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
DYS 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 Information

COVID-19 Important Notices and Links


Check out our July 2022 DYS Newsletter

Archived DYS Newsletters

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Upcoming Events

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News and Updates

Press Release

DYS and JDAI Offers Solutions to Reduce Racial Disparities 

10/27/2023 Department of Youth Services

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) and the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) announced the release of JDAI’s latest policy brief, "Overrepresentation of Hispanic/Latinx Youth in the Juvenile Legal System"

Press Release

DYS Announces Resource for Parents of Youth 

9/08/2023 Department of Youth Services

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