Code of the District of Columbia

§ 2–1515.05. Special authorities of the Department.

(a) When the Department has physical custody of a youth pursuant to § 16-2320, it may:

(1) Authorize a medical evaluation, emergency medical, surgical, or dental treatment, a psychiatric evaluation, or emergency outpatient psychiatric treatment, when reasonable efforts to secure the consent of the youth’s parents or legal guardian have been made, but a parent or legal guardian cannot be consulted; and

(2) Authorize non-emergency, routine outpatient medical, dental, and psychiatric treatment or an autopsy, when reasonable efforts to consult the parent or legal guardian have been made, but a parent or legal guardian cannot be consulted.

(b) The Department shall protect the safety, security, discipline, and order of Department and contractor facilities and in doing so it may require:

(1) Random searches of all buildings and grounds for contraband;

(2) Random and probable cause searches of persons and personal property entering or on the grounds for contraband;

(3) Use of metal detectors and visual inspections, dog sniffers, or other means to inspect any bag, luggage, or container being carried into or on the grounds for contraband; and

(4) Seizure, confiscation, and retention of contraband as a result of a search or inspection conducted pursuant to paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subsection.

(c) The Department shall protect the safety, security, discipline, and order of Department and contractor facilities, programs, and services, and in doing so it shall require the testing of all prospective and existing Department staff and contractual employees or other applicable personnel for drug and alcohol use, in accordance with § 1-620.22.

(d) The Department shall protect the safety, security, discipline, and order of Department and contractor facilities, programs, and services, and in doing so it shall test youth for the presence of substances, which may pose risks to the health and safety of youth or others.

(e) The Department shall protect the safety, security, discipline, and order of Department and contractor facilities, programs, and services, and in doing so it may require all prospective and existing employees or staff assigned to any Department facility or any provider of services to youth in any Department-contracted facility, group home, or shelter to provide National Crime Information Center (“NCIC”) criminal background checks in accordance with Chapter 15 of Title 4.

(f) The Department shall protect the safety, security, discipline, and order of Department facilities, residential facilities, programs, and services, and in doing so it may require all prospective and existing employees or staff at any Department-owned or contract facility, or program that provides services to youth in the juvenile justice system, be subject to a child protection registry check in the District of Columbia and their current and prior states of residence.

(g) The Department may:

(1) Prohibit the hiring of or require the termination of persons seeking employment or employed by the Department, or providers of services either under contract, grant, or agreement, or persons who will provide or do provide direct services or who have access to youth in the juvenile justice system, who have been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of:

(A) Child abuse or child neglect;

(B) Rape or sexual assault;

(C) Homicide or felony assault; or

(D) Any other crime, as defined by rules issued by the Mayor;

(2) Require all Department facilities or programs under contract, grant, or agreement to obtain written approval of the Department prior to employing any person who has been convicted or has served a sentence in the past 10 years for any of the following offenses or their equivalents:

(A) Fraud;

(B) Burglary;

(C) Drug-related crimes; or

(D) Any other crime, as defined by rules issued by the Mayor; and

(3) Prohibit the assignment of persons employed by the Department, or providers of services, either under contract, grant, or agreement, that have access to youth into positions that may place them in contact with youth if that person is alleged to be a perpetrator of abuse or neglect in a currently pending child abuse or neglect investigation.

(h) The Department may take any other actions necessary to promote the safety and well-being of the youth in the Department’s custody.

(h-1) The Department shall not use a positive test for use of marijuana, or a violation of § 48-1201, as the basis for a change of placement, a change in treatment, or any sanction unless the Department expressly prohibits the use or possession of marijuana, as opposed to controlled substances generally, as a condition in the community placement agreement or by otherwise providing written notice to the child. A prohibition on the use or possession of marijuana shall be based upon an individual evaluation conducted pursuant to § 2-1515.04(7).

(i) A criminal or civil conviction for any of the charges listed within subsection (f)(1) of this section or identification as a perpetrator of abuse or neglect as determined by the investigation conducted pursuant to subsection (f) of this section in this or any jurisdiction shall constitute cause for termination.

(j) Except as expressly provided by this subchapter, all information obtained pursuant to this section shall be considered confidential and only released to appropriate officials, as determined by the Director of the Department.

(k) The Department may expend funds from its operating budget, as considered necessary, to create, manage, operate, and implement programs and policies that further its objective to provide rehabilitative care and services to detained and committed youth in its care and custody, including spending appropriated funds for on-site employee meals.


(Apr. 12, 2005, D.C. Law 15-335, § 105, 52 DCR 2025; Aug. 16, 2008, D.C. Law 17-219, § 5006, 55 DCR 7598; July 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-126, § 411(b), 61 DCR 3482.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1515.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-219 added subsec. (k).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-126 added (h-1).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 105 of Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services Establishment Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-657, December 29, 2004, 52 DCR 481).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 105 of Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services Establishment Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-58, March 17, 2005, 52 DCR 3182).

Short Title

Short title: Section 5003 of D.C. Law 17-219 provided that subtitle C of title V of the act may be cited as the “On-site Meal Expenses Amendment Act of 2008”.

Editor's Notes

Section 501 of D.C. Law 20–126 provided that the Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], may issue rules to implement the provisions of the act.