Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Juvenile Court Program


Administration and Reception Center

The Juvenile Reception Center (JRC) is the point of referral for juveniles alleged to have committed a crime for whom the law enforcement agency apprehending the juvenile is unable to release the juvenile to a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult and/or in situations in which the law enforcement officer believes the juvenile should be referred due to the need for immediate court intervention and/or secure custody.  JRC also provides a number of other services related to the physical custody of juveniles and coordinating information with the courts, human services, and law enforcement.  JRC is staffed with at least one Juvenile Court Counselor 24-hours/day.

Juvenile Detention Center

The Juvenile Detention Center’s mission is to provide a physically and emotionally safe and secure environment for juveniles placed temporarily by the court and to provide them with the opportunity to learn new skills that will enable them to contribute to the community when they leave.  The Detention Center has a capacity of 24 juveniles and is located on the 2nd floor of the City-County Building.  Juveniles are held in Detention primarily because: (1) There is reason to believe that if released they would cause harm to other persons, (2) There is reason to believe that if released they would be unavailable for further court proceedings, and (3) They have been found to be in violation of a valid court order and rules of supervision.  There is no time limit and the majority of juveniles (approx. 75%) are held in Detention primarily while their court process and disposition is pending.  The program operates 24-hours/day.

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The Shelter Home

The Shelter Home provides non-secure (unlocked) residential services for juveniles who may need a place to stay pending further court action but for whom placement in a secure setting (Detention) is not necessary or legal.  The Shelter Home provides for placement of up to 8 boys and 8 girls who are involved in the Delinquency or CHIPS systems and is located at 2402 Atwood Ave.  Most juveniles may stay at the Shelter Home for up to 60 days.  Juveniles may also be placed at Shelter Home on an emergency basis if they are in between placements and also if Briarpatch does not have an overnight placement for a juvenile.  The program operates 24-hours/day.

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Home Detention Program

The Home Detention Program is an alternative to detention or non-secure placement of youth.  There is no time limit, though their involvement will depend on the court status of the juvenile.  Community Youth Workers assist the parent(s) in providing adequate supervision and monitoring of juveniles, the program:

  • Reduces the need for the placement of juveniles in detention or non-secure placements pending court disposition.
  • Assists both the parents and juvenile in resolving conflicts that might otherwise lead to further problem behavior.
  • Provides information to the court about the ability of the juvenile and family to maintain a safe and supervised plan that would enable the juvenile to remain at home at the time of court disposition.

In more recent years, the Home Detention Program has been able to "bridge" the gap between pre-disposition situations and the implementation of longer-term supervision and support services by providing a Community Youth Worker to help maintain the situation at home pending services being in place.