Juvenile Detention Center - Juvenile Court

(Please see https://adacounty.id.gov/juvenilecourt for the latest version of this information)

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Juvenile Detention Center

The purpose of the detention center is to care for the protection and well-being of juveniles while ensuring the protection of the community. The detention center operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There are two ways a juvenile might enter detention:

  1.  A judge may order a juvenile into detention after a hearing has been held on a pending matter.
  2.  Police filing criminal complaints on juveniles may also bring them to detention. Juveniles admitted from the community in this manner will attend a detention hearing (within 24 hours of admission, excluding weekends and holidays), where charges are arraigned, and a judge determines whether the juvenile can be released.

Juveniles entering detention undergo an admission process. During this process, relevant information is entered into a statewide database, and juveniles are photographed and fingerprinted. They take showers, are issued clothing, and their personal property is securely stored until they are released. Juveniles are classified according to several criteria, including gender, age, maturity, and type and seriousness of crimes. This classification determines their specific room placement.  All rooms are single-occupancy; the center has 71 rooms total.

Detention Logo

Our Mission

To provide community protection while changing lives.

Contact Us

For more information on the detention center or questions regarding your child’s stay in detention, please contact us any time:
6300 W. Denton St., Boise, ID 83704
Phone: 208-577-4948
FAX: 208-577-4959

Detention Manager Terry Shaffer
Phone: 208-577-4941
Email: jvshaftw@adacounty.id.gov

We have visitation for parents, grandparents, and legal guardians twice a week:

Sunday 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Optional detention tours for these visitors are conducted each Sunday at 2:30 pm.

Juveniles may also receive letters while in detention, as long as it is not restricted by the court. Packages are not allowed. If you would like to send a letter to a detention resident, please address it to the juvenile at:

Ada County Juvenile Detention Center
6300 W Denton Street
Boise, ID 83704

Telmate is our phone service provider. Telmate allows parents or friends of residents to place money on an account, or for calls to be made collect by the resident.  The amount of time residents may spend on phone calls depends on how much money they have on their account.

Residents may use the phones when they are out of their rooms on free time.  Free time usually occurs Monday through Friday in the evening, and on weekends, both during the day and in the evenings.

Click here to learn more about our Telmate services.

Haga clic aquí para obtener más información sobre nuestros servicios Telmate.

Medical staff are on duty seven days a week from 7 AM to 10 PM. Services include those of a physician, consulting psychiatrist, dentist, and a nurse practitioner from Central District Health. Lifestyle and health education is offered, along with free immunizations, HIV and STD testing, counseling, and treatment. Our medical services unit is accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare, which monitors the medications and health of juveniles in detention.

The goal of Food Services is to provide nutritionally balanced and economical meals for the youth in Ada County Juvenile Detention. Our meals meet or exceed nutritional standards of the National School Lunch and Breakfast mandate, as well as those of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. Our menus are reviewed by a Registered Dietician twice a year. Our kitchen accommodates medical and special needs diets and provides juveniles three meals a day as well as a morning and evening snack.  The kitchen is operated by a certified dietary manager, and all staff is certified through the State of Idaho for food service safety.

See Our Menu

Wellness Policy

Wellness Policy Progress Report

After juveniles have completed the admission process, they are placed into programming.

Our educational services include two classrooms staffed by Boise School District masters-level teachers, aides, and a liaison. These classrooms provide regular schoolwork from the resident’s homeschool, GED, or flex program.

A third classroom is dedicated to detention vocational education and is staffed by detention personnel. This classroom is for males who have dropped out of school or who are working on their GED.

We offer expanded educational and programming opportunities for juveniles:

  • Individual counseling
  • Health awareness and education classes and groups, including smoking cessation, substance abuse prevention, personal hygiene, pregnancy, stress management, anger management, and emergency first aid
  • Personal development classes and groups, including life skills, goal-setting, effective habits, growing from failure, and cultural awareness
  • Reading classes and groups, including Book Circle, Book Club, Literacy Circle, and The Cabin (where professional writers engage students in the power and pleasure of reading and writing)
  • Sports activities and classes such as basketball, volleyball, and calisthenics – all offered on a daily basis
  • Crafts and healthy hobbies classes, including guitar, mandolin, hunting, and fly-tying
  • Movie night for residents who earn it through good behavior
  • Honors recognition for residents with exceptionally positive behavior
  • Female empowerment and cognitive development classes, such as VOICES, Girls Circle, and WINGS – all aimed at encouraging girls to make positive choices for themselves
  • Other small group sessions, where various competencies are developed in a socially positive setting.
  • Religious/spiritual services provided to residents who request it and have parental permission to participate

To see an Idaho Statesman article about the Detention Center’s knitting project for residents, click here

We have 33 full-time detention officers and 10 part-time, on-call detention officers. All are POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) Academy certified.

Ongoing, in-house training is provided to all detention staff.  Training areas include: 10 Laws of Winning Communication,Appropriate Use of Force, CPR, First Aid,Suicide Prevention, Professional Ethics,Policy and Procedure, Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).

When a juvenile enters detention they are issued a resident handbook that explains the guidelines and rules of the facility. The rules are outlined as expectations and cover the following areas:

  • Dining
  • School
  • Recreation
  • Proper room keeping
  • Movement in the facility
  • Dress Code – Detention provides all clothing
  • General behavior toward others
  • Phone – All calls made from Detention are collect
  • Mail – Residents are allowed to mail 2 letters per week

Rule violations may lead to disciplinary action. For minor violations, juveniles may receive a “Time Out,” which is a short period of time that the juvenile will remain in his or her room. For major violations, juveniles may be put in the “Behavior Management Group” for two to five days depending on the infraction. While in the group, juveniles receive limited time out of their room and no contact.

JDAI, or the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, is an effort to systematically reform Ada County’s approach to detaining juveniles, with a goal of keeping the right juveniles in secure confinement while offering low-risk offenders viable, productive, and mutually beneficial alternatives. It includes use of an objective risk assessment instrument, which assesses juveniles entering the system according to their risk of fleeing the jurisdiction and risk to the community or themselves. Identifying low-risk juveniles and using detention alternatives has resulted in a lower detention population, which in turn results in more effective detention experiences for those juveniles who are detained.

ACJCS Detention complies with and strongly supports the protection of the Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). To learn more about PREA, ACJCS policy, and reporting sexual mistreatment of detention residents, see our PREA Summary.

2018 PREA Annual Report

2017 Annual PREA Report
2017 PREA Audit Findings Report

2016 Annual PREA Report
2015 Annual PREA Report
2014 Annual PREA Report
2014 PREA Compliance Certification Letter
2014 PREA Audit Findings Report
2013 Annual PREA Report

What are the visiting hours?
Wednesdays from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM and Sundays from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Can I bring anything in for my child?
Paperback books or magazines can be brought in for your child.  All clothing, toiletries, bedding and food is provided for your child.

Do you do tours?
Not for the general public. However, you can take a photo tour.

What do I do about medications for my child?
Medication can be brought to detention at any time and given to medical staff. All medications must be in their prescription bottle.

What do I do if my child has a doctor’s appointment scheduled and they are in detention?
You will need to contact your child’s probation officer for further guidance. The probation officer can request an order from the judge to temporarily release your child from detention to attend the appointment. The order would allow either the parent or the Sheriff’s office to provide the transportation to the appointment. The Sheriff’s office must receive the order at least 48 hours prior to the appointment.

Can I bring my child into detention if he or she is acting out?
No; juveniles are only detained for criminal charges (misdemeanors or felonies), or by order from a judge of the court.

Do you have a “Scared Straight” type of program?  Can I bring my child in to scare them?
No.  We do not use detention for these types of programs

Lead Testing

Protecting the health and safety of children in our care is our top priority. Earlier this year, after the Boise School District found elevated lead levels in school water fountains, Juvenile Court Services determined it would be wise to check the water supply inside the juvenile court services building. In March 2019, Industrial Hygiene Resources performed an independent analysis and found all water tested for lead within an acceptable range.

In April 2019, Industrial Hygiene Resources performed additional tests on water inside residential areas of our detention facility. The company determined the water in all occupied cells fell within the EPA’s standards for safe, healthy water. However, water in unoccupied cells contained lead levels above what is considered healthy.

Although the majority of the water tested fell well within the acceptable limit, we expect all water dispensed in our facility to meet or exceed the EPA’s recommended safety standards. As a precaution, Juvenile Court Services has turned off water to sinks and faucets in all residential areas to allow further testing. To eliminate any chance of exposure or contaminations, the detention kitchen will provide water to all juveniles housed in our detention facility.

We are working as quickly as possible to determine the cause of the elevated lead levels in our unoccupied cells and to correct it. Before restoring water to residential areas, it will undergo additional testing to ensure all water inside the facility is safe.

Note, water tests are based on “first draw” which means samples are collected in the morning before any use. Water sitting stagnant in pipes overnight has the highest possible concentration of contaminants. The concentration of lead during regular use, when water is moving through the pipes more frequently, is usually much lower.

Please contact Richard Maher, Assistant Detention Manager with any questions or concerns: 208-577-4940

For additional information about lead levels in water, click the links below:


Water Lead Levels: Health Risks in Perspective (Idaho Department of Health and Welfare)

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA Flyer on Lead in Drinking Water ​