Hillcrest Educational Centers will periodically search students for contraband such as weapons, lighters, drugs or pornography. There are three types of searches utilized. The procedures and the circumstances under which they would be implemented are described below.
Search plans are individualized according to clinical risk assessment and recommendations of the treatment team. They are continuously modified according to treatment progress and reassessed risk levels as determined by the treatment team. The following guidelines are to be utilized when developing and implementing a search plan:
- Search plans will be included as part of the youth’s treatment plan and will be referenced in the youth’s ICMP.
- Search plans must include the specific skill development and goal achievement that will result in the reduction/elimination of searches.
- Search plans will be reviewed at length with the youth so that he/she fully understands how and why they are conducted, and how they become reduced and/or eliminated.
- Expressions of any nature for the discomfort regarding searches must be forwarded to the student’s clinician and the shift supervisor for review and response.
- Safety plans must include clear descriptions related to frequency of the searches. If searches are identified to occur per shift, it is important to note that searches do not need to occur on the overnight shift and a youth should never be woken up early to complete a search.
The room where the search is conducted must first be examined by staff to ensure that there is no pre-existing contraband or damage. Wastebaskets must be removed.Once the room check is completed, the student receives a robe and enters the room and removes all of their clothes with the exception of undergarments (bras and underwear). The student then passes out their clothes, which are searched. The student comes out of the room in the robe and the room is searched. The student is then allowed back in the room to put on their clothes. When occurring after a visit or trip, searches must be done prior to returning student to team. When coming from an off-campus unsupervised trip students must be checked with the metal-detector wand. These searches need to be logged by a supervisor.
Full Searches are for:
- Students on High-Risk Behavior Search Lists. Students are placed on the list for unsafe behavior including firesetting, self-harm, etc. Students on list are searched at random times at a frequency determined by the treatment team.
- Students returning from an unsupervised home visit. To be conducted by person transporting student. If no transport, then to be conducted by primary staff or supervisor.
- Students returning from any off campus trip with parents/guardians, etc. To be conducted by primary staff or supervisor.
- Students that have an on-campus unsupervised visit with family member. (Until deemed unnecessary by treatment team and approved by an administrator.)
- New Students. Students will be on full-search protocol until cleared by a campus administrator and noted in the ICMP. New students will be searched minimally three times a week – once on each shift (day shift and the two residential shifts).
** All students must have their personal belongings searched immediately upon return to campus. Items that can be heated will be placed in a Pack-Tite. Please record on appropriate log.
Students are required to pull off their shoes, pull out their pockets and/or have pockets patted by same-gender staff, pull up pant legs and reveal waistbands for inspection by staff.
Quick Searches are for:
1. Students returning from a Hillcrest-staffed event or activity: To be conducted whenever possible by person transporting student.
- After an on campus supervised visit with family member. To be conducted by primary staff or supervisor.
** All students must have their personal belongings searched immediately upon return to campus. Please record on appropriate log.
Room / Dorm searches
- Bedroom searches should occur at least once per week on each shift (excluding overnights). This can be increased if there is suspected contraband.
Bedrooms: Dressers, closets, footlockers, toy boxes, bed linens, and mattresses are to be emptied and/or removed, searched, and replaced. Ceiling tiles are to be removed and ceilings searched. Heating and cooling vents need to be checked.
- Searches of the following public areas will be conducted by night staff once per night. This can be increased if there is suspected contraband.
Common areas: Bookcases, toy boxes, hutches, and furniture cushions emptied / removed, searched, and replaced. Ceiling tiles are to be removed and ceilings searched. Heating / cooling vents need to be checked.
Bathrooms: Toilets under bowl and tank lids, in back of sinks, showers, paper towel dispensers etc. Ceiling tiles are to be removed and ceilings searched. Heating / cooling vents need to be checked.
Laundry areas: In and behind dryers and washers. Ceiling tiles are to be removed and ceilings searched. Heating / cooling vents need to be checked.
Please Note: Suspicion of dangerous behavior or possession of contraband can result in a student search at any time, as approved by a campus administratOR