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Home > Compliance > Tools > Determining Secure and Non-Secure Custody Status

Determining Secure and Non-Secure Custody Status

Sight and Sound Separation - Definition, Rules, and Regulations

Sight & Sound Contact
Any physical or sustained sight and sound contact between juvenile offenders in a secure custody status and incarcerated adults, including inmate trustees. Sight contact is defined as clear visual contact between incarcerated adults and juveniles within close proximity to each other. Sound contact is defined as direct oral communication between incarcerated adults and juvenile offenders.
Non-residential areas
Areas within a secure facility such as sally ports, admissions and processing areas, and areas used for dining, education, recreation, vocational training, health care, passage of inmates, etc.
Residential areas
Areas within a secure facility used for sleeping and hygiene purposes.
Time-phasing
Use of the same non-residential area for adults and juveniles, but not at the same time. Written policies must be in place to ensure proper use and timing for each area.

Federal Rules and Regulations - Sight and Sound Separation
Maine Juvenile Code Title 15 Section 3203-A 7 (A)(1)(2)

  • No physical or sustained sight and sound contact is allowed between juvenile offenders in a secure custody status and incarcerated adults, including inmate trustees.
  • Separation must be maintained in all secure areas, residential and non-residential, of adult jails and adult lockups. This may be accomplished architecturally or through time-phasing. If time-phasing is used, policies and procedures need to be in place to support this.
  • Brief and inadvertent or accidental contact between juvenile offenders in secure custody status and incarcerated adults in secure non-residential areas or areas that are not dedicated for use only by juvenile offenders, does not constitute a reportable violation and does not have to be documented.
  • Any contact between juveniles in a secure custody status and incarcerated adults in a dedicated juvenile area or any residential area of a secure facility is a reportable violation.
  • Booking: A juvenile is not considered to be in secure custody status during booking when a secured booking area is all that is available, continuous visual supervision (supported by policies and procedures) is provided throughout the booking process and the juvenile remains in the booking area only long enough to be photographed and fingerprinted. Therefore, separation protections would not apply during this immediate time. However, if the juvenile is not immediately removed and separated following the booking process, the juvenile is considered to be in a secured status and the event must be recorded on the Secure Juvenile Holding Log (see Appendix 5 in the complete Compliance Manual).
  • A juvenile who has been transferred, waived, or direct-filed in adult court on criminal felony charges is exempt from the federal separation requirement, however, under Maine statutes, if they are held securely, they must be physically separated from adult inmates.
  • In accordance with current OJJDP policy, Maine must assure that no juvenile offender under public authority shall enter, for any amount of time, into a secure setting or secure section of any jail, lockup or correctional facility as a disposition of an offense or as a means of modifying their behavior (e.g. Shock Incarceration). However, youth visiting voluntarily as part of a school project are not violations.