Code of the District of Columbia

§ 2–1515.04. Duties.

The primary duties of the offices of the Department are to plan, program, operate, manage, control, and maintain a juvenile justice system of care, rehabilitative service delivery, and security that meets the treatment needs of youth within the juvenile justice system and that is in accordance with national juvenile justice industry standards and best practices. These duties include:

(1) Providing services for committed and detained youth and PINS that balance the need for rehabilitation and holding youth accountable for their actions in the context of public safety;

(2) Facilitating and enhancing intra-District coordination of services and supports for youth in the juvenile justice system;

(3) Establishing and adopting best practices standards for the provision of residential, restorative, and rehabilitative services to youth in the juvenile justice system consistent with the standards of the American Correctional Association or those of another nationally accepted accrediting body;

(4) Employing a cadre of juvenile justice professionals who are highly skilled and experienced with the principles, goals, and the latest advancements of juvenile rehabilitation and treatment provision;

(5) Establishing through contracts, provider agreements, human care agreements, grants, memoranda of agreement or understanding, or other binding agreements a system of secure and community-based facilities and rehabilitative services with governmental bodies, public and private agencies, institutions, and organizations, for youth that will provide intervention, individualized assessments, continuum of services, safety, and security;

(6) Establishing a system that constantly reviews a youth’s individual strengths, needs, and rehabilitative progress and ensures placement within a continuum of least restrictive settings within secure facilities and the community;

(7) Assessing the risks and needs of youth, and determining and providing the services needed for treatment for substance abuse and other services;

(8) Developing and maintaining a system with other governmental and private agencies to identify, locate, and retrieve youth who are under the care, custody, or supervision of the Department, who have absconded from an assigned secure governmental facility, or community shelter home, group home, residential facility, or foster care placement;

(9) Developing and maintaining state-of-the-art systems to monitor accountability and to enhance performance for all Department programs, services, and facilities;

(10) Developing and maintaining an ongoing training program for employees that ensures continuous development of expertise in juvenile justice service delivery;

(11) Taking a leadership role in the provision of training and technical assistance to non-governmental juvenile justice service providers that fosters the development of high-quality, comprehensive, cost-effective, and culturally competent delinquency prevention and juvenile rehabilitative services for the youth and their families;

(12) Developing and maintaining a capital improvement, licensing, and regulating program that ensures governmental and private institutions maintain up-to-date residential facilities, group homes, and shelter facilities to serve the safety, the security, and the rehabilitative needs of youth in the juvenile justice system;

(13) Enforcing all laws, rules, regulations, court orders, policies, and procedures necessary and appropriate to accomplish the duties of the Department;

(14) Conducting a behavioral health screening and assessment as required in § 2-1515.04a;

(15) Within 180 days after December 13, 2017, developing a manual for families of juveniles residing in secure juvenile facilities that includes, at a minimum, information on the operation of the institution or facility as it relates to families of juveniles, information on government and community resources available for families of juveniles, and information and resources available for juveniles after leaving confinement;

(16) Evaluating the effectiveness of rehabilitative services by collecting any available information from other District agencies on the education, employment, criminal justice, or other outcomes of persons who are either currently committed to the Department or who were committed to the Department in the previous 3 years;

(17) Cooperating with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council by sharing data and allowing access to individuals under 21 years of age, to the extent otherwise permissible under the law, for the purpose of preparing the report described in section § 22-4234(b-3); and

(18) In addition to any obligations imposed upon the Department due to its designation as a voter registration agency by § 1-1001.07(d)(1)(B):

(A) If a youth committed at the Department is a qualified elector, as that term is defined in § 1-1001.02(2), registering the youth to vote, unless the youth indicates that they do not want to register;

(B) Transmitting to the Board of Elections and the Council of the District of Columbia, on an annual basis, a report containing the number of youth the agency has registered to vote and the number of youth who declined to register to vote; and

(C) Providing information about the importance of voting and the right of an individual currently incarcerated or with a criminal record to vote in the District, and of the importance of keeping their voter registration information, including their residence address, current and up-to-date, including upon transfer or release from the Department's custody.