About the Detention Services Bureau

The Maricopa County Juvenile Probation Department operates one detention facility in Phoenix with a team of officers working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every youth brought to the facility is screened by a team of officers to determine if they should be held in secure detention pending a court hearing or returned to their parent or legal guardian's care. The detention facility's officers escort youth to court hearings and transport youth to attend medical appointments or handle other important matters.

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About the Detention Facility

The Maricopa County Juvenile Probation Department protects youth and the community by providing programming and the tools youth need for success once they are released from detention.

According to rules set by the Arizona Supreme Court (Rule 23D), juveniles must see a judge within 24 hours of being detained. Youth are appointed representation for court hearings and a judge reviews their case to decide whether they should be detained. Based on the rules, the judge decides that a youth should be detained if the youth is:

  • Likely to commit an offense injurious to self or others,
  • Needs custodial protection for their own interests or the interests of the public,
  • Charged with an offense that might be prosecuted in adult criminal court (A.R.S. 13-501),
  • Unlikely to be present at any hearing if they were not detained, or
  • Held for another jurisdiction.

The detention facility is not open for tours by general public. However, the Law for Kids web site provides a virtual tour of the Southeast Detention Facility.

The Juvenile Probation Department enforces rules and laws that keep youth safe according to Arizona State Standards, PREA Standards, and Arizona statutes.

Learn more about Reporting of Misconduct (PREA)

View the 2021 Annual PREA Report

Visitation Policies

To be eligible for visitation, the youth must be detained for at least 10 days.

Visitation is every Wednesday and Thursday, 10 - 11 AM or 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM. To receive authorization to visit a youth, do not call the detention center. Instead, contact the youth's probation officer and a staff member will schedule the visitation appointment.

Only parents, grandparents, or legal guardians are allowed to visit youth in detention. Approved visitors must present a government-issued identification including an ID/driver's license or passport. No exceptions. Other visitors (or family members with a different last name from the youth's last name) must have prior authorization from a member of the detention facility's management team. Contact the youth's assigned probation officer to request authorization for visitation.

Only authorized visitors are allowed in the building. Unauthorized visitors are required to wait outside the facility. 

Visitors under 21 years of age are not allowed in the detention facility including children and friends.

Items Allowed for Personal Visitations - All personal items including purses and other items are required to be placed in lockers during your visit to the detention facility. No packages, food, drinks, cards, or games are prohibited. Visitors are only permitted to carry their locker key and ID into the visiting areas.

Gifting Reading Materials - Leave all reading materials at the front desk to be reviewed for approval prior to delivery to the youth's unit. Hardcover books are not permitted in the detention facility, therefore reading materials must be paperback. Content must be PG and without lewd or X-rated content including references to violence, drugs, or crime. Please note that all reading material is a donation to the unit and not the property of the child. Any visitors passing any object whatsoever to a youth will be asked to leave and may forfeit any further visitation privileges.

Dress Code - Casual to business casual is allowed. Yoga pants, tight fitting clothing, shorts, low-cut tops, and open-toed shoes are not allowed. Those out of dress code will be asked to change their clothes.

Drug and Alcohol-Free Environment - Any visitors suspected of being under the influence will be turned away and will be unable to have a visit.

Shortened or Cancelled Visitation - For safety and security reasons a visit may be cancelled or shortened. If possible, Detention management will provide advance notice. 

For questions about visitation, please contact the youth's assigned probation officer.

All visitors must request authorization for visitation from the youth's assigned probation officer and must present valid identification upon arrival.

Professional Visitation Hours

Monday - Friday

  • 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM
  • 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Saturday - Sunday

  • 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
  • 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Visitation Rooms - Individual visitation rooms are limited, therefore, there may be a wait. Alternatively, there are tables in the open visitation area.

Prohibited Items - Personal items such as keys, purses, food, and drinks are not permitted in the visiting area. If use of electronics such as cell phones, laptops, or tablets is required for the visit, you must get approval from detention management. No paperclips, clips, staples, pens, or pencils are allowed in the facility. Be aware of any items you bring into the detention facility to prevent facility-wide searches for lost items.

Any items given to the youth, including books (which must be paperback), paperwork, or magazines will be inspected by Detention staff to ensure safety and security. No staples are allowed. Please remove them prior to entry to detention.  

Kids at Hope

Kids at Hope is a philosophy embodied in the care of detained youth that all kids are capable of success, no exceptions and that all youth need a caring adult to help them see their future and help them reach their goals.

Alternatives to Secure Care

New innovative processes and programs designed to minimize the reliance on secure care.

The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative operates in nearly 300 counties nationwide and focuses on innovative processes and programs as alternatives to detention. Maricopa County Juvenile Probation provides diversion, cognitive behavioral programs, and other programming and services as alternatives to detention, allowing the youth the avoid trouble and develop positive skills.


Education in Detention

Detained youth attend school Monday through Friday and can work towards high school credits, complete homework from their school in the community, study and test for the GED, or obtain certificates. If a youth achieves their diploma or GED in detention, a graduation celebration with parents or guardians is held.

Integrated Health Services Clinic

Integrated Health Services Clinic is open 7 days per week and provides medical and mental health care to detained youth including medical care, mental health assessments and services, dental care, nutrition, and emergency services. 

Physical Health Opportunities

Youth have daily physical education 7 days per week while detained which may consist of onsite gym activities and sports, yoga, or Fit4Success.



In partnership with Arizona State University, Journey.Do is an online platform accessible to youth in detention through iPads monitored by staff. Youth can select modules and connect with peers through journaling, reflection, and learning in virtual groups.

Courses include but are not limited to topics of Substance Abuse, Mental Health and Well Being, Skills for New Parents, and Driver's License practice tests.

Community Volunteers in Detention

Community Volunteers provide classes for youth including yoga, music composition, writing, and others.

Juvenile Transfer Offender Program (JTOP)

JTOP helps youth learn new life skills so they will deviate from negative behavior to prevent a term in the Adult Department of Corrections.


Detention Services Bureau Leadership

Michaella Aguilar-Heslin

Deputy Chief