Model Guidelines

Review & Updating Department Regulations for Treatment & Custody of Youth

  • Does your department have regulations for treatment of youth?
  • When were they last updated? Do they reflect U.S. Supreme Court and local court decisions?
  • Are they in compliance with the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002?
  • Does the absence of policies affect policing and officer discipline?

If your department does not have updated regulations for the arrest, booking, interrogation and custody of youth one of the services of Strategies for Youth will help update your regulations to be consistent with:

  • Standard 44 regarding Juvenile Treatment & Custody issued by the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (2012)
  • Various standards and research presented by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)

Department policy review includes updating policies according to state law, including Miranda warnings for youth, interrogations of youth in custody, and changes in federal law.

Example of Department Regulations Developed by Departments with Strategies for Youth:


Every department has to address the reality that each individual who joins it brings their own value system and at least 21 years of experience. Chiefs are responsible for developing a culture for their department by stating its values. The department’s policies and procedures should reflect those values and give guidance so officers are not operating on their individual background and belief system. Chiefs expect officers to follow the value system as it is laid out in training, policies and procedures, with the understanding that if officers violate these values and procedures, there will be consequences.

Lee BrownDr. Lee P. Brown
Former Chief of Police in Atlanta, Houston and NYC.
Dr. Brown was the Chair of the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) when it adopted its first set of standards. Houston was the first major city to receive a CALEA certification while Dr. Brown was chief of the Department.

Model Police Departmental Guidelines

Police Departments’ guidelines or standard operating procedures for responding to incidents involving youth, are key to departments’ effective interactions with youth, for promoting consistency in officer responses, and for providing a set of considerations that help steer officers’ use of discretion. The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) notes that “a comprehensive, well thought out, uniform set of written directives…is one of the most successful methods for reaching administrative and operational goals, while also providing direction to personnel.” (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (2006). Standards for Law Enforcement Agencies: A Management Improvement Model Through Accreditation (5th. ed.).

In its experience with various police departments, Strategies for Youth has found that a strong set of departmental guidelines that lays out the underlying policies and the overarching goals of the police department, provides officers with necessary guidelines and options when dealing with youth.

If your department is seeking a model set of guidelines to incorporate into your departmental structure, Strategies for Youth invites you to contact us. Additionally you can take inspiration from the standard operating procedures of the following police departments: