When a minor is arrested for criminal activity, they may be confined much like their adult counterparts. However, the State of Utah recognizes that housing juvenile and adult offenders in the same facility is unsafe and may pose a serious safety risk for juveniles. So, juvenile offenders are held in detention centers throughout Utah.
Parents have the right to be involved with their child’s juvenile case from start to finish, which means they may need to frequently contact their child while they are in a detention facility. However, calling your child will not be as simple as picking up a phone. Detention facilities that house juvenile offenders have rules and restrictions about contacting your child.
Read on to learn more about how to contact a juvenile being held in a Salt Lake City detention facility from the dedicated team at Overson Law, PLLC. For a free legal consultation with our team, call (801) 758-2287 today.
Contacting a Salt Lake City Detention Facility by Mail
The Utah Department of Human Services and the Division of Juvenile Justice have enacted multiple policies dealing with contacting offenders housed in detention facilities. Obviously, parents are permitted to contact their children within the facilities, but some restrictions are imposed for safety and security reasons. You must contact the specific facility where your child is being held to get a full list of rules and restrictions for contacting your child.
Written correspondence is permitted so that detained juveniles can maintain relationships with family members and loved ones and also receive communications from legal counsel. However, certain procedures must be followed for both incoming and outgoing mail.
Juvenile offenders housed in detention facilities may send out letters to loved ones or their legal counsel under certain limitations. Juveniles may generally send as much mail as they wish, as long as it does not interfere with the facility’s security or the treatment needs of the juvenile. Outgoing mail must be properly addressed. Additionally, there can be no words or drawings on the outside of the envelope that could cause a security problem or interfere with treatment.
Parents and attorneys may send letters to juveniles in detention facilities, but juveniles may not receive mail from any kind of subscription services like magazines or newspapers. Your mail to your child must be clearly addressed and have no markings or drawings on the outside. If any such markings exist, the mail will be returned to the post office. Mail will also be returned if it is not correctly addressed. The facility documents mail that is returned to the post office and the juvenile is notified of the return.
Mail will be opened by staff in front of the juvenile and checked for contraband. Mail is also inspected, but not closely read, for any inappropriate messages, like hate speech, gang-related communications, or threats. If the mail contains anything inappropriate, it will be held by a supervisor. Similarly, parcels are opened and investigated in front of the juvenile and all contents are documented. Banned items or contraband will be withheld.
Mail is generally not read by staff unless there is contraband or inappropriate markings or speech detected. If incoming mail must be read and inspected, the juvenile will be informed by staff. Mail may not be sent or received between a detained juvenile and any other detained juvenile or adult inmate. Exceptions may be made for incarcerated parents or siblings.
Calling a Salt Lake City Detention Facility on the Phone
Much like sending and receiving mail, juveniles are subject to limitations when making and receiving phone calls. Juveniles are typically permitted to call a parent or attorney after being admitted to a detention facility. Generally, this first call must be allowed within two hours of arrival, absent a valid reason why the call could not be made.
Calls between a juvenile and their attorney are considered privileged and are not monitored by staff. However, personal calls between juveniles and loved ones will be monitored. This means you can expect anything you say to your child to be heard by a facility staff member. Also, personal calls will usually be made according to facility rules. However, calls to attorneys and social workers can be made at any time.
While juveniles may make and receive phone calls as they need to, certain restrictions may be applied by the facility. Phone access may be denied to a juvenile under certain circumstances. If you attempt to call your child and they are unable to receive the call, your child will be notified and arrangements can be made to call another time. Also, your child will not be denied phone access as a punishment for misbehavior.
Callers’ identities must be screened and confirmed by the facility before the juvenile is allowed to take the call. You will likely speak to a facility staff member before speaking to your child over the phone for every call made. You should reach out to your child’s facility to get a list of rules regarding how to call your child, as each facility may have somewhat different rules.
Visiting Your Child in a Salt Lake City Detention Facility
Family members and lawyers may visit juveniles in detention facilities within the visitation rules and procedures set by the facility. To get inside the facility, you must present a photo I.D. at each visit. If you are wearing inappropriate clothing, like a see-through top or other revealing clothing, you will be denied entry. You will also be searched before entering.
Every time you visit your child in the facility, the room in which you are allowed to visit will be searched before you arrive and after you leave. Your child will also be searched before and after each visit. If the facility deems it necessary, your visits could be supervised.
Check with your child’s detention facility to figure out the rules and procedures for visiting. Different facilities may impose different restrictions.
Call Our Salt Lake City Juvenile Defense Attorneys for Help
If your child is detained in a detention facility in Salt Lake City or anywhere else in Utah, contact our juvenile defense attorneys for help. Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 to discuss your child’s case.