2015 Finalist Spotlight: Greene County Juvenile Detention Center

Posted by Lisa Martinek
June 10, 2015

Every year, facilities and programs across the country submit applications for the Barbara Allen-Hagen (BAH) Award, which honors a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify Performance-based Standards’ (PbS) commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own. These facilities and programs show their commitment by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices and services using PbS’ data-driven improvement model that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

PbS is pleased to announce Greene County Juvenile Detention Center in Springfield, MO as one of the finalists in this year’s detention/assessment category. The facility was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan on reducing the use of isolation and room confinement.

Through their own experience of providing care to youths in confinement as well as research, the team at Greene County Juvenile Detention Center recognized the detrimental effects confinement can have on youths such as increased levels of fear and an increase in suicidal thoughts. Therefore, the team carefully analyzed their data to ascertain the reasons why room confinement was being used and found some creative solutions! For example, some youths ended up in room confinement for not showering. Not only did the nurse conduct hygiene classes, but the facility purchased a gentler soap since youths complained of dry skin.

When asked what they would recommend for replications at other facilities, Superintendent Marie Swope noted that facilities should not only allow for questions, but “troll for solutions knowing that the suggestions offered are authentic reflections of what is really happening and consequently what can really work.”

The BAH Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara-Allen Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Barbara’s dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. Winners of the award in the corrections, detention/assessment and community categories will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 14, 2015. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Greene County Staff
Greene County Juvenile Detention Center staff proudly displaying their PbS posters

Greene County Building
The Greene County Juvenile Detention Center entrance

Clothign Drive
Clothing drive for the homeless