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Treatment for OYA Youth

man leading treatment group poster of recovery plan ideas

OYA’s Approach: Positive Development and Growth

Healthy adolescent brain development happens most effectively in an environment that fosters growth. 

Adolescents have many opportunities to develop important skills and abilities that have huge impacts on whether they commit crimes or have negative behaviors. At this age, they are still learning how to:
  • manage their emotions; 
  • solve problems; 
  • make good decisions; 
  • have empathy for others, or imagine others’ perspectives; and
  • think about future consequences for their behavior.
OYA works to create environments where youth have opportunities to attach and belong to others, and to learn and practice new skills and behaviors. We do this in our secure facilities by:
  • helping youth develop caring and supportive relationships with staff, family, and other supportive people;
  • providing opportunities for youth to be active members of positive social groups, while developing and enjoying a sense of belonging;
  • placing a high value on service to others and teaching youth about their place in the larger community;
  • providing opportunities for youth to learn new skills and actively use those skills in new situations; and
  • helping youth take on new roles and responsibilities and develop self-confidence.

Elements of Treatment for OYA Youth 

youth talking with book in front of themAddressing needs that are likely to lead to criminal behavior: These issues may include antisocial attitudes, values and beliefs; antisocial peers; gang participation; substance use; aggression or anger; fire-setting activities; and sex offenses. We teach coping skills, emotion regulation, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and victim empathy.

Impact of crime on the victim and the community: We provide youth opportunities to take ownership of the offense; understand the factors that led up to the offense; understand the impact of the offense on the victim, community, their family, and themselves; and participate in restorative efforts to promote healing around the negative impacts of their actions.

Culturally responsive: We recognize the importance of understanding culture, lived experience, bias and discrimination in both the overall treatment process as well as the specific curricula and approaches we use to provide treatment. We also provide connections to cultural and spiritual traditions, and opportunities for youth to contribute to their community, both inside and outside the facility.

Family engagement: We help youth develop relationship skills and positive relationships with their family, and we encourage family engagement throughout the treatment process.

Mental health or trauma: Our environments promote emotional and psychological health and well-being. We provide appropriate mental health care to support youth in managing their symptoms.

Substance use: We provide evidence-based treatment to address substance use disorders. Four of our youth correctional facilities and one transition facility are certified substance use treatment sites.

Healthy development: We help youth develop positive skills associated with successful transition to adulthood and desistance from crime, including emotion management, problem solving and conflict resolution, consideration of others, future orientation, ability to take personal responsibility and ability to develop healthy relationships. 

Education and vocational training: We provide youth with opportunities to earn their high school diploma, enroll in college, and learn vocational skills that will help them gain successful and meaningful employment in the community.

Medical services: Our environments promote physical health and well-being. We offer youth healthy food, appropriate medical care, and opportunities to exercise and participate in group sports and recreational activities.

Treatment Programs

At OYA’s Secure Facilities

poster with ideas about responsible thinkingNot all treatment programs are offered at every OYA facility. However, all facilities do offer an array of treatment to address developmental needs and risks related to criminal behavior.

Each youth’s treatment team selects the most appropriate combination of treatment programs based on the youth’s needs and personal characteristics.

Youth may move between different OYA facilities to receive specific treatment that they need.

At Community Residential Programs

OYA has contracts with residential programs to provide rehabilitation services in a community-based environment. 

OYA does not require that residential providers use specific treatment programs. However, we do make sure that each provider’s overall approach and program choices align with OYA’s mission, values and treatment philosophy.

Learn About Your Youth's Treatment

Youth in OYA Facilities: Contact the case coordinator for your youth's living unit. You'll find the case coordinators listed on each facility's website.

Youth on Parole or Probation: Contact their juvenile parole/probation officer.

Sex Offense Treatment

OYA recently started using a different assessment tool for youth who have committed sex offenses. Learn more about sex offense treatment.