Juvenile Center

Phone and Mail PoliciesVisitationTether
Secure DetentionEducation ServicesMedical Services
Summer Food Service ProgramResidential Treatment / Family Services

A large brown building with a parking lot in front of it.The Berrien County Juvenile Center (BCJC) is a branch of and operated by the Family Division of the Berrien County Trial Court. The facility is inspected under regulations of the State of Michigan as a Court-Operated Facility. 

Mission Statement

The mission of the Berrien County Juvenile Center is to have a significant, positive and corrective impact upon the youth in our care. In so doing, we contribute to the Court’s efforts to serve and protect the public by providing temporary care and custody, crisis intervention and other helpful services to pre-adjudicated and post-adjudicated youth, with a sensitivity to the special needs of these individuals and their families. 

Operational Goals

  • Create and maintain a safe, secure, and therapeutic environment which addresses the identified needs of the youth and staff and families.
  • Provide helpful services for youth and families which will enhance self-esteem, promote self-discipline, ensure physical well-being, and encourage social development and build resident skills and competencies.
  • Maintain, ensure, and protect the constitutional, personal, and legal rights of the youth under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Center while holding them accountable for fulfilling program expectations and responsibilities.
  • Recruit, select, retain, and promote only the best educated, most dedicated, and highest quality experienced professionals to serve in the organization.
  • Inform and educate the community about Juvenile Center services by implementing an active public information plan.
  • Design, implement, and monitor an ongoing evaluation system which will accurately assess goal achievement and program effectiveness.

Berrien County Juvenile Center (BCJC) Overview

The BCJC has a total capacity of 42 beds; divided between Secure Detention (16 beds), Alternative Detention Program (8 beds) and the Residential Treatment and Family Services Program (18 beds). Currently the BCJC employs 50 staff (includes Administration, Youth Specialists, Mental Health Professionals, Maintenance, Food Service, Medical, etc.) with the majority of that workforce being Youth Specialists. The BCJC undergoes yearly inspections by the State of Michigan Bureau of Child and Adult Licensing as well as by a State-Authorized Fire Inspector.

NOTE: Enhanced monitoring and supervision is conducted within the facility and on the premises (including the grounds) via video surveillance recording systems.


Youth are placed at the Berrien County Juvenile Center pursuant to Court Order or authorized admission protocol. Their identities are confidential and can not be made public unless authorized by court order, statute or valid release of information.


Court Hearings for youth who are held at the BCJC occur mostly via video-conference connection with the main courthouse in St. Joseph, Michigan. Youth will not have direct contact with parents/guardians or relatives during the video-conference court proceedings. Parents/guardians or relatives participate in the court proceedings by attending at the courthouse. Secure Detention youth are typically required to be placed in mechanical restraints (handcuffs and shackles) if removed from the secure unit to attend the proceedings and while being transported to and from their Court Hearing.