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Juvenile Justice
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Tracy Dompeling

240 Main Street
Juneau, Alaska 99811
Phone: (907) 465-2212

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State of Alaska
Dept of Health & Social ​Services
Division of Juvenile Justice
240 Main Street, Suite 701
P.O. Box 110635
Juneau, AK 99811-0635


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Division of Juvenile Justice


August 27, 2020 – The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) has confirmed 15 positive COVID-19 cases at the McLaughlin Youth Center (MYC), including 12 youth in a treatment unit and three staff members who work on the unit. Upon being notified about the cases, the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) leadership immediately began working with DHSS Division of Public Health, Section of Epidemiology and the Anchorage Health Department to respond to the cases, identify any other cases and take additional steps to prevent further spread of COVID-19 at MYC.

On 8/21/2020, McLaughlin Youth Center was notified of an individual that tested positive for COVID-19.  Public health officials were immediately contacted and contact tracing was initiated. In an abundance of caution, one resident unit at McLaughlin Youth Center was placed on 14 day quarantine. With the guidance of public health officials, additional testing for COVID-19 will take place as appropriate.

On 8/14/20, the Division of Juvenile Justice modified its visitation phases to include the use of COVID-19 community transmission data from the Department of Health and Social Services dashboard alert levels to guide our visitation phases. Probation Office protocol modifications to utilize community transmission alert levels are still under development.

Effective August 5, 2020, DJJ will suspend visitation at McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage.  This suspension is based on a high alert level of COVID-19 in the Anchorage Municipality at this time.  This suspension will be reviewed on August 25, 2020 and updated as appropriate.

The State of Alaska COVID-19 website provides alert levels that are based on per capital incidence of the virus.  DHSS calculates the number of new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents per day averaged over the past 14 days in each region to determine these levels.  The Division of Juvenile Justice plans to modify our existing visitation protocol to incorporate these alert levels in an effort to make more informed decisions such as suspension or advancement in our visitation phases.

We understand the importance of family involvement with youth in our facilities but also recognize our responsibility to keep our residents and staff healthy and do our part to help mitigate the spread of the virus in our facilities and communities where we live and work.

On July 6, 2020, the Division of Juvenile Justice will lift the suspension of visitation in our facilities in three phases.  Our statewide probation offices will also be resuming some field and office visits.

On June 1, 2020, the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) was notified that a youth recently admitted to McLaughlin Youth Center had tested positive for COVID-19. Upon notification of the positive result, the division immediately began medical isolation protocols for the resident. DJJ’s Nursing Director is working directly with Alaska Section of Epidemiology and Anchorage Health Department officials to promptly determine which staff and residents should receive testing as well as any further mitigation guidance. 

On April 28, 2020, the Division began testing all people being admitted to our facilities and requiring their medical quarantine for 14 days after admission in response to Alaska Section of Epidemiology guidelines for testing asymptomatic residents admitted to congregate living facilities. DJJ is committed in our efforts to keep staff and residents safe during this pandemic. For more information please visit DJJ's COVID-19 responses.

DJJ is continually monitoring the COVID-19 situation and recommendations from health officials and will update our procedures as necessary. For further questions about COVID-19 responses within DJJ, please email

COVID-19 Guidelines

The Division is following recommendations from both the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health.

Wish Lists for DJJ Facilities

Due to COVID-19, youth are not able to participate in their normal activities.  In order to help keep our youth busy and engaged during this time, staff (with youth input) have created Amazon Wish Lists for facilities.  Please make sure to read the rules at the top of each list.  We thank you greatly for your donation!

Family and Youth Well-being During COVID-19

DJJ acknowledges the stress and uncertainty this pandemic is placing on families and individuals. We would like to thank the Office of Children’s Services, the Child Welfare Academy and the Alaska Children’s Trust for putting together the following YouTube videos: