Juvenile Detention Services


The Family Court–Juvenile Division runs a secure, residential detention center that houses youth accused of law violations. Juveniles are detained at the center at 3847 Enright Avenue because they may pose a threat to the community or might be at risk of failing to come to required court appearance. Youths brought to the detention center are screened according to Missouri juvenile assessment standards to determine detention is appropriate. They are then classified based on gender, age, and maturity and placed in a units with similar youth.

The detention center provides medical services, healthy food, housekeeping, education programming, physical activity, psychological counseling and around-the-clock support from youth leaders.

St. Louis became a “Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative” (JDAI) site in 2006. The JDAI was launched in 1992 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation at select sites across the country. Its purpose is to demonstrate more effective and efficient systems of providing juvenile detention without jeopardizing community safety. The JDAI process seeks to eliminate unnecessary and inappropriate out-of-home placements, employ better community-based intervention methods, improve public safety by reducing recidivisim, redirect resources to more effective programs, ensure safe, healthy and humane confinement and ensure juvenile justice is accountable for youths while addressing racial equity and inclusion.

The mission of the St. Louis City Juvenile Detention Center is to treat all youth who enter through its doors with compassion, dignity and respect, and to provide a safe and secure environment for all youth and staff.

The Detention Center has volunteer opportunities for citizens who want to engage with young people. Program areas include parenting skills, job readiness and resume writing, anger management, personal finance, math and reading tutoring, art and computer skills. Applications and background checks are required.