Apply for Job Openings at Merrimac Center




The Merrimac Juvenile Detention Center is seeking experienced individuals to perform professional level work in a secure therapeutic detention program for male and female juvenile offenders. 

Apply for Job Openings at Merrimac Center


1. A Baccalaureate Degree in human services or related field; or

2. Associate’s Degree and three years of experience working with youth.



Requires a background investigation to include criminal history, child protective services, sex offender registry records check, and physical exam with drug test.  Must maintain a current Virginia driver’s license, current tuberculin test, CPR, First Aid, Crisis Intervention, and all other certifications and training required by policy and standards upon hire.  Starting Salary $35,917+ based on education and experience and a full benefits package. 


This position performs the routine work of a Detention Specialist.  Work includes direct supervision, care and custody of at-risk youth, crisis intervention/crisis counseling, implementing behavioral interventions, and facilitation of group sessions in a cognitive behavioral training environment.  This position requires close physical contact with youth and the use of routine verbal intervention/de-escalation techniques, and occasional use of physical restraint through the application of Handle with Care techniques and restraint devices.  This position also requires strip searches of youth.

This position works shifts on days, evenings, overnights, weekends and holidays. There is no scheduled meal break; however, a free meal is provided to staff during either the breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal times in which they attend with the youth.  This position is subject to call 24 hours a day and is considered essential personnel in emergency situations.  Duties are performed under the close supervision of a detention supervisor.


  • Supervises youth in their daily routines and their participation in indoor/outdoor recreation.
  • Assigns and supervises youth in daily light housekeeping tasks.
  • Maintains basic discipline and control of youth.
  • Observes youth to detect potentially dangerous situations.  Assists youth in relieving anxiety through counseling and activities.
  • Conducts individual and group crisis counseling.
  • Conducts group educational/life skills groups.
  • Maintains all logs and completes all reports as required.
  • Transports juveniles to court and appointments as assigned.
  • Performs related work as required.


  • Some knowledge of legal issues pertaining to the detention and confinement of juveniles.
  • Some knowledge of counseling and social work principles and practices as related to juvenile delinquents.
  • Some knowledge of Cognitive Behavioral Interventions.
  • Some knowledge of safety and security issues as they relate to a secure detention facility and transportation.
  • Some knowledge of behavior management principles as they apply to a detention setting.
  • Some knowledge of emotional, developmental, psycho-social, medical, and drug/alcohol abuse related to juvenile delinquents.
  • Some knowledge of the juvenile justice system.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to use computer equipment with reasonable speed and accuracy.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with youth, staff, parents, other professionals and the public.
  • Ability to maintain a calm composure, exhibit sound judgment in stressful situations, and intervene effectively in crisis situations.
  • Ability to read, understand and interpret written policies, instructions, and communications.




Continuous - 6 or more hours per shift

Frequent - 4 to 6 hours per shift

Occasional - 2 to 4 hours per shift

Infrequent - less than 2 hours per shift


  • Walking           Continuous: making room checks, observation of activities, moving youth                          to different areas, making security checks.
  • Standing          Continuous: Continuous observation of youth.
  • Sitting              Frequent: when transporting may require 4 to 6 hours of sitting.                                           Occasional in facility.
  • Speaking         Continuous: Speaking with youth, other staff, other professionals,                                       parents, other agencies, phone use.
  • Listening          Continuous: requires excellent hearing to identify problems, voices,                                    conversation in the supervision of youth for security and safety.
  • Sight                Continuous: visual observation must be maintained of youth at all times                              when they are out of their rooms and during room checks.  
  • Writing             Occasional: maintaining logs, point sheets, behavior reports, filling out                                reports and forms.
  • Reading           Occasional: reading logs, reports, forms, policy and procedures,                                         instructions.
  • Lifting              Infrequent: more than ten pounds.  Examples are laundry, mop buckets,                            supplies, youth who must be physically moved to another area.                                           Maximum weight estimated at 150 lbs.

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