Detention Facility Guide (San Joaquin County)

What Is The Juvenile Detention Facility

Juvenile Detention is a 135-bed facility used as a holding place for youth who have been accused of violating the law and are pending court proceedings or have been committed by order of the Court. Once you have arrived at the Juvenile Detention Facility and are booked in, your parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) may be called to pick you up, or you may be admitted into the facility.                                                    

Camp Peterson is a 45-bed 360-day commitment facility that is ordered by the Court. Once a youth is accepted into the Camp program, he will be provided with a Youth Handbook that details the specific components and expectations of the program.

What Will Happen When I Go To Court?

If admitted into Juvenile Detention, you will be given a hearing date within 72 hours, not including weekends or holidays. At the Detention Hearing, the judge will decide if you need to remain in Juvenile Detention pending your Court proceedings or if you can be released. The judge may order you to be on the Electronic Monitoring Program or on Home Supervision/House Arrest. At this hearing, the judge will read the charged that have been filed against you, and appoint you a public defender if you do not have an attorney. You may also be tried as an adult if you are 14 years of age or older for certain types of offenses.

You next Court hearing will generally be the Jurisdictional Hearing. At the Jurisdictional Hearing the judge will decide whether you were responsible for committing the offense or you may contest the matter and attend further Court hearings. If the charges are adjudicated, the judge may order that you meet with a Probation Officer who will develop a Social History Report, which will be used in deciding the disposition of your sustained offense(s). If the judge rules that you did not commit the offense, the Petition may be dismissed and you will be released from Juvenile Detention.

At the Dispositional Hearing, the judge will impose a disposition for the offense. These may include: being released from Juvenile Detention with or without formal probation supervision; being placed on Informal supervision for six-months; you may be detained in Juvenile Hall to serve a commitment, being committed to the Juvenile Camp program; being placed in another relative’s home, a foster home, or a group home that may be either in California or out-of-state; or being ordered to serve a commitment at the California Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). If you are tried as an adult, you may be order to serve a commitment at a state operated facility.

If you are detained, you will have a legal right to access to your attorney, upon request. You will receive free postage for legal correspondence and free telephone access to your attorney.

In addition, the judge may also order other probation terms and conditions such as restitution to victim, payment of fines and fees, completion of counseling program, etc. All of these orders must be fulfilled before your wardship will be dismissed.

How Will I Be Treated?

San Joaquin County will insure that all youth within the facilities shall have fair and equal access to all available services, placement, care, treatment, benefits, and provides that no youth hall be subject to discrimination or harassment on the basis of actual or perceived race, ethnic group identification, ancestry, national origin, immigration status, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability, or HIV or other physical illness status.

This handbook and/or our Youth Advocate can provide you with the following information:

  • Facility rules including contraband, searches and disciplinary procedures.
  • Facility Behavior Management System of positive behavior interventions and supports, including behavior expectations and incentives that you will receive for complying with rules and consequences that may result when youth violate the rules of the facility.
  • Age appropriate information that explains policy prohibiting sexual abuse and sexual harassment and how to report incidents or suspicions of sexual abuse or harassment.
  • Identification of key staff and their roles.
  • Grievance procedures and steps that must be taken to use it, your right to be free of retaliation for filing a grievance, and the name of the person or position designated to resolve the issue.
  • Access to legal services and information regarding the Court process.
  • Access to routine and emergency health and mental health care.
  • Access to education, religious services, and recreational activities.
  • Housing assignment.
  • Opportunity for personal hygiene and daily showers including the availability of personal care items.
  • Rules and access to correspondence, visits, and telephone use.
  • Availability of reading materials, programming and other activities.
  • Facility policies on the use of force, use of restraints, chemical agents and room confinement.
  • Immigration legal services.
  • Emergencies and evacuation procedures.
  • Non-discrimination policy and the right to be free from physical, verbal or sexual abuse, and harassment by other youth or staff.
  • Availability of services and programs in a language other than English, if appropriate.
  • The process for requesting different housing, education, programming and work assignments.
  • The process for parents/guardians to receive information regarding your stay in the facility that at a minimum includes answers to frequently asked questions and provides contact information for the facility medical, school and mental health (Parent Orientation).
  • The process to have access to Title 15 Minimum Standards for Juvenile Facilities.

What Happens If I Stay?

  • Personal property will be stored in the property room for safekeeping.
  • Money will be stored a separate safe.
  • You will turn in your personal clothing and receive Juvenile Detention clothing to wear
  • You will be issued:

One (1) sweatshirt, One (1) canvas shirt, and One (1) t-shirt, One (1) pair of socks and underwear, One (1) pair on pants, One (1) pair of shows and One (1) pair of shower shoes, and One (1) pair of pajamas.

  • A visual body search may be required for the safety and security of the facility.
  • You will shower and wash your hair.
  • You will be assigned to a housing unit based on several factors including but not limited to age, criminal history, current offense, sophistication and programming needs.
  • If you are detained in Juvenile Hall to serve a commitment or you are being committed to Camp Peterson you will be provided with an approximate day of your release upon arrival to Unit 5 or Camp Peterson.
  • All personal items will be returned to you when you are released.

What Will I Eat?

You will received three (3) meals per day, plus an afternoon and evening snack. A menu is posted on each unit. If you are still hungry after you have eaten all your meal, you may request milk and cereal. Canteen is available on Friday evenings.

What If I Get Sick?

Medical Clinic and Behavioral Health Staff are housed at the Juvenile Detention Facilities. If you get sick, Juvenile Detention Staff will contact the medical clinic. Juvenile Detention Staff will also contact Behavior Health Services if they feel you are in need of their services. At any time, if you feel like you need to speak to someone from Medical or Behavioral Health, you may submit a slip and place it in the box provided on the housing unit. These slips are picked up daily.

What Is My Daily Schedule

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

6:15-7:00 a.m. Wake Up/Breakfast

7:00-7:30 a.m. Hygiene

7:45-10:00 a.m. School

10:00-10:15 a.m. Break

10:15-12:30 p.m. School

12:30-1:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00-1:45 p.m. Structured Recreation

2:00-2:30 p.m. Shift Change

2:30-5:00 p.m. CBT Classes/Structured Recreation/CLUB

5:00-5:45 p.m. Dinner/Clean Up

5:45-7:30 p.m. Structured Activities/Recreation/CBT Classes

7:30-8:30 p.m. Make Your Day Review/Showers

8:30p.m. Bedtime

8:30-9:30 p.m. Late Bedtime/Unit Clean/Facility Clean Up

Saturday and Sunday

6:00 a.m. Youth awakened/Beds are made

6:30-8:00 a.m. Breakfast/Oral Hygiene

8:00-10:00 a.m. Major clean up

10:00-12:00 p.m. Structured Activities/Recreation/CBT

12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch/Oral Hygiene/Clean-up

1:00-1:45p.m. Structured Activities/Recreation/CBT

2:00-2:30 p.m. Shift Change

2:30-5:00 p.m. Structured Activities/Recreation/CBT/Religious Services (Sunday)

5:00-5:45 p.m. Dinner/Clean-up

5:45-7:30 p.m. Structured Activities/Recreation

7:30-8:30 p.m. Make Your Day Review/Showers

8:30 p.m. Bedtime

8:30-9:30 p.m. Late Bedtime/Unit Clean-up/Facility Clean-up

What Are My Programs?


  • The Juvenile Detention Facility provides school year around offered by the San Joaquin County Office of Education. You will earn credits just like you do in regular school and these credits will transfer with you when you are released. Attending school is mandatory. If you have any questions about the school program, please ask teachers or Detention staff.


  • Planned activities, structure groups and free time are help after school, in the evenings, and on the weekends. You are expected to exercise at least one (1) hour per day, ever day. During rainy days, you will be expected to exercise inside. You will have the opportunity for recreation and exercise a minimum of three hours a day during the week and five hours a day on Saturday, Sunday or other non-school days.

Religious Services

  • Religious services will be offered at least once a week. Attending religious services in not mandatory. In the event services are cancelled, religious alternatives will be provided. Please advise Juvenile Detention staff if you would like a religious service or to speak to someone from a religion that is not currently being offered and we will attempt to make these arrangements. If you choose not to participate in religious services, you will be allowed to participate in other program activities during this time.
  • A Chaplain is available for you to speak to once a week. If you would like to speak to the Chaplain, please fill out a request and place in the Youth Advocate box.

Counseling Services

  • Juvenile Detention staff are always available to talk with you regarding questions or problems you may have. Please let them know how they can help you. The Youth Advocate is available Monday through Friday for additional counseling services. You may complete the Youth Advocate request form and place it in the confidential box located on the unity labeled Youth Advocate Requests.
  • Behavioral Health or Substance counseling is available upon request by completing the Healthcare Services request form and placing the completed form in the confidential box located on the unit labeled Healthcare Requests.
  • Probation Officers are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Please ask unit staff for assistance in contacting your Probation Officer.


  • Cognitive Behavioral Training (CBT) will be offered to all youth after school and on weekends. Other programs are offered that address the needs of the youth.
  • You will participate in various activities during your stay, which include arts and crafts, table games, video games, television, and have access to reading materials from our library, The Book Nook.

Additionally, there are special programs offered each month as well as various contests and sports competitions held throughout the facilities.

Detention Facility Rules

Rules have been established for the safety and welfare of both staff and youth. You must follow all staff instructions at all times.

Unit Expectations

Below is a list of rules that all youth must follow:

  • Follow staff requests
  • Use appropriate language
  • Respect your property
  • Maintain physical respect for others
  • Respect other’s property
  • No gambling
  • Follow dress code
  • Stay within assigned area
  • Participate in all programming
  • Attend school
  • No contraband
  • No sagging
  • Loud or disruptive talking is not appropriate
  • No throwing or tossing of any material
  • No racial remarks
  • No profanity
  • No sexual gestures
  • Maintain appropriate boundaries
  • No horseplay
  • Do not touch staff
  • No gang talk
  • Be honest
  • Follow all hygiene/daily routine
  • Follow Youth Handbook rules
  • Follow all movement rules
  • You must raise your hand for permission to leave your seat for any reason.
  • No passing or trading food with other youth.
  • Only one youth out of his/her seat at a time with permission from staff.
  • Staff will assign seating.
  • No talking during program, showers or movements.
  • Walk with hands behind your back.
  • Clothing will be worn appropriately and shower shoes will only be worn at shower time.

Room Rules

  1. Check your room for contraband upon receiving your room assignment.
  2. DO NOT bang on anything in your room.
  3. Nothing allowed on the vents, windows, floors, doors and lights.
  4. No shoes are allowed in your rooms.
  5. Only three (3) books, a Bible, certificates, Youth Handbook, and your court papers are allowed in your room.
  6. Before leaving your room, your bedding must be folded and stacked neatly at the end of the bed.
  7. You are responsible for the cleanliness of your room.
  8. Flush your toilet and keep your sink clean.
  9. You may have five (5) pictures of family and friends. You may have two (2) posters of appropriate content on the walls.

General Rules

  1. You may not have any sharp objects in your room or on your person.
  2. Writing or scratching on walls, trays, clothing or furniture, along with tearing of clothes or bedding is considered “Destruction of County Property.”
  3. You may be assigned unit work. Be willing to do your part.
  4. Tobacco and any illegal drugs are prohibited in the facility.
  5. All movements will be made in a single file line with your hands behind your back.
  6. Any gang activity such as signing, graffiti writing or talk will not be tolerated.
  7. Any gang related material will be confiscated.

Chores & Clean Up

  1. Youth will be assigned a work day for chores and general clean up.
  2. Major cleanup will occur during the weekend.