Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Juvenile Justice Residential Services (PA-JJR) 13: Living and Service Environment

Youth reside and receive services in safe, appropriate settings that meet their basic needs.
2020 Edition




Juvenile Justice Residential Services promote public safety by providing youth with a supportive, structured setting that helps them address their needs and develop the attitudes and skills needed to make responsible choices, avoid negative behaviors, and become productive, connected, and law-abiding citizens.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
No Self-Study Evidence
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Youth served and their families
  • Observe program site

Fundamental Practice

PA-JJR 13.01

The agency meets youths’ basic needs by providing:
  1. rooms that are large enough to allow for comfortable movement during in-room activities;
  2. appropriate sleeping accommodations, including a clean, covered mattress, a pillow, and sufficient clean linens and blankets;
  3. sufficient access to facilities and supplies for toileting, bathing, and personal hygiene; and
  4. clean and appropriate clothing.

PA-JJR 13.02

Sufficient and appropriate space, materials, and furnishings are available for:
  1. dining;
  2. exercise;
  3. on-site services, including treatment, education, and other programming;
  4. recreation and leisure;
  5. visits with family members;
  6. meetings with attorneys;
  7. administrative support functions, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, and storage, including storage of personal items youth are not permitted to keep in their living space; and
  8. meeting the needs of on-duty personnel, including private sleeping accommodations for personnel who sleep at the facility, if applicable.

PA-JJR 13.03

The living and service environments are:
  1. homelike and non-institutional, to the extent possible and appropriate; and
  2. sensitive to and supportive of youth regardless of their age, developmental level, language, disability, gender and gender identity, culture, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation.
Examples: Agencies may strive to make the environment homelike and non-institutional by, for example, allowing youth to personalize their sleeping areas and contribute to decisions about how to make living areas comfortable and reflective of youths’ interests and diversity.

PA-JJR 13.04

The agency allows for privacy in bathrooms and sleeping areas, to the extent possible and appropriate.