Even though extensive literature on juvenile justice exists, best practices are difficult to define (Elliot, 1998). The purpose of this Bulletin is not to prescribe a specific best practice. Rather, it seeks to identify resources (especially knowledge, principles, and people) that can inform practitioners, policymakers, and the public in their quest to develop and implement best practices in the areas of juvenile facility construction, operations, and staff training. This is really a search for "best knowledge"; once this knowledge is located, best practice is not far behind.

It is often easier to ascertain best practices in the area of construction because the physical structures that result are available for a wide array of examination and analysis. This is not always the case when searching for best practices in the areas of operations and staff training. In these areas, the search for models and examples of best practice is most productive when it begins with people as opposed to places. Best practice is found through best practitioners.

There has never been a better time to acquire knowledge from practitioners. The expansion of juvenile justice has brought many new and talented people into the field. Communication technologies are also better than ever. Professional organizations (including the Alliance for Juvenile Justice, the American Correctional Association, the American Probation and Parole Association, the Council of Juvenile Corrections Administrators, the Juvenile Justice Trainers Association, the National Association of Juvenile Correctional Agencies, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the National Juvenile Court Services Association, and the National Juvenile Detention Association) offer access to abundant information, resources, and personal contacts. The excuses for not knowing are rapidly disappearing.


Construction, Operations, and Staff Training for Juvenile Confinement Facilities JAIBG Bulletin   ·  December 1999