All youth under OJJ care shall be granted the opportunity to voice complaints or grievances in certain situations. Examples of situations in which a custody youth in out of home placement may file a grievance include:
- abusive and distasteful language
- sexual abuse or harassment
- conflict of interest
- housing conditions needing correction
- food and nutrition concerns
- food and nutrition concerns
Courts generally hold that the basic elements of an adequate grievance procedure include:
- notice of availability
- clear and simple procedure
- prompt investigation
- impartial panel
- notice of the ruling
- right to appeal
- appropriate action
- written records of all grievances
Grievances are not allowed for certain situations or matters. Some examples include:
- court-ordered probation conditions
- warrants for revocation of probation or parole
- failure to obey instructions of the Probation and Parole Officer
- final decision of previous grievances
Grievance Procedure for Youth under Supervision (DYS Policy 10.21)
If a youth or parent wants to file a grievance against staff, he/she must inform the Regional Manager of the grievance in writing on the grievance form given to them at the first intake appointment. A form can be obtained at any Regional Office. Once the grievance is filed, attempts will be made to resolve the situation at this level. If the problem is not resolved at this level a review process is available, up to and including the level of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Community-Based Services.
Grievance Procedure for Youth in Secure Care (Administrative Remedy Procedure, or ARP)
The Administrative Remedy Procedure Policy B.5.3 was established for youth to seek formal review of a complaint relating to many aspects of their stay in secure care. Such complaints and grievances include, but are not limited to, actions pertaining to conditions of confinement, personal injuries, medical malpractice, lost personal property, denial of publications, time computation, or challenges to rules or policies. Youth shall receive reasoned responses, and where appropriate, meaningful remedies.
Youth may request administrative remedies to situations arising from policies, conditions, or events within the facility that affect them personally. Disciplinary reports are not addressed by the Grievance Procedure and must be handled through the disciplinary appeal system. Court decisions and pending criminal and juvenile court matters, over which Youth Services has no control or jurisdiction, cannot be reviewed through the administrative remedy procedure.
No action shall be taken against any youth for the good faith use of or good faith participation in the ARP. The prohibition against reprisals to does not prohibit discipline of youth who do not use the system in good faith. Those who file requests determined by the ARP Coordinator to be frivolous or deliberately malicious may be disciplined under the appropriate Code of Conduct violation contained in the "Youth Code of Conduct."