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Comprehensive Juvenile Justice System Study

The recommendations that have been presented in this Section require very tight control at the "front end" of the juvenile justice system, which could be realized by implementing an assessment center and utilization of an objective risk assessment instrument. They also require coordination among all of the many agencies that provide services to at risk youth in Lancaster County.

The major assumption underlying all of the recommendations is that not all youth require secure detention, and in order to be consistent with the philosophy of juvenile justice in Lancaster County, community based programs should be expanded. With expanded community based programs and improvements within the service delivery system, fewer secure detention beds will be needed in the future than would be the case if community based programs were not expanded and the juvenile justice service delivery system is not enhanced.

The next step in the development of the County's comprehensive juvenile justice planning strategy is to develop cost effective options to meet the needs that have been identified in this report, based on approval and consensus on which recommendations should be implemented within the County. In addition to costing out all of the selected recommendations, the next phase of the planning process would involve detailed analysis of the facility recommendations, including the development of a facility operational and architectural program.

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