Section 950-1-6-.05 - Physical Standards (Alabama Administrative Code)

§ 950-1-6-.05. Physical Standards


(a) There is an operations manual containing all Procedure for Facility supervision. The manual is available to all staff and is reviewed at least annually and updated if necessary. At a minimum this manual contains:

1. policies and procedure

2. orientation information for staff

3. orientation information for juveniles

4. Facility emergency procedures to include

(i) absconders

(ii) medical emergency

(iii) severe weather and fire emergencies

(iv) suicide precautions and actions to be taken in the event of a suicide attempt

5. Facility inspection procedures for maintenance, safety, sanitation, and hygiene

6. rules and consequences

7. levels of responsibility for juveniles

8. Program description

9. relevant Facility forms

(b) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice limit the use of physical force to instances of self-protection, protection of the juvenile or others, prevention of property damage, prevention of escape, and in accordance with appropriate statutory authority. In no event is physical force justifiable as punishment. A written report is prepared following all uses of force and is submitted to the facility administrator.

(c) Program residents are never left unsupervised.

(d) Licensed facilities will maintain at a minimum the following resident to staff ratios for each shift when residents are under Facility care:

1 to 8 residents/1 staff member

9 to 16 residents/2 staff members

(e) The Facility staffing pattern concentrates staff when most residents are in the Facility.

(f) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice provide that no resident or group of residents is in a position of control over other residents.

(g) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice require that Careworkers maintain a permanent log that includes routine information, emergency situations, and unusual incidents that occur in the Facility.

(h) There is a daily inspection including holidays and weekends of all occupied areas of the Facility. Unoccupied areas of the Facility are inspected weekly. Notation of the inspection is maintained and reviewed by the administrator.

(i) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice provide for the detection and reporting of absconders.

(j) Student movement into and out of the Facility is monitored by staff members.

(k) Juveniles and staff members do not share the same sleeping rooms.

(l) Male and female residents do not occupy the same sleeping rooms. Co-ed programs develop means to prevent unsupervised contact between males and females.

(m) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice provide for searches to control contraband and its disposition at a level commensurate with security needs. This Policy is made available to staff and juveniles. Policy and procedure are reviewed at least annually and updated, if necessary. Body cavity searches are not allowed in the Facility.

(n) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice govern the control and use of tools, equipment, and keys.

(o) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice provide for prompt notification of the licensing agent in any of the following situations:

1. Accidents or injuries to residents of the Program requiring medical treatment outside the Facility

2. Situations which require an interruption of program services

3. Suicidal gestures or ideation on the part of a resident requiring the intervention of a mental health professional

4. Any violation of health or fire safety codes

5. Any other Standards which require verbal or written notification of the licensing agent


(a) The Facility complies with the annual regulations of the state or local fire authority, whichever has primary jurisdiction over the Facility. Reports of periodic inspections and actions taken to correct deficiencies are to be maintained.

(b) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice specifies the Facility's regulations and practices to ensure the safety of juveniles, staff, and visitors. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Provisions for the fire inspections and testing of fire safety equipment (smoke detectors, emergency lighting, extinguishers, pull alarms, etc.) at least quarterly

2. Annual inspections by local or state fire officials

3. Availability of fire protection equipment at appropriate locations throughout the Facility

4. Documentation of the organization providing fire protection service to the Facility

(c) Facility furnishings (i.e. mattresses, cushions, curtains, etc.) meet fire safety performance requirements. Annual fire inspections shall denote the inspector's approval of Facility furnishings.

(d) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice govern the control and use of all flammable, toxic, and caustic materials.

(e) The Facility has a written evacuation plan prepared in the event of a fire or major emergency that is approved by the state or local fire authority that has jurisdiction. The plan is distributed to the local fire protection service and emergency management personnel having jurisdiction over the Facility. The plan is reviewed annually, updated if necessary and reissued. The plan includes:

1. location of building/room floor plan

2. use of exit signs and directional arrows

3. locations of exits, fire extinguishers, First Aid equipment and other emergency equipment

4. corresponding diagrams are posted throughout the Facility

(f) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice provide that fire drills are conducted at least monthly.

(g) All Facility personnel are trained in the implementation of written emergency plans as a part of orientation. The Training is repeated as the plan is updated, at least annually.

(h) The Facility has a fire alarm and detection system that is approved by the authority having jurisdiction. All elements are tested monthly by Facility personnel to ensure the systems' operation. The system is re-approved annually by the fire authority.

(i) Facility vehicles used primarily for transportation of residents receive an annual safety inspection by a qualified mechanic. Recommended repairs are immediately completed and a record of the repairs is kept on file.


(a) There is a written set of disciplinary regulations governing juvenile rule violations. These are reviewed annually and updated, if necessary.

(b) All Program rules and regulations pertaining to residents are conspicuously posted in the Facility cur included in a handbook that is accessible to all juveniles and staff. When a literacy, language, or communication problem exists, a staff person assists the juvenile in understanding the materials.

(c) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice require that employees prepare a disciplinary report when they have reasonable belief that a resident has committed a major violation of Facility rules.

(d) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice provide that a juvenile charged with a major violation of Facility rules is given a copy of the alleged violation and has the opportunity to have the violation reviewed by a supervisor not involved with the incident within 24-hours.

(e) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice provide that there are informal resolutions available for minor infractions of Facility rules.

(f) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice provide that those facilities using a time-out or isolation room provide fifteen minute room checks on Youth placed in isolation or time-out. Youth placed in isolation who present suicidal ideation or gestures are placed under continual observation.

(g) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice provide that room restriction or time-out does not exceed eight hours without review and administrative authorization.

(h) All instances of room restrictions, Facility restrictions, and privilege suspension are recorded, dated and signed by staff. The record is reviewed and signed by supervising staff on a daily basis.

(i) Before disciplinary action is taken, the reason (s) for the action is discussed and the juvenile has the opportunity to explain his/her behavior.


(a) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice ensure the right of the juvenile to have access to the Courts.

(b) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice prohibit discrimination based on a juvenile's race, religion, national origin, sex, disability or political views in making administrative decisions and in providing access to Programs.

(c) Written, Policy, Procedure, and practice specify that juveniles are not subjected to corporal or unusual punishment, humiliation, mental abuse, or punitive interference with the daily functions of living, such as eating or sleeping.

(d) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice provide for the reporting of all instances of child abuse and/or neglect consistent with appropriate state laws or local laws.

(e) In any investigation of a complaint, the executive and staff shall cooperate in gathering facts relating to the allegation and shall make accessible to the investigation: all personnel, residents, and records, directly or indirectly associated with the complaint.

(f) Written Policy, Procedure, and practice specify the personal property juveniles can retain in their possession and govern the control and safeguarding of such property. Personal property retained in the Facility is itemized in a written list that is kept in a permanent file; the juvenile receives a copy listing the property retained for storage.

(g) There is a written grievance and appeal process for juveniles. The process ensures that grievances are transmitted without alteration, interference, or delay to the person responsible for its receipt and investigation. A written report as to the final disposition of the grievance should be maintained.

(New Rule: Filed December 17, 2004; effective January 21, 2005. Amended by Alabama Administrative Monthly Volume XXXVII, Issue No. 02, November 30, 2018, eff. December 21, 2018.)

Author: Alabama Department of Youth Services, Office of Licensing and Standards

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, §§ 44-1-27(a)(b); 44-1-24(4)(6), 38-13-4.

Disclaimer: This content is regularly reviewed to ensure the information is current and accurate. However, Section 950-1-6-.05 Physical Standards may have been updated since our last review. For the latest version of all legislation, please check the official resources.

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