Polk County Community, Family & Youth Services

Youth Services - Detention Center

  • Can I admit my child to Detention?

    No. If your child has broken the law then you should call 911 for assistance. This does not mean that your child will be detained. The Central Intake Officer on duty will review all pertinent information and make a determination in the best interests of the youth and their family.

  • How long will my child be there?

    The amount of time that a youth is detained is determined by the Juvenile Court Judge.  All youth admitted to Detention will attend a court hearing within twenty-four hours of being admitted (excluding weekends).  In some cases, upon the advice of the youth's attorney or juvenile court officer, the youth may waive their right to a detention hearing.  

  • When will I be allowed to talk to my child?

    Youth are allowed to make one outgoing call and recieve one incoming call each day.  Phone calls are limited to 7 minutes each. A limit is placed on calls in order to allow all youth the opportunity to make/receive a phone call. There are eleven youth on each wing when the building is full, sometimes getting through is difficult.

    You may call (515)286-3344 and push the number that coincides with the wing the youth is currently on. Wing 400 - 4, Wing 500- 5, Wing 600- 6.

    Youth wanting to make an outgoing call must sign up prior to going to school Monday – Friday and by 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Telephone calls are made throughout the day when they do not interfere with legitimate programming. Calls are made in the order that the youth signed up.

    As the juvenile moves up in the level system he/she will be able to make longer telephone calls.

  • Is my child alowed to make/receive calls from anyone?

    Only those who are authorized are allowed to call. An authorized caller is defined as immediate family members which includes; parents, step-parents, grandparents, step-grandparents, and legal guardians.

    Only siblings, stepbrothers, stepsisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, who are living with their parent/guardian are allowed to call the youth.

    Youth are allowed to make one outgoing call and recieve one incoming call each day.  Phone calls are limited to 7 minutes each. A limit is placed on calls in order to allow all youth the opportunity to make/receive a phone call. There are eleven youth on each wing when the building is full, sometimes getting through is difficult.

    You may call (515)286-3344 and push the number that coincides with the wing the youth is currently on. Wing 400 - 4, Wing 500- 5, Wing 600- 6.

    Youth wanting to make an outgoing call must sign up prior to going to school Monday – Friday and by 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Telephone calls are made throughout the day when they do not interfere with legitimate programming. Calls are made in the order that the youth signed up.

    As the youth moves up in the level system he/she will be able to make longer telephone calls.

  • Am I allowed to vist my child?

    If you are a parent, step-parent, or legal guardian you are allowed to visit. 

    A maximum of three (3) visitors will be allowed to visit a youth at one time. 

    Visits must be scheduled in advance by calling (515) 286-3344. To schedule a weekday visit call between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. and on weekends between 7:00 a.m. and Noon.

    Visiting Hours

    Monday-Friday    6:00-6:30 p.m. and 6:45-7:15 p.m. NOTE: The first time slot will be filled prior to using the second time slot.

    Saturday-Sunday 1:00-1:30 p.m. and 1:45-2:15 p.m. NOTE: The first time slot will be filled prior to using the second time slot.

    Holidays (Thanksgiving and Day After, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) 9:00-9:30 a.m. and 6:45-7:15 p.m.

    Visitors must arrive and sign in at least 15 minutes prior to the start of visits.

    All visitors age thirteen (13) and over are required to produce valid photo identification.  Accepted forms of ID are a current driver's license, current DOT issued ID, etc).  Visitors age 13-17 may use a current academic school  year I.D.

  • Can anyone besides parents/guardians visit? 

    Only those who are authorized are allowed to visit. An authorized visitor is defined as immediate family members which includes; parents, step-parents, siblings, stepbrothers, stepsisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandparents, step-grandparents, and legal guardians. If the youth has a biological child, that child may visit with the youth's parents/guardians only.

    Siblings up to the age of nineteen (19) must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Siblings not living with a parent/guardian must have prior approval from Juvenile Court before being allowed to visit. A team leader from Detention can contact juvenile court for you to obtain permission to visit.

    A maximum of three (3) visitors will be allowed to visit a youth at one time.

    Visits must be scheduled in advance by calling (515) 286-3344. To schedule a Weekday visit call between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. and on Weekends between 7:00 a.m. and Noon.

    Visiting Hours

    Monday-Friday-  6:00-6:30 p.m. and 6:45-7:15 p.m. NOTE: The first time slot will be filled prior to using the second time slot.

    Saturday-Sunday-  1:00-1:30 p.m. and 1:45-2:15 p.m. NOTE: The first time slot will be filled prior to using the second time slot.

    Holidays (Thanksgiving and Day After, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) 9:00-9:30 a.m. and 6:45-7:15 p.m.

    Visitors must arrive and sign in at least 15 minutes prior to the start of visits.

    All visitors age thirteen (13) and over are required to produce valid photo identification.  Accepted forms of ID are a current driver's license, current DOT issued ID, etc).  Visitors age 13-17 may use a current academic school  year I.D.

    Professional Visitors

    Attorneys, juvenile court officers, social workers, clergy and mentors will not be denied access to visit their client.  These visits are not limited by hour of day or duration. 

    Government officials, legislators, media representatives and other non-related individuals may be approved for visitation by the program administrator or team leader on a case-by-case basis and will not count against the juvenile's normal visiting schedule.

     

  • Can our Pastor visit?

    Yes. Ask your pastor to call a team leader at (515) 286-3344.  The team leader will assist with arranging a time to visit.

  • Does my child need clothes?

    No.  When your son or daughter is admitted they will shower and their clothing and other personal items will be inventoried and placed in a personal property bag.  If he/she is wearing tennis shoes, they will be allowed to keep them.  Clean underwear, t-shirt, socks and a blue jumpsuit will be issued; females will also be issued a bra. 

  • Can I bring my child personal care products?

    Special brands of personal hygiene products or beauty items such as  make-up or special treatment items such as permanent waves, hair colors, special shampoos or hair treatment will not be provided or allowed in the detention center unless authorized by the Medical Services Department to remedy a specific medical problem.

    A pesonal hygiene kit will be given to your child when they are admitted.  Each kit contains a comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant and shampoo.  Lotion is dispensed at shower time.  Kits are replenished as needed.  Shaving is done in the presence of staff. 

     

  • Does my child need money?

    No

  • How can I find out how my child is doing?

    You can call the wing where the youth is assigned and ask to speak with a staff person. Staff may ask for some identifying information to make sure you are a parent/guardian.

    Call (515)286-3344 and push the number that coincides with the wing the youth is currently on. Wing 400 - 4, Wing 500- 5, Wing 600- 6.

  • How do I find out who my child's Juvnile Court Officer (JCO) is? 

    You can ask the staff on the wing where your child is assigned or you can call Polk County Juvenile Court at (515)286-3960.  

  • Will my child be involved in any activites while there?

    Yes, it is the policy of the Polk County Juvenile Detention Center to provide a minimum of one-hour of large muscle activity and one-hour of structured leisure time activities each day. 

    Recreational Program

    The recreational program provides planned, organized and supervised coeducational activities, including the use of the gymnasium and outdoor recreation area.  These activities will be available to all youth, except when program capacity, unacceptable behavior (disciplinary action), medical restriction and/or facility security requires that limitations be imposed.

    Library

    To reduce idleness, maintain and increase literacy and allow youth to pursue personal interests, reading materials and other related services will be provided through the center's library.  The library provides youth access to a collection of general and specialized reading materials that meet educational, informational, and recreational needs of youth. 

  • Will my child go to school while in Detention?

    Yes, your child will attend school while they are here.  Educational services are provided by the Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA). A teacher from Detention will contact your child's school to determine their current academic level.  

  • Can you tell me about the IMPACT program?

    Please refer to Youth Services-Youth Programs-IMPACT on our website.

  • Why do you need our insurance information and my child’s Social Security number?

    We need this information in case your child requires medical care while in our facility.

  • Are you hiring?

    Please visit the Human Resources Department website for open positions or continue to check the DSM Register classified under Human Services or Government.

Contact Us

Community & Family Division
Polk County River Place
2309 Euclid Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50310
515-286-3434

Youth Services Division
Juvenile Detention 515-286-3344
Centralized Intake 515-286-3350
1548 Hull Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50316