Rockdale Regional Juvenile Justice Center Therapeutic Intervention:

 General Male & Female Offender

At RRJJC, we utilize both behavior management and therapeutic rehabilitation to help residents and their families turn the crisis of detainment into an opportunity for change. The mental health of the resident is the highest priority at RRJJC. Our goal is to help youth make meaningful lifestyle changes.

Environmentally we provide a highly structured venue where residents adhere to a specific schedule that emphasizes personal responsibility and discipline. Residents work to improve practical living skills such as organization of living space, time management, and social interaction. Residents are constantly challenged to resolve disputes with peers in non-violent ways and to demonstrate respect for authority figures who model healthy interactions. Residents are able to obtain an increasing amount of privilege in direct correlation with their behavior. Progress is assessed on behavior, effort, and attitude towards the process.

Therapeutic intervention is provided within an individualized treatment plan that includes:

*individual therapy: Residents attend 4-6 individual therapy sessions per month (depending on individualized treatment plan) with a licensed masters or doctoral level psychologist. Therapists utilize cognitive behavioral techniques within an interpersonal dynamic. The number of sessions is adjusted per need. The focus of therapy is a fluid, collaborative endeavor and may be modified throughout 6-9 months of placement.

*rotating group therapy: Residents will attend groups with no more than 8 residents at a time for substance abuse education, coping skills, anger management, and personal health. A resident is allowed to miss a total of 3 sessions. If a resident is unable to complete the program or does not put the required effort, he/she will repeat this phase of treatment.

*interaction between family members, resident and therapist: The child’s detainment is considered a symptom of a systemic experience. Therefore, family intervention is strongly emphasized. Therapists request that primary caregivers engage in no fewer than six family therapy sessions while their child is a resident. Therapists encourage parents to call and discuss the progress of their child on a weekly basis. The assistance of the probation department may be needed for helping keep families involved. Of course 2 modifications and individualized accommodations are made by RRJJC in certain cases for families who are unable to come to the facility on a regular basis.

All youth who come to the facility with prescribed medications are formally assessed by a psychiatrist within two weeks of arrival. Medication regimens are consistently regulated by the on-staff LVN to ensure the health of the child. Residents not taking medications who have a psychiatric history or who demonstrate clinically significant symptoms while detained are assessed by the on-staff psychologist and referred to a physician for medications if needed.

Finally it is important to note, a youth’s therapeutic and behavioral progress are not always positively correlated (i.e. good therapeutic progress does not automatically ensure immediate improved behavior). In some instances a youth may exhibit an increase in acting out behaviors. This could be in response to a number of issues including but not limited to being held in a highly structured and unfamiliar environment, being separated from significant family members for a protracted amount of time, and/or because of the emotional issues that are addressed in therapy related to past experiences of trauma and current criminal offenses. Though the level system is a tangible mode of measurement for the courts, we encourage probation departments to consider all of the dynamics of the therapeutic process in understanding the residents’ behavior while detained.

Individualized treatment plans, monthly progress reports, and phase-completion reports will be created and submitted to the juvenile’s supervising officer in the referring county agency. Please contact us with questions or for additional information.