After being released into the Youth Justice Center’s care, juveniles will wait in the intake area until a detention officer is ready to process him or her into the detention facility. For the safety of all the youth in the facility, each new juvenile is searched by an officer of the same gender to take any items that may be a danger to the youth or others.


Shirts must be tucked into the waistband at all times and pants must be rolled at the cuff to show the ankle. Clothes must be the appropriate size; ‘sagging’ is not permitted. Make-up, colognes/perfumes and hair products, such as gel and hairspray, are not allowed. Once the juvenile is dressed in appropriate attire they are taken to their living unit.

The intake process consists of: 1) Medical screening 2) Mental Health Screening 3) Orientation of the Youth Justice Center 4) Overview of Youth Justice Center rules 5) Risk assessment screening and  6) Substance abuse screening

All juveniles shower and change from their street clothes into the detainee uniform. Juveniles receive one cotton shirt, one sweatshirt, one pair of pants with an elastic waistband and no pockets, under garments, house shoes and shoes with no laces.

The Pinal County Youth Justice Center has several programs that are designed to educate youth and encourage positive behavior.

Step Up was adopted to help juveniles build and learn positive skills as they re-enter the community. It helps juveniles identify their strengths and challenges so that they can identify options for better choices.  The level system is in place to encourage and reward positive behavior from juveniles.

There are four levels and one disciplinary phase.  Each level has its own expectations, requirements for advancement and its own privileges. Juveniles will be assigned a mentor for their stay that will help them through the program.  They earn grades each day based on your behavior and attitude.