAS as a facility that is staffed continuously. In counties where a juvenile detention center is located it is common to operate JIAS in conjunction with their facility that is staffed continuously and cross-train juvenile detention staff. However, most local JIAS operations across Kansas are staffed using an office that is staffed during regular business hours and/or evenings and use on-call juvenile intake workers in evenings, overnight hours, weekends and holidays etc. Having local staff that have skill sets to work with youth and their families that may be vulnerable, upset or angry is a necessity. For that reason, a number of counties have cross-trained staff that have experience and expertise with this population and within these areas.

Screenings and Assessments - The screenings and assessments provided at the local JIAS help determine what community-based services may be appropriate for the youth and family in that area as well as help determine if the youth can be returned home or if placement is appropriate pending a subsequent court hearing. Local JIAS staff collect the following information through an interview process:

  • Criminal history (to include indications of criminal gang involvement)
  • Abuse history
  • Substance abuse history
  • History of prior community services used or treatments provided
  • Educational history 
  • Medical history
  • Family history

In addition, standardized screenings and assessments utilized in local JIAS include:

  • Kansas Detention Assessment Instrument (KDAI) – The KDAI is administered to all detention eligible youth by the local JIAS to help determine the need for confinement based on Public Safety Risk or Failure to Appear.
  • Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument – Second Version (MAYSI-2) – The MAYSI-2 is a mental health screening tool administered to youth 12 and older by the local JIAS to determine if there are immediate behavioral health needs.

Release from Intake and Assessment - One of the primary tasks of the administrative county juvenile intake worker is to support law enforcement in providing the best and most appropriate option for the immediate placement of the youth. Pursuant to K.S.A. 75-7023 and K.S.A. 38-2331, local juvenile intake workers shall use the records, reports and information obtained in the intake process to make a release determination. Working with their local law enforcement and child welfare agency partners is critical in their ability to best carry out this role. 

Referrals from Intake and Assessment - Another critical task for the administrative county juvenile intake worker is to ensure that each youth processed through the local JIAS shall have their case referred to the local Immediate Intervention Program, the county/district attorney, or the Department for Children and Family Services. Additionally, youth and families will be referred for services within the community as appropriate to address identified areas of concerns. The primary functions of local juvenile intake are established in KSA 75-7023. Again, working with their local law enforcement and local child welfare agency partners is critical in their ability to best carry out this role as well as having a good relationship and working knowledge of community resources that are available to provide needed support to a youth and/or their family.   

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