To positively influence the lives, attitudes, and values of detained Youthful Offenders. Reshaping how they see the world through a structured and safe environment that promotes accountability and family treatment facilitated through partnerships with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, Resident Programs, and our community.
To create a safe and secure detention environment that services the needs of our Youthful Offender population by emphasizing personal responsibility, education, and positive growth and development. Through dedication, commitment, and sound management practices we will create an environment that promotes positive change in the lives of our detained youth.
- To accurately assess and identify the developmental and educational needs of youth that come into custody
- Seek viable resource options to comprehensively address those needs
- Utilize best practice models to adequately transition youth from detention back to the community for optimal success
The MCSO is committed to using current research methods and evaluation tools as an aid in continuous improvement and the effectiveness of educating our Youthful Offenders. We do this with the full intent that Youthful Offenders can reconnect to their community as law-abiding citizens. Many of our youth come into custody low performing, from fragile communities and have missed many days in traditional educational settings. They may have been diagnosed with a mental health disability and can be identified as educationally challenged. It is our mission to provide a bridge for their educational, therapeutic, social and physical needs. We work to get them back on track in a traditional education setting to achieve either a diploma or a G.E.D. Our staff also provides pre/post release resources for success during reentry. Some of the programs we offer are:
District style classrooms which are a part of the Turning Point Academy of the CMS system. Students receive full academic and attendance credit. Courses offered are English, Social Studies, PE, Math and Science.
COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS
Communities In Schools (CIS) is the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization, helping young people stay in school, successfully learn, and prepare for life by connecting needed community resources with schools. The scope of current CIS programming includes school-based dropout prevention for grades K-12; college access and career exploration; support for teen mothers balancing the challenges of childcare and high school graduation; and working with youthful offenders housed at Detention Center North/Detention Center Central to continue their education.
GENERAL EDUCATION DIPLOMA
This program is another option for youth who have not completed high school and want to explore other options to obtaining a diploma. Classes are taught by the Q Foundation and tests administered by CPCC.
YOUNG ADULT PERSONAL LIFE SKILLS
Students will work on developing BE-Print (Human Blueprint) consisting of what principles they want to live and set goals that support them. Subject matter includes relationships, financial independence, health and education. This class has 2 parts.
EMPLOYMENT READINESS COMPONENT
This course is designed specifically for youthful offenders and teaches techniques on how to obtain and keep jobs, beginner computer skills, manage finances and start a business. These classes are through our Reentry Programs Department and taught by the Q Foundation.
WORKING SMART FOR YOUTH
6-week curriculum taught by a certified instructor that provides soft skills for workplace success. The course is designed for individuals with barriers to employment, providing them with opportunities to learn critical, work-related interpersonal skills and insights. All youth that participate and complete the course are awarded a certificate of completion that is recognized nationally.
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT NETWORK TEAM (YNET)
The program identifies youth who are in need of Mental Health Services, establish family service partnerships before release, reduce likelihood of repeated incarceration, stabilize mental health and prepare family for the youth’s return home. YNET provides assessments, therapy services for the incarcerated youth, Intensive In Home Services, Multi-systemic Therapy (MST), Educational Transition Services, Physical Health Screens, full Psychological Assessments, Intensive Therapeutic Foster Care, and Parent Support.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EDUCATION
Youth are taught how to develop positive relationships, control negative emotions and effective anger management techniques.
LIVING THE LIFE/SUBSTANCE ABUSE AWARENESS
The instruction provided by Crossroads Reentry to students provides cognitive motivation enhancement activities to not use drugs, detailed information about the social and health consequences of drug use, and correction of cognitive misperceptions.
The COOOL program (Changing Our Outlook On Life) is conducted by Changed Choices, which is an organization that works with incarcerated women. The program is available to all female youthful offenders as a resource while incarcerated as well as following their release. While in the Detention Center they meet with a mentor individually once a week and in a group setting twice a week. After their release they are encouraged to continue their relationship with their mentor, as well as the Changed Choice Program.
SAT PREP COURSE
This course is designed for all CMS/GED graduates to help prepare for the SAT in order to properly prepare for the college level entrance exam.
A best practices male involvement based curriculum that focuses on manhood, youth development and coping skills taught by the Mecklenburg County Health Department.
CHARACTER BUILDING CLASS
This workshop series is titled “U-Turn Your Life Around”. Youthful Offender females will discuss character building topics including self – esteem, etiquette, motivation, personal responsibility, peer pressure, and decision making to prepare them for the community upon release. The discussion will be facilitated using role playing, artistic/poetic expressions, writing expressions and talent showcases.
SEX TRAFFICKING PREVENTION CLASS
This program discusses awareness and signs of sex trafficking, prevention of becoming a victim of sex trafficking and intervention and resources for those who are victims of sex trafficking.
STD AND HIV AWARENESS AND PREVENTION CLASS
This program is facilitated by the Health Department and participants are educated on topics including STD and HIV. Methods of prevention are discussed during this class.
Art class taught by the Bechtler Museum to develop art and coping skills to at risk youth. Youth will go through a 2 week art program taught by an artist in residence using modern techniques and develop a canvassed based product for display.