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With the sole exception for youthful offenders sentenced under the dual jurisdiction provision, the Division of Youth Services does not provide services to youth who have been transferred into the adult criminal justice system. The Department of Corrections assumes responsibility for youthful offenders who are convicted and sentenced as adults.

Dual jurisdiction refers to the blended sentencing provision (211.073 RSMo) which authorizes the courts to simultaneously invoke an adult and juvenile disposition. When youthful offenders who have been certified as adults and received a conviction in the criminal court, the judge may suspend the execution of the adult sentence while committing the youthful offender to the Division of Youth Services for specialized programming.

Per statute (595.209 RSMo), victims of dangerous felonies are afforded a variety of rights, including, but not limited to the following: the right to be present and heard at court proceedings, to be informed of the status and disposition of the case, to be notified of projected release of the offender, to be notified of any furloughs or escapes, and to be informed regarding availability of victim’s compensation and other assistance. Such rights apply in juvenile cases when the offense would have been a felony if committed by an adult. In addition, juveniles in the Division of Youth Services are also involved in community service and other restitution efforts.

The Division of Youth Services provides for all necessary levels of care. All youth in residential care receive a Healthy Children and Youth (HCY) screening by licensed nurses and physicians soon after they are placed in a treatment program. The goal is to identify not only the unmet but also the anticipated health and wellness needs. The youth also receive health education, anticipatory guidance, vision and dental care. All youth are assigned a primary care provider who will oversee the youth’s wellness as well as any illness. When prescribed by the doctor, Division of Youth Services staff will administer medications and other treatments. In addition to the primary care physicians, the Division of Youth Services has licensed nurses and staff who are trained to care for the youth who have special needs or disabilities.

Approximately 37% of the youth have a mental health diagnosis. The Division of Youth Services has the ability to provide specialized mental health services to youth, both internally and through collaborative relationships, including the use of Telehealth technology, with community providers and agencies.