Complex Trauma
Complex trauma refers to “exposure to multiple traumatic events, often of an invasive, interpersonal nature, with the potential to have more wide-ranging and long-term impact.”[1]

Detained or Detention
Detained youth are youth that the juvenile court has determined need to be removed from their home and confined in a secure juvenile facility known as a “detention” facility prior to their adjudication. (In some jurisdictions, such as New York City, youth are still considered detained even when they are in non-secure detention.) Youth may also be detained when a non-secure placement facility (e.g., shelter care or a treatment program) ejects them for allegedly failing to adjust in placement, or when a youth is accused of violating terms of probation. Detention is usually short-term and detention facilities differ from jails (which are adult-system facilities used to confine adults short-term) or long-term youth lockups, such as state “training” facilities or youth prisons.

A system of procedures or programs that direct youth away from formal juvenile justice system processing entirely, as well as programs that divert youth away from secure detention in a juvenile justice facility.

Risk Assessment
A risk assessment instrument is a tool used to determine a youth’s likelihood of re-offending. It does not assess or diagnose mental health issues.


[1] Thomas Grisso and Gina Vincent, “Trauma in Dual Status Youth: Putting Things in Perspective” (Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, 2014): 2,