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National PREA Resource Center (PRC)


Housing youth who are prosecuted and convicted as adults in adult facilities is challenging and creates significant dilemmas for correctional agencies. In particular, should such “youthful inmates” be treated as part of the regular adult population or should these youth be housed in facilities still under the purview of the adult corrections agency but in facilities designated for youth? More narrowly, should youthful inmates who remain in an adult facility be held in separate housing blocks? Or, should youthful inmates in adult correctional facilities be housed in protective custody or solitary confinement for their protection? How should agencies provide required services for youthful inmates—education, recreation, program access, visitation, and medical treatment? What must agencies share publicly and privately if youth are harmed in custody—is a mandatory report required? In order to obtain medical treatment, participate in interviews—is parental consent required, or does conviction in adult criminal court and imprisonment in an adult facility automatically emancipate youth? Or would youthful inmates be best served in juvenile-only facilities until they reach age 21, or even until the age of 25, as is policy in a number of states?