The Elkhart County Juvenile Detention Center is a locked, secure facility which houses juveniles under the age of 18 who are ordered detained pursuant to the Indiana Code. Juvenile Detention is defined as a temporary secure setting for a juvenile accused of or adjudicated of a delinquent act who cannot safely go home.


The People

Manager, Juvenile Detention Center

Ricky Rickard

About the Juvenile Detention Center

The goals of the Detention Center are:

  • Ensure public safety by providing a safe, secure environment for lawfully detained juveniles.
  • Provide for the juveniles’ basic needs, including: shelter, food, clothing, personal hygiene, and medical care while in secure detention.
  • Protect juveniles’ legal rights while detained in the Juvenile Detention Center.
  • Provide for the physical, emotional, religious, educational, and social needs of juveniles during detainment.
  • Provide housing for juveniles in a safe, humane environment, maintaining the level of security required to prevent escape.

Philosophy of the Elkhart County Juvenile Detention Center

We, the juvenile detention staff, visualize the concept of juvenile detention as providing to the child, community, and its courts, a continuum of services directed toward meeting the needs of the individual youth, who for the protection of society or themselves, must be temporarily removed from the community.

To the child, detention provides immediate protection to a child from his own acting out and undesirable behavior. Through the varied programs of education, recreation, and group living, detention provides opportunities for the youth to act in a responsible, self-enhancing manner, interact positively with peers and adults, and to better understand themselves so that the youth can begin to identify problems within themselves, and change.

To the court, detention provides assurance that the appropriate security, controls and structure will be provided for the temporary care and custody pending court disposition.  It also provides the opportunity for a short-term, intensive study, evaluation and written report on the juveniles for the probation officer and juvenile magistrate.

To the community, detention provides immediate protection from youth whose behavior has endangered and appears likely to continue to endanger the safety of others.

As the youth begins to understand himself and his problems through his experience in detention, he will more readily respond to the help of the courts, other community agencies, or placements to which he may be sent.
The Elkhart County Juvenile Detention Center, its staff and volunteers, subscribe to the National Standards and have attempted to develop a philosophy and concept of operation conducive to providing the most effective and beneficial care available to detained youth.

The Nation Council on Crime and Delinquency sets for the four (4) goals for sound detention care:

  • Secure Custody
  • A Constructive and Satisfying Program
  • Individual Guidance
  • Observation and Study of the child

Juvenile Rights

All juveniles under supervision of the Juvenile Detention Center shall have basic rights as defined in the United States Constitution, the Indiana Constitution, the laws of Indiana, and the laws of the United States. These rights shall be safeguarded by all Juvenile Detention Center staff.

All juveniles under the supervision of the Juvenile Detention Center shall not be subject to discrimination based on race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or disability.

Detention Facilities should be used for the temporary care of such juveniles following arrest, prior to disposition, and following disposition while awaiting transfer to the facility of placement, or as the disposition.

Prison Rape Elimination Act

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003. Neither sexual conduct between inmates nor sexual conduct among staff and inmates is ever permitted. Such reports will be investigated and subject to criminal actions. Medical treatment and counseling will be provided to victims.

The Elkhart County Juvenile Detention Center enforces the Prison Rape Elimination Act and will prosecute.

To Report Sexual Misconduct

Department of Child Services Hotline - (800) 800-5556

Elkhart County Sheriff's Polic Department - (574) 891- 2100

2023 Survey of Sexual Violence 2023 Elkhart County JDC Final PREA Audit Report 2012 Elkhart County JDC PREA Report 2022 Elkhart County JDC PREA Report

Non-Discrimination Statement | USDA

Please click the button below to view the USDA Non-Discrimination Statement as this pertains to National School Lunch Program.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement