Department of Youth Services (DYS)

As the Juvenile Justice agency for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Department of Youth Services promotes positive change in the youth in our care and custody.

Contact Us


600 Washington Street, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02111


Main Phone (617) 727-7575


Main (617) 951-2409
HR (617) 889-7818
Department of Youth Services Seal

Who we serve


The Department of Youth Services fosters positive outcomes for youth, builds safer communities, and collaborates for an equitable and fair justice system.


We envision a Commonwealth in which every young person has the skills, supports, and resources necessary to engage safely with their communities, and lead productive and fulfilling lives.



  • Fairness: We value fairness in our treatment of youth in our care, their families and community support, and our staff and partners. We support increased fairness across all aspects of our justice system through strong and transparent relationships with our partners and collaborators.
  • Transparency: We believe that the processes by which we make our consequential decisions matter, and we are open and forthcoming about what information is informing our decisions, and who is the final authority.
  • Racial Equity: We believe that racial equity is the condition that would be achieved if our racial identities no longer predicted how we fare in life. Achieving this state requires absolute elimination of all policies, practices, attitudes and cultural messages that lead to differential outcomes by race. We strive to ensure that the impacts of our work reduce and mitigate racial and other disparities within DYS, within our communities, in our justice system, and beyond.
  • Integrity: We value honesty, fair processes, and full accountability for our actions.


Youth Served by DYS

DYS serves youth between the ages of 12-21 who have been adjudicated delinquent, adjudicated as a youthful offender, or placed in DYS’ overnight arrest beds and/or detention programs while awaiting a future court date. Within these broad categories, DYS serves:

  • Overnight Arrest Youth: Arrested outside of court business hours and held either on a cash bail or without the right to bail awaiting an appearance in court.
  • Detained Youth: Charged with offenses and detained either with or without right to bail while awaiting trial or probation violation hearings.
  • Adjudicated Delinquent Youth: Committed until the age of 18 for committing a felony or misdemeanor.
  • Adjudicated Youthful Offender: Committed until the age of 21 when the youth, between the ages of 14-18, committed a felony and had a previous DYS commitment, and/or committed certain firearms offenses and/or committed an offense involving the infliction or the threat of serious bodily harm to another

DYS Recruitment Video

Click here to see the Recruitment video made by DYS!

COVID-19 Important Notices and Links:

COVID-19 Vaccinations for Congregate Care Settings

Important Notices:

Fully vaccinated staff guidance on exposure and return to work

Meals in residential Setting COVID-19 Updated September 15 2021

Activity Protocol COVID-19 for Residential Settings Updated July 1 2021

DYS New Intake Quarantine January 14 2022

DYS Close Contact Quarantine January 26 2022

Modifications to Visitation Guidance and Passes Protocols during COVID 19 Updated March 19, 2021

DYS COVID-19 Prevention Protocols Post-Vaccination Congregate Care Family Communication 2-26-21

DYS Managing COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects for Staff

DYS COVID-19 Vaccine Youth Guidance Jan 2021

14-10-7-day COVID-19 Quarantine Information

DYS Return to Work Guidance

MDPH Considerations for Recovered Table

Protocol for Medical Isolation January 26 2022

Re-opening Guidance for DYS Community Operations Staff

DYS Home Isolation Guidance October 7 2020

DYS PPE Guidance October 7 2020

DYS Covid-19 Guidance for Transportation

DYS Vehicle Sanitation Checklist

DYS COVID-19 Protocol for Quarantining New Intakes

DYS Screening Questionnaire for COVID-19 Revised 5-24-2021

Guide for DYS Screeners COVID-19 Revised 4-20-2021

DYS Protocol for Youth in Residential Settings Attending and Returning from Court Appearances during COVID-19 7-17-20

Sample Contact Flyer for Visiting Family Member

Visit Protocol for Family Members COVID-19

Visitor Information Sheet for Families During COVID-19

DYS Advisory Cessation of Routine Quarantine

DYS Protocol Covid-19 Exposure Risk Assessment

DYS COVID-19 Screening Protocol for DYS Facilities Updated 4-21-2021

DYS COVID-19 Protocol for Quarantining Close Contacts

DYS Interim Advisory Regarding Bail Processing

DYS Emergency Guidance Regarding Virtual Teaching via Video

DYS Emergency Guidance on Telemedicine

DYS Youth Wellness Check-in During COVID-19

DYS Guidance on Mask Use and Regarding Use

DYS Updated Residential and Congregate Care Guidance

DYS Quarantining Close Contacts of COVID-19

Quarantining DYS New Intakes

Emergency Guidance re Virtual Court Hearings

DYS Emergency Guidance regarding Virtual Family Visits

DYS COVID-19 Visitor Screening

Emergency Guidance regarding Attorney Access to Clients

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Interim Guidance


Check out our March 2022 DYS Newsletter

Archived DYS Newsletters

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events scheduled


Related organizations

News and Updates