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Treatment Services
Treatment Services has a primary role in meeting the following agency goals:
  • Reduce juvenile crime by providing an appropriate continuum of services based upon risk/needs, supporting juvenile crime prevention efforts, and continuously seeking program and service improvements, using research and quality assurance as guides.
  • Ensure accountability of the juvenile justice system by creating an open agency that uses data and research to guide practices, uses performance measures, and evaluates its programs and practices for efficiency and effectiveness.

OYA Issue Brief: Treatment services for youth in OYA close custody

Services and Interventions
OYA services and interventions are based upon principles of effective correctional intervention.  These principles include:
  • Assessing offender risk and needs
  • Developing and implementing evidence-based programs
  • Conducting interventions in appropriate settings
  • Providing services which take into account factors that affect how individual offenders respond to treatment
  • Evaluating programs and controlling quality
  • Targeting treatment to risk level
  • Using cognitive behavioral and social learning approaches in treatment services
  • Ensuring that programs are delivered as designed
  • Planning for community reintegration
  • Providing program support by leadership and staff
  • Recognizing cultural needs of offenders
Click for more on OYA's Principles of Effective Intervention
Risk Needs Assessment
Risk Needs Assessment (OYA/RNA) focuses on the criminogenic risk and needs.  It is administered to each youth within the first 30 days of OYA probation or close custody commitment providing the foundation for the development of the youth’s correctional case plan.  The risk needs information is categorized in the following areas or “domains”:
  • substance abuse
  • mental health
  • education/school
  • use of free time
  • family/parenting
  • interpersonal relationships
  • criminal/delinquency history
  • employment
  • attitudes and beliefs
  • aggression
  • social skills
If there are elevated scores in particular domains, the youth is referred for more comprehensive evaluation.  These evaluations such as substance abuse and mental health assessments and sexual offender assessments, are provided by professionals in the community and by OYA staff and contractors in OYA facilities.    Information from the risk needs assessments and additional evaluations play a pivotal role in matching youth to the most appropriate OYA community and close custody treatment programs.

Case Planning
Case Planning  provides the youth’s roadmap to reformation by identifying specific treatment targets.  Treatments focus on thinking, beliefs, behaviors and skills the youth needs to develop to become productive, non-criminal members of society.  Within each domain (see them listed under Risk Needs Assessment above), the case planning system identifies long term goals and skills (competencies) youth need to work on, as well as evidence-based interventions designed to help youth learn and practice the identified skills.

Research-Based Services and Interventions
The keys to the youth’s success are found in Research-Based Services and Interventions.  The risk need assessment and case planning based on principles of effective correctional intervention are essential in youth reformation.  Just as essential is the provision of services and interventions shown by research to be effective at reducing recidivism.  Since 2005, OYA has implemented core and advanced evidence-based curricula in the following areas:
  • Cognitive-behavioral restructuring
  • Gang intervention
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Aggression replacement training
  • Mental health treatment
  • Offense-specific treatment
  • Functional family therapy in the community
  • Multidimensional treatment foster care
OYA is currently researching and working with national experts to identify evidence-based treatment interventions for juvenile sex offenders.  In addition, OYA is the lead in an 8-state policy academy sponsored by federal agencies to implement an evidence-based co-occurring treatment program for female youth.

OYA Curricula
OYA Curricula available to youth includes:
  •  What Got Me Here?
This curriculum entitled is part of the Change Company Curriculum “Changing Offender Behavior”.  It begins with introducing cognitive skill building through reframing risky thinking.  Focus is also on reinforcing pro-social behavior through modeling.  This curriculum helps to teach group behavior and process expectations and help in the assessment of the youth’s placement on the stages of change continuum.
  • Changing Offender Behavior #1 and #2 
In this curriculum from Change Company, youth are introduced to “key” skills for recognizing, avoiding, and/or coping with situations, thoughts, feelings that lead to behaviors that put youth at high risk for criminal activity.  They then have opportunities to practice and apply the knowledge and skills in order to help them avoid and cope with high-risk behavior in the future.
  • Skill Streaming
This program is a series of pro-social psycho-educational competencies designed by Arnold Goldstein specifically for adolescent youth.  It teaches interpersonal skills to aggressive, anti-social youth using a step by step structured format.
  • Core AOD Treatment (CYT-MET/CBT12)
This is a 12- session program focused on the internal and external triggers surrounding chemical use, management of “high-risk” situations and development of pro-social skills.
  • Social Skills / Boys Town
This is a set of social skill trainings that can be used to augment any of the cognitive curriculums.  These social skill trainings have been mapped to the major mental health diagnoses.  This allows the youth’s treatment to focus on skill trainings that are most necessary given their mental health condition(s).
  • Coping with Depression
Coping with Depression is a cognitive-behavioral curriculum that focuses on the cognitive restructuring of adolescent thought patterns related to depression, while providing social skill-building related to better familial, peer and social relationships.
  • Dialectical Behavior Treatment (DBT)
DBT is a specific treatment for youth with a history of suicidal behavior and difficulty regulating their emotions.  This treatment requires further assessment and evaluation before implementation.
  • Core Sex Offender Treatment
This curriculum is being refined and expanded with the intent that testing will take place in late 2007.  Areas addressed include:  attitudes and beliefs about sex and sexuality; healthy sexuality; sexual history disclosure; behavioral, cognitive and emotional modulation skills; patterns of offending behaviors; effects of victim awareness and understanding; ownership or taking responsibility for sexual offending behaviors.
  • Street Smarts
Street Smarts (Self-analysis of Mentality and Attitude through Reformative Treatment Services) is a gang intervention group dealing primarily with educating youth through skill development and working with them to identify criminogenic risk and risking thinking that prevents them from coping with barriers to successful living a crime free lifestyle.
  • Seeking Safety
Young females’ having both a history of trauma and substance abuse is common.  The Seeking Safety program integrates the treatment of both of these problems.  The treatment focuses on the 5 key principles of:

  1. safety is a priority
  2. integrating both treatments at the same time
  3. a focus on ideals
  4. four content areas of cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal and case management
  5. attention to the therapeutic process.
  • Pathways to Self-Discovery (Pathways)
Pathways helps youth gain freedom and strength by learning how to control the most important parts of their mind—their own thoughts.  Youth learn to gain control over their thoughts and feelings and that leads to their being able to adjust their actions.  The focus includes:
  1. deciding what to change
  2. using the tools to change
  3. ownership to change or calling the shots.
  • Aggression Replacement Training (ART)
ART focuses specifically on the problems associated with a youth’s aggressive behaviors and gives them skills to choose an alternative behavior.  The core components of the program include:
  1. skill streaming
  2. anger control training
  3. moral reasoning training
  4. Special emphasis is placed on motivation and resistance to change.