Controlling Contraband in Juvenile Facilities

Controlling Contraband in Juvenile Facilities 

Contraband is any item or article that residents are prohibited from possessing. Contraband threatens the security of the institution and endangers the lives of staff, residents, and the public. It can disrupt institutional operations and lead to serious injuries or even fatalities. The control of contraband is a persistent problem in custodial facilities. It is the responsibility of all staff to control contraband being brought into or manufactured within the walls of the facility. This course will provide youth workers working in juvenile detention facilities and other community confinement facilities that house youthful offenders with information on the common types of contraband found and the role they play in controlling contraband. Additionally, information on conducting searches of persons (e.g., residents, staff, contractors, vendors, and visitors), living units and rooms, common areas, perimeters, and vehicles will be provided. Information presented in this course is based on best practices and for informational purposes only. You should always refer to and follow your agency’s policies and procedures related to searching for and responding to contraband.


Hours: 2.25


Certificates provided by accrediting body (3 Match)

American Jail Association Certification

2.25 HOURS

This activity is approved for 2.25 contact hours.

California Board of State and Community Corrections

2.25 HOURS

This activity is approved for 2.25 STC credit hours.

American Probation and Parole Association

2.25 HOURS

This activity is approved for 2.25 contact hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PS-0-JFCCSO
Hours: 2.25
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 6/30/2024
Learning Objectives:
Identify 5 types of contraband and how contraband enters facilities.
Describe the key role that youth workers play in controlling contraband.
Explain the 4 types of personal searches and how to conduct them.
Discuss 5 strategies for conducting thorough searches of living units and rooms.
Explain common ways to conduct thorough searches of common areas, the perimeter, and vehicles for contraband.

Section 1: Introduction

A. About This Course

B. Learning Objectives

Section 2: Contraband and the Youth Worker’s Role

A. Defining Contraband

B. Reasons for Controlling Contraband

C. Types of Contraband

D. How Contraband Enters Facilities

E. Staff Role in Controlling Contraband

F. Review


Section 3: Searching Residents, Visitors, and Staff

A. Types of Personal Searches

B. Conducting Searches Using Technology

C. Conducting Pat-Down Searches

D. Conducting Strip Searches

E. Conducting Manual/Digital Body Cavity Searches

F. Documenting a Search

G. Review

H. Summary

Section 4: Searching Living Units, Common Areas, and Vehicles

A. Other Types of Searches

B. Facility-Based Searches

C. Strategies for Conducting Searches of Living Units/Rooms

D. Avoiding Confrontation with Residents

E. Strategies for Searching Common Areas

F. Strategies for Searching the Perimeter

G. Strategies for Searching Vehicles

H. Review


Section 5: Conclusion

A. Summary

B. Course Contributors

C. Resources

D. References

E. Congratulations!

Staff Writer: Kimberly Cobb, MS
Mrs. Cobb is a Lead SME Writer/Trainer at Relias. Her primary writing responsibilities are in the Health and Human Services vertical, in the content areas of public safety and behavioral health. Mrs. Cobb is also the onboarding trainer for new Relias staff joining the Content Department. Mrs. Cobb has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. She has over 24 years of experience working in criminal and juvenile justice. Her work includes direct service, research, and training and technical assistance. She was the statewide evaluator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for adult, juvenile, and family drug courts; a Research Associate for the American Probation & Parole Association providing training and technical assistance to Native American Nations/Alaska Native Villages on systemic criminal and juvenile justice initiatives; and a Research Administrator for the University of Kentucky. Disclosure: Kimberly Cobb, MS has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Expert Reviewer: Debbie Gonzalez

Debbie Gonzalez is a career state employee for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Debbie has a B.S. in Criminal Justice and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Murray State University. She began her career in 2003 with the Department of Juvenile Justice as a Social Service Worker. Her duties included individual counseling, group counseling, and family counseling. She also became certified in juvenile sex offender counseling, substance abuse counseling, and family engagement strategies. While working at a DJJ group home, she served as the grievance officer, assisted in preparing for ACA audits, performed duty officer rotation, covered youth worker shifts when staff was shorthanded, chaired treatment team meetings, conducted initial treatment plan meetings with the youth and his family, and prepared documents and youth for discharge. In 2013, Debbie was promoted to Social Service Clinician.

In 2015, Debbie changed careers and began working for adult corrections. She currently interviews convicted inmates and prepares presentence sex offender risk assessments prior to final sentencing.

Disclosure: Debbie Gonzalez has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Correctional Officers; in the following settings: Adult Corrections, Juvenile Corrections.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.