Juvenile Temporary Detention Center

Bureau Name:
Chief Judge/ Circuit Court of Cook County

Main Office Address:
1100 S. Hamilton Avenue
Chicago, IL 60612

Telephone: (312)433-7102

Earl Dunlap - Transitional Administrator

Hours: M-F: 9AM-5PM; Sat-Sun: Closed

Juvenile Temporary Detention Center

The Juvenile Temporary Detention Center provides temporary secure housing for youth from the age of 10 through 16 years, who are awaiting adjudication of their cases by the Juvenile Division of the Cook County Courts. The Center also provides care for youth who have been transferred from Juvenile Court jurisdiction to Criminal Court. These youth would otherwise be incarcerated in the county jail.

The Juvenile Temporary Detention Center provides the children with a safe, secure and caring environment with programs and structure that enhance personal development and improve opportunity for success upon return to the community.

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Youth Development Specialist

Cook County Juvenile Detention Center
Location: IL - Chicago Job Type: Government
Nonprofit - Social Services
Base Pay: $46,268 /Year Required Education: 4 Year Degree
Bonus: Required Experience: Not Specified
Other: Required Travel: Not Specified
Employee Type: Full-Time Relocation Covered: No
Industry Government - Civil Service, Law Enforcement, Security

Job ID: 1592 Counselor


Cook County is currently looking for a Youth Development Specialist  to work in the JTDC Facility. Under the supervision of the Deputy Executive Director of Resident Daily Life, Team Leader, and/or Assistant Team Leader, the Youth Development Specialist supervises, guides, and counsels residents through daily activities within the JTDC’s residential and educational programs.


Typical duties include the following:

  • Closely provides direct and continuous supervision of JTDC residents in accordance with policy and procedure that promote a safe, secure, and humane environment for residents and staff.  This includes monitoring all resident activity to make certain that adequate security measures are maintained through conducting security checks, resident counts, and room checks at appropriate intervals.
  • Supervises around the clock structured and leisure activities of the residents, including preparing residents for various group and individual activities such as religious services, classes, recreational programs, and court hearings.
  • Supervises meals and coordinates distribution of food and utensils.
  • Supervises and provides instruction of all activities (e.g.; bathing/showering, personal hygiene, etc.) on a daily basis to maintain physical cleanliness and hygienic conditions of the juvenile and center.  May assist in the laundering of residents’ clothing.
  • Participates in the resident admission and orientation process which includes, but is not limited to, rules and regulations applicable to residents, room assignments, and completion of appropriate documentation, etc.
  • Administers behavior management programs such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Token Economy.
  • Monitors residents for changes in behavior that may indicate potential crisis situations in accordance with facility guidelines and alerts other staff as appropriate.
  • Intervenes when necessary in crisis situations in accordance with policy and procedure guidelines for physical and mechanical restraints, room confinements, or other appropriate action.  Submits information to Shift Supervisor/Team Leader on the more serious disciplinary actions and in accordance with JTDC policy/procedure.
  • Escorts residents within the facility and externally as directed.  This may be to accompany youth during hospital visits, funerals, and appointments at various social service agencies.
  • Reports all observances of unusual behaviors of resident’s physical and mental health to the Supervisor in Charge/Team Leader and the designated medical authority.
  • Operates and monitors electronic security and communication equipment including control panel, intercom, computers, and alarms.
  • Organizes and directs participation in group recreational activities such as games, arts and crafts, gym events, outdoor activities and other activities as needed.
  • Documents resident behaviors and actions daily, using observation notes, incident reports, shift change notes, resident files, and related documentation.
  • Ensures that each resident’s file is updated with current and proper legal and medical/insurance information and that the files are in compliance with the State and Administrative rules.
  • Collects and assembles data and information from various agencies, court staff, and other sources.
  • Ensures compliance with federal, state, local and JTDC policy and procedure and lawful court orders
  • Communicates verbally and in writing in a coherent and effective manner through reports, and memorandums, both internally and with external agency contacts.
  • In collaboration with a certified instructor, serves as an active participant in the resident’s educational program.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned this classification.  They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all job duties performed by personnel so classified.



The Youth Development Specialist  should meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college; preferably in Counseling, Social Work, Criminal Justice, Psychology, or other related Social Services.
  • At least one year of proven experience in a secured facility is strongly preferred.
  • United States citizenship.
  • 21 years of age at the time of application submission.

The qualifications listed above are intended to represent the minimum skills and experience levels associated with performing the duties and responsibilities contained in this job description.  The qualifications should not be viewed as expressing absolute employment or promotional standards, but as general guidelines that should be considered along with other job-related selection or promotional criteria.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics

  • Previous experience in social services or juvenile direct care.  Preference to those with previous experience working with delinquent or emotionally troubled youths and/or families, which may have been in an intern or volunteer capacity
  • Knowledge of and sensitivity to cultural diversity and of socioeconomic or psychological factors affecting youth behavior
  • Ability to recognize abnormal behaviors and adverse health conditions in juveniles and follow proper medical reporting procedures
  • Ability to effectively listen, understand, and communicate in English (verbally and in writing) at the appropriate level with juveniles, family members, staff, attorneys, investigators and court officers
  • Ability to prioritize competing demands and to be flexible, creative, proactive, and effective under pressure in a fast-paced environment
  • Must possess knowledge of group dynamics and the ability to establish trust and cooperation with juveniles while maintaining an appropriate level of professionalism, assertiveness, and leadership
  • Ability to work effectively under stressful conditions and emergency situations.
  • Highly accountable, reliable, and prompt, with a strong work ethic
  • Demonstrates proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Demonstrates skills in database creation and maintenance.
  • Bilingual communication skills preferred.

Physical Requirements

[This job requires the ability to perform the essential functions contained in this description.  These include, but are not limited to, the following requirements.]

  • Ability to move desks, beds and other furniture to conduct security checks.
  • Ability to step up on elevated surfaces, such as beds or stools, to conduct room searches.
  • Reaching, bending, and stooping to perform security checks, housekeeping and other tasks.
  • Extended periods of walking throughout the facility.
  • Extended periods of standing.
  • Ability to physically restrain residents under adverse conditions, including the ability to manage weights of 75lbs. to 200 lbs. when restraining adolescents.
  • Ability to demonstrate proficiency in Physical Restraint Techniques.
  • Ability to respond to emergency situations according to JTDC policies, procedures and protocols.
  • Ability to hear, understand, and respond to different monitoring systems. 
  • Lifting and carrying containers for meals, laundry bags and other items weighing up to 35 lbs.
  • Must be able to be mandated or work overtime based on departmental needs.


Working Conditions:

  • Exposure to resident behavior problems that may include physical acting out and require safe physical management skills.
  • Exposure to residents with complex mental health issues and/or disorders.
  • Exposure to youth with various states of cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Exposure to various health related conditions or residents of a communicable nature which requires precaution and adhering to medical instruction.
  • Open availability to work any shift at a 24-hour facility (includes evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays and ability to work overtime as directed.

Hiring Requirements

  • Illinois residency obtained within 90 days of date of hire.
  • Pass a pre-employment drug screen and background check including but not limited to LEADS, CANTS, and professional references.
  • A result of negative from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Child Abuse Registry.
  • Pass required and nationally recognized written examinations for direct care positions.
  • Meet additional minimum requirements for eligibility established by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC).