People are often confused with the role of DYS | MassCops

People are often confused with the role of DYS

Discussion in 'Juvenile Corrections' started by 13BW, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. 13BW

    13BW MassCops Member

    The below post was taken from the corrections field in the Parole Office Exam Thread. It is some conversation around the role of DYS. I thought it may get better feed back over here. Curious to get response from actuall DYS Caseworkers.

    Originally Posted by Varanus224
    I work in the Juvenille System and mostly i believe when realeased the kids sign a grant of conditional liberty saying they mess up they come back again... i beleive it then goes to whatever PROBATION dept within the juvenilles county and probation would aprhend on the report of the DYS case worker. In our great commonwealth many of the case workers positions are outsourced to private agencies and the caseworker position is more of a social worker postion. The way the DYS system works virtually cuts out the need for P.O.'s. Your either dtained temporarily up until court or committed untill 18. Very few cases fall in the middle. Another great move in this state is to make a juvenille criminal offender DSS's problem and sadly you see alot of cases that should be forensic status being handled at a clinical/welfare level by DSS all and all not a pretty system and its lack of teeth is the reason were seing the flux in juvie crime

    After looking into this more, it seems as though your info is only partly right. When a kid is "committed" to DYS, they are in the physical custody of DYS (parents still have legal custody) until the age of either 18 or 21 (21 if indicted as a youthful offender). The day the court commits them they are sent off to an assessment unit to be classified. Once classified they are sent to a DYS facility (some secure, some non-secure) to complete their sentences. After the time assignment is completed the juvenile is then paroled and supervised by the DYS Caseworker (who is the juvenile equivalent of a parole officer). The kids release is conditional and therefore they must sign the Grant of Conditional Liberty. If these conditions are violated, it is the DYS Caseworkers job to issue a warrant and bring them into custody. They are brought in for a parole revocation hearing and then sent back to a facility for a period of time depending on the violation.

    Just to be clear, once committed to DYS the Probation Dept. has nothing to do with the case. Ownership is directly on is as if the DOC and Parole Board merged, but for juveniles. In regards to DSS, they may be involved with a kid who is in DYS custody (because his/her parents are useless), but DYS handles the law enforcement side, and DSS would do the social work stuff. And you are right about the contracting with private agencies, but that is mainly to operate the treatment programs and do tracking services in the community. All Caseworkers are state employees.

    I might re-post this in the Juvenile Corrections Thread, as it makes sense for other DYS employees to way in on the subject.
  2. Varanus224

    Varanus224 MassCops Member

    good explanation but, if i maybe mistaken but probation does have something to do with the GOCL (grant of conditional liberty). And the DSS side theres always the game of sending a juvenille around to residential treatment before DYS and then vice versa the two agencies altghough serve very different functions service the same pool., but your right function wise they serve different purposes my comment was more or less to point out the service the same pool
  3. 13BW

    13BW MassCops Member

    Yea, I'd bet alot of DSS kids end up in DYS because they usually have pretty screwed up childhoods. In regards to the GCL and probation depts...I really don't see how a PO would have anything to do with a DYS kid, unless they pick up a new offence after commitment and get probation for it...but in that case the PO would be enforcing the Conditions of Probation, not the DYS GCL.
  4. Varanus224

    Varanus224 MassCops Member

    yea i wish I had a definitive answer on the gcl although im pretty sure the caseworker does not actually apprhend. About DSS yea thats true the offical statistics is something like 55% will end up in DYS custody out of DSS, plus it seems a long standing tradition to keep juvenille offenders before the age of 12 in DSS care, sans drug issues, all in all not a fun system
  5. New Hire

    New Hire MassCops Member

    I just spent the last 8 1/2 years working within DYS, the last 2 of which were served in an administrative capacity....

    The caseworker is responsible for the "aftercare" of the juvenile once he/she leaves their program. They need to keep track of whether or not the kid is reporting to their assigned groups, staying drug free (urine tests) and complying with all the stipulations of their GCL. Should the juvenile decide to go the opposite direction, the CW will send the kid back to lock-up, mostly for a couple weeks, just to remind him/her that it is possible for them to go back to a facility.

    Does it work? For the most part, no. Throughout all the time I spent with DYS there were some kids I had 5 or 6 times over a 3 to 4 year period....

    There are times when the caseworker "assists" the AWOL officer (apprehension officer) in tracking down the kid who has broken their GCL. It doesn't happen that often but there were quite a few instances where I was accepting kids on my unit (who were picked up on a warrant) who were accompanied by both their CW and the AWOL officer....or just dropped off by the DYS transporters...

    Sometimes the CW manager (supervisor for CW's in a certain region) would bring kids in as well, as they may have checked into their CRC (community reporting center) to find out there was a warrant issued due to their non-compliance with the GCL they signed off on....not realy an easier apprehension than that....

    As for DSS involvement, there is a substantial number of kids, both boys and girls, who are involved with both departments. Remember, there are a TON of kids in lock-up/treatment facilities, so the likelihood of them being involved with both departments is pretty good.

    All told, it's a sad state of matter how you cut it...
  6. 13BW

    13BW MassCops Member

    Yea, it sounds like the DYS kids with warrants can come into custody by:
    1. Local PD's
    2. DYS Apprehension Officers
    3. DYS Caseworkers (if the kid is at their office)
    4. A combo of all 3

    New are the DYS jobs?
  7. New Hire

    New Hire MassCops Member

    Well, the jobs can be considered a "stepping stone" for someone who might want to further their career in Law Enforcement. A lot of people I worked with over the years went on to become police officers, corrections officers, probation officers and I was lucky enough to end up as a court officer.

    The entry level pay is paltry, at best. However, because there's such a large turnover, there is always room for advancement...especially if you're willing to take a promotion in another region.

    I left as a Groupworker III, or a Shift Administrator, on the 7-3 shift with Friday/Saturday off. I was the person in charge of the day to day operation of the unit. There's always a TON of overtime, so there's money to be made.

    In the end, I had just about enough of the needy kids who generally assume NO responsibilty for their actions, both in lock-up and in the community...
  8. Varanus224

    Varanus224 MassCops Member

    Nicely said
  9. southwick34

    southwick34 MassCops Member

    New Hire Congrats on the Court Officers Job! I too spent over 5 years working in a Residential treatment Program. I am now in the Campus Police Arena. I only wish DYS was under Public Safety instead of EOHHS. I believe that the General Public needs to be educated as to what DYS is and it's abilities and lack there of. I think the Juvenile Corrections Thread on Masscops is a good start! -Southwick34
  10. New Hire

    New Hire MassCops Member

    Thanks for the congrats! It's been a loooong time coming....

    Yup, got hired in '97 for a treatment program that opened Feb. of '98...stayed there until '01 and got promoted to a Supervisor for an assessment program that opened one floor below me...then, in late '04, I became a Shift Administrator and served in that position until leaving for the Trial Court last month.

    I remember back in 1998 where there was legislation filed to group DYS under the umbrella of Public Safety...needless to say, 8 years later, they're still waiting....

    I will say this much: people's perception of DYS is that it's pretty much a joke. They think "well, they're only kids". To some degree, I can relate with what their outlook might be and totally understand why they might think that way...

    However, I wonder if their perception might change a little when 15 of the 20 kids on the unit decide they're going to take over the unit and you only have 3 other support disturbances, without a working Nextel aren't too much fun...

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