New Haven Youth & Family Services

Dress Code & Contraband Policy

Dress Code:

Certain clothing items and/or styles are considered inappropriate or even dangerous and are considered contraband.  New Haven’s dress policy includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Pants must fit properly. Pants can NOT be more than 1 size larger than your actual size
  • Pants must be worn at waist level and pant legs can NOT drag on the ground and must be hemmed (no tacks, staples, or rubber bands)
  • Pants may be “relaxed” or “loose” fit only. Absolutely NO “Wide,” “Baggy,” or “Huge” are allowed.
  • Long shorts may NOT be worn with knee-socks. Your legs must be visible.
  • Undergarments (including boxers & undershirts) must not be visible
  • Clothes must be in good repair. No rips, tears, or permanent marker.
  • Hats, hoods, sunglasses, and gloves may not be worn indoors
  • Sport caps must be worn properly and can not be worn to the back or side
  • Shoes must be worn at all times. Slippers may be worn in the house only.
  • Jackets must be either completely buttoned or completely unbuttoned. No top button only.
  • Hair length must be “pinchable.” No shaved heads.

The following are never allowed:

  • Clothing or accessories “tagged” with graffiti, symbols, or initials that depict “gang,” “club,” “crew,” “group,” or “clique” affiliation.
  • Clothing or accessories with gang “Color” (outfits of one color – including white or black)
  • Clothing or accessories with sports team logos
  • Clothing or accessories with profanity, sexually suggestive language or pictures, racially-related material, or drug and/or alcohol subject matter.
  • Bandanas, stocking caps, head scarves, hairnets, and “do rags”
  • Belt buckles with initials and/or symbols
  • Steel toed boots (except when active in YouthBuild)
  • White ribbed tank-style undershirts (“wife-beaters”) or oversized t-shirts
  • Colored Shoestrings or Wide Laces
  • Facial and/or body piercings (including tongue). Safety Pins as accessories or jewelry with studs/spikes
  • ANYTHING that is or could be offensive to ANYONE (Any Staff has discretionary rights)


New Haven considers the below sample of items to be contraband. If a youth is found to be in possession of any item deemed inappropriate by staff, the item will be confiscated and either destroyed or sent home or in cases of unlawful possessions, the police may be called.

  • Guns, rifles, slingshots, or weapons that may be thrown or propelled
  • Fire setting objects such as lighters and/or matches
  • Smoking materials such as cigarettes, tobacco, rolling papers, marijuana paraphernalia
  • Alcohol or drugs
  • Pagers and/or cell phones
  • Posters, music or other materials which are pornographic or sexually suggestive, profane, gang or drug related, or otherwise inappropriate according to staff’s discretion
  • Sharp objects that could also be used as a weapon such as knives, scissors, screwdrivers
  • Inhalants such as white-out, glue, canned air (dusters), or aerosol cans of any kind (including Axe sprays)
  • Permanent markers, paint, or spray paint
  • Chemicals such as bleach and other cleaning agents