The Art of Holistic Security (Preview Snippet)

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DRB Consulting, LLC Š 2016 by DeShane Reed All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Queries should be addressed to DRB Consulting, LLC, 2760 Fortune Circle E, Suite 421424, Indianapolis, IN 46241. First Edition Printed in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication: 2016916189 ISBN: 978-0-692-76449-7 (paperback) 20 19 18 17 6 5 4 3 2 1 Contributions by: Barbara Reed, LMHC, LPC, NCC, CCMHC Edited by: Carissa Stucky of Cat’s Creations Designed by: Denise Billups of Borel Graphics


The Art of Holistic Security clearly understands that the utilization of controlled and secured residential settings still exists as an option in America’s Juvenile Justice System. Though there have been efforts and tremendous strides in decreasing the number of youth placed in juvenile justice facilities, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) residential placement census reported, “More than 50,000 juvenile offenders younger than 21 were in residential placement facilities” (2014). With such insight, this book is not to encourage or promote the out-of-home custody of youth who are justiceinvolved, youth who are identified as unmanageable in general American society, or youth who are unable to be managed through the utilization of community-based interventions. This book addresses the issues that arise and resonate within these controlled and secured residential settings by offering experiential and results-based approaches to improve the quality of life and living conditions of those youth placed in juvenile justice placement facilities. Moreover, within the juvenile justice system—specifically juvenile justice placement facilities—there are multiplicities of names with which professionals identify the young persons residing within such facilities. These distinguishing headings range from juvenile, youth, adolescents, and students to residents, offenders, delinquents, inmates, and wards. For the purpose of The Art of Holistic Security operations manual, I will use the common term youth for young persons, in particular those involved in the juvenile justice system. Any quotes, references, or research cited within this manual depicting names of young persons other than youth will remain in its original format and will not be altered.




It’s All About Conditions of Confinement |

Professional Mental Note | Treating individuals with equality, dignity, and respect, regardless of our personal feelings or their backgrounds, will likely be reciprocated and will bring about optimistic outcomes.


take a moment to understand and digest the meaning of “Conditions of Confinement” on the macro-level, as it pertains to the juvenile justice system, and on the micro-level, as it pertains to juvenile justice placement facilities. On the macrolevel, a large component of the juvenile justice system is aimed at keeping our communities safe by holding youth under the confines of the courts, as well as providing services to strengthen the youth’s competencies. When the juvenile court determines that the youth and any victims have been restored, the youth is returned to society without court oversight. The overall goal is to motivate justice-involved youth to make better life choices and return to being productive citizens in their respective communities. Furthermore, Juvenile Justice is a rehabilitative system built on a continuum of preadjudication and post-adjudication graduated interventions for youth, which starts from a youth’s first contact with law enforcement and continues through a youth’s release from the constraints of the courts and returning to their community as a law-abiding citizen. Each of these interventions is established as the least restrictive rehabilitative responses, based on the use of an objective screening tool to assess the severity of a youth’s delinquent behavior and their frequency of contact with the Juvenile Justice System. An example of a pre-adjudication and post-adjudication graduated intervention continuum once a youth comes into contact with law enforcement and the juvenile justice system can be found on the next page.

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• • • • • •


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Pre-Adjudication | Unsupervised Release to parent or guardian; Supervised Release with set meetings with Probation Officer and other conditions; Supervised Release with “Evening and/or Day Reporting” Sites; Supervised Release with “Electronic Monitoring”; Supervised Release with Shelter Care and/or other community-based referrals; and Detainment in Juvenile Detention Center until court’s disposition. Post-Adjudication | Release without conditions; Release with Probationary conditions; Release with Electronic Monitoring; Sanction to offense-specific community-based treatment services; Sanction to community-based intervention services; Sanctioned to non-secure or semi-secure residential placement; and Sanctioned to secure residential placement.

As a youth progresses deeper into the Juvenile Justice System, that same rehabilitative notion should be weaved into the fiber of juvenile justice placement facilities. The populations residing in these facilities are many times overlooked within the juvenile justice system, where proper Conditions of Confinement should be the main focus due to potential liabilities being at their highest. Let’s be clear: it is easy to forget about youth who are removed from natural society and placed within juvenile justice facilities. This is where the “out of sight, out of mind” concept becomes a reality, where the perception is: “They are locked up; the community is now safe; and they are being fed and clothed.” Additionally, many people on the outside looking in carry the belief that a youth’s behaviors are altered when they are taken into custody. This is true! Youth do become different people when subjected to any form of confinement, especially when placed into custody at a young age. Youth’s behaviors are altered in one of four ways as a coping response to the being placed in a juvenile justice custody environment: • A youth’s undesirable behaviors becomes magnified according to their new surroundings; • Other youth wake up and get the picture that incarceration is not their chosen life path;


• A number of youth tend to assimilate to the group that has the stronger influence as a way of surviving within their surroundings; or • Some youth unwillingly become the subjects of overt and covert harassment by fellow youth in custody. These four coping responses, as a result of being in custody, are not decided by the youth themselves; the mechanisms engaged are influenced by the conditions in which the youth are confined. Conditions of Confinement are best defined as the provisions, access, and rights that individuals in are required to have while in custody. Conditions of Confinement requirements are comparable to the rights that any youth not in custody receives: the principal difference is that youth in custody are in a highly-controlled environment. Note, however, that the provisions within juvenile justice facility should be similar to mainstream society. Finally, facilities should pose four questions to themselves to ensure they are complying with proper Conditions of Confinement: 1. Are these youth afforded a safe and clean environment with humane treatment; 2. Are these youth afforded access to healthcare, education, counsel, clergy, and family; 3. Are these youth receiving all of their basic institutional and constitutional rights for persons in custody; and 4. Are these youth being mentally stimulated daily with competencystrengthening activities? To exhibit the full effectiveness of Conditions of Confinement, several factors must come into play. This ultimately starts with the facility’s Mission. The Mission is the raised, waving flag that all can see, from the youth to the facility’s top administrators. Each person should be made aware that he or she is an active contributor to fulfilling the Mission. Everyone should know that their actions either contribute to the facility actualizing the Mission or drive the facility away from the Mission. Each administrator and staff member has to know their role and the expectations of said role. The Mission must be made clear by administration and constantly revisited with staff through daily reiterations. This Mission must be embraced and exemplified by the staff when supervising the youth in custody. Furthermore, the youth should know they, too, are active participants in carrying out the facility’s Mission. Successfully executing proper Conditions of Confinement from the Mission approach is a delicate strategy that entails intentionality from the administration level and buy-in from the staff and youth. If each person consistently carries out his or her roles, always keeping the

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Mission in mind, the potential to bring about positive Conditions of Confinement outcomes for facility improvement is great. The only flaw with solely utilizing the Mission Strategy is that it is not a long-lasting approach: it opens the door of opportunity for individual interpretation and can be deviated from by improper youth or staff behaviors. For example, if the youth become rebellious to the Mission Strategy or if a few staff choose to do things in opposition to the Mission Strategy (do things “their way”), the entire strategy would be disrupted and create serious security issues. Recalibrating the institution procedures could take months or, in some cases, longer. By preserving the Mission Strategy and supporting it with proven innovative and/or customized approaches to maximize long-lasting buy-in from staff and youth, a new SuccessCentered Societal Model can be crafted. The Success-Centered Societal Model aligns itself with the Mission Strategy by continuing to identify the Mission as the core of all services and outcomes and establishing Mission-inspired Core Values to bring uniformity to the global purpose and expected culture of the facility. Facility staff should be wholly aware and committed to the Mission and be active participants in establishing and instituting the Core Values, which promote staff buy-in and Mission ownership. The Success-Centered Societal Model broadens the spectrum by also concentrating on: • • • • • • •

Facility Culture; Facility Environment; Partnerships between youth and staff; Voluntary Cooperation by youth and staff; Citizenship; Individual-Centered services in a global institutional system; and Smaller networks of internal systems, which unite to strengthen the institution’s supreme function, Safe and Secure Custody.

To afford readers an opportunity to gain better understanding in creating a facility that exercises appropriate Conditions of Confinement through holistic security, the SuccessCentered Societal Model will be further defined and described in the next few chapters in terms of its beliefs, components, methodology, and practical application.



S-CS—A Unique Strategy to Holistic Security |

Professional Mental Note | Finding areas of major influence in each individual’s emotional and social ecosystem can become leverage to gain voluntary cooperation and collaboration—not for manipulation.


Youth Development is a progression of coordinated activities and experiences that prepare young people to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood by helping them to become socially, morally, emotionally, and cognitively competent. Positive Youth Development believes that all humans possess more strengths than deficits. The deficits, however, often receive most of the attention. Positive Youth Development utilizes strengths-based approaches to develop youth competencies, in contrast to deficit-based models which focus solely on youth problems. The goal is that the youth returns to his or her respective community better equipped to make law-abiding decisions. Statistically, the deficit-based “Scared Straight, Punitive Approach” bears very little fruit versus a strengths-based “Mentorship and Skill-Building Approach.” The “Scared Straight, Punitive Approach” results in immediate—often times traumatizing—altering of behavior by the juvenile; however, the changed behavior is fleeting. According to former JDAI Juvenile Justice Strategy Group Director Bart Lubow (2009), “The younger the youth being exposed to institutionalization, the higher the likelihood the youth becomes an adult offender.” Conversely, the “Mentorship and Skill-Building Approach” has longer lasting benefits, as this approach provides positive relational support, accountability, supervision, and competency strengthening. Though facility administrators and staff want the youth to be impacted, we do not want the youth to be traumatically impacted by the experience. Even the slightest adjustment to a policy in the favor of the youth can decrease the traumatic impact on their lives exponentially.

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The S-CS is a unique approach to creating a secured facility or institution environment that embraces Positive Youth Development—a facility or institution where safety is at the forefront and all those residing and working within the facility are responsible for creating and cultivating this setting. What makes S-CS unique is that Forced Compliance is not the primary leverage mechanism utilized on youth or employees to gain or achieve the desired goal of the facility’s Mission of Safe and Secure Custody. Within the scope of this text, “Forced Compliance” is defined as the presentation, practice, and/or utilization of lethal and non-lethal tactics to keep the balance of leverage on the side of one group over another. An example of Forced Compliance is a staff member walking around with handcuffs and pepper spray hanging off their belt, wearing battalion-like clothing and combat-style boots, working with youth in a juvenile justice facility. The message being sent by this staff member is, “I have the power. I am prepared for combat.” What about the gung-ho staff member who observes a youth going through an escalating tantrum moment and immediately elects to use physical interventions rather than attempt to verbally de-escalate the youth by seeking to understand the youth’s needs? This staff member justifies their actions by documenting, “The youth was out of control, and I was protecting myself, others, and property.” What about the staff member who wears non-threatening clothing yet makes verbal threats and/or carries around incident reports threatening to write up a youth, which both the staff member and youth know will likely lead to room confinement time or some form of separation from the group? This staff member uses the facility’s internal system’s process to exercise Forced Compliance. This staff member is no different than the previous two examples; all three staff members utilize the internal systems to exercise Forced Compliance. The difference is that the first two staff members used Forced Compliance directly while the third utilized it indirectly. Forced Compliance can occur on various levels within the facility’s culture; it does not solely exist in the framework of staff to youth. Forced Compliance can rear its ugly head with fellow staff and can create a divide between fellow employees, between employees and supervisors, and between new and seasoned staff. Forced Compliance is not long-lasting and has a very limited life span. Many times, it creates a sense of division between two parties, the effects of which last much longer than the experience. Forced Compliance on the staff-tostaff level can occur with or without intention. For example, unintended Forced Compliance appears when a new staff member who has not received adequate training by the facility is directed to start working alone with a group of youth without proper support. An example of intentional Forced Compliance occurs when a staff member is required to work alone with a ratio of youth beyond the ratio limit outlined in the facility’s policy. The effects of Forced Compliance on these staff members will likely cause them to feel disconnected from the team. Furthermore, these staff members will likely remove “team” from their mindset and move into mental survival mode. Finally, in the above-mentioned examples, Forced Compliance utilized the institution’s internal system processes to create staff division under the cloak of good. Again, Forced Compliance just won’t maintain.


In more than 21 years working with youth on several levels, ranging from communitybased and scholastic settings to treatment centers and juvenile justice, I have found that utilizing Forced Compliance as a primary leverage to control behavior breeds deceitfulness, dishonesty, and a coup d’état mentality amongst the group upon which the force is being exacted. From my first job in the human services field on, I have never been a proponent of exacting force as a preeminent strategy of control. However, through trial, I identified other motivations which did not require force as the primary leverage. The S-CS model is one of mutual respect and cooperation inspiring all involved to grow and progress within the institution. S-CS concentrates on ensuring safety and security through establishing a facility culture of collaborative partnerships amid all individuals of the institution: between staff members, between staff and youth, and between youth. If the S-CS strategies are executed with unified intentionality, S-CS becomes a self-motivating and selfoperating facility machine, which only requires frequent fidelity monitoring and calibration for special situations. Mark Soler, Washington DC’s Center for Children’s Law and Policy Executive Director, identified two professions that are the most hazardous: being a police officer and a custody staff working in secured detainment facilities, adult and youth alike. Parallel with this viewpoint, the S-CS model takes into account the mental and physical stress of being a direct supervisory staff member in the trenches of juvenile justice facilities. These stressors are often intensified when the facility adopts new strategies for working with individuals whose characteristics range from introverted to extroverted, volatile to aggressive. S-CS’s strategies are not intended to tie the hands of staff by taking away the few consistent leverages they possess within their direct supervision roles. S-CS champions keeping order and maintaining safety; however, S-CS elects to utilize the entire toolbox rather than the traditional go-to leverages (e.g. unnecessary use of force, isolation, room confinement) to ensure the safety of youth and staff. The foundation of this toolbox entails: • • •

Executing Policies and Practices that ensure Safety and Security within the Facility; Building/Rebuilding Competence and Confidence amongst Youth and Staff; and Moving from an “Us and Them” ideology to Partnerships between Staff and Youth.

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