Intensive Treatment Unit is a specialized secure residential program for males who have persistent, severe and complex behavior problems that have not been amenable to treatment in a regular Youth Development Campus
Commissioner Avery D. Niles is pleased to announce the official opening of DJJ’s Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) at the former DJJ Bill Ireland facility in Milledgeville, Georgia. To mark the occasion, the Department of Juvenile Justice held a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring keynote speaker Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, Senator Burt Jones, Representative Rusty Kidd and other community leaders on December 22nd. The facility is located at 800 North Glynn Street in Milledgeville, Georgia.
ITU was conceptualized after the Department of Juvenile Justice identified a need to provide more intensive treatment services to youth who were not benefiting from the treatment services offered in our current YDCs
The opening of the ITU marks the return of the Department of Juvenile Justice to the newly renovated Milledgeville facility where a thirty-bed youth detention center was specifically constructed to house only male offenders from other DJJ facilities across the state with an emphasis on increased professional staffing for counseling and treatment purposes. The Intensive Treatment Unit is scheduled to open in early 2015.
The ITU treatment approach is modeled after an evidence-based program, The Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center, which has demonstrated strong results with this population over the past 25 years and is recognized by the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention as an Evidence Based Treatment Program for Secure Residential Settings
“The return of the Department of Juvenile Justice to this area signifies the opening of an important era for this agency,” said DJJ Commissioner Avery D. Niles. “Not only does the unit bring new jobs here, the Milledgeville ITU also marks a DJJ milestone for purpose-built construction under Georgia’s new reforms in 2014.”
All staff are trained to recognize the impact of trauma on the lives of youth and to minimize the chances of re-traumatizing them, utilizing Structured Psychotherapy for Adolecents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS) to address youth trauma
“The safety measures, technology, and added emphasis on treatment and counseling that are hallmarks of the new Milledgeville ITU also characterize our methodology to always be thinking about preparing young offenders for reentry into their communities as responsible and law abiding citizens,” said Commissioner Niles. “We appreciate support from Governor Nathan Deal, Lieutenant Governor Cagle and the local Milledgeville-Baldwin County delegation to help make reforms and the opening of this Intensive Treatment Unit possible.”
ITU will utilize specialized evidence based group treatment programs in order to address thinking errors, moral reasoning, emotional control, mutual helping/support, communications skills and basic life skills
From the initial planning phase, DJJ was determined to ensure operations at the new Milledgeville ITU would meet high standards. Georgia juvenile justice administrators brought in a team of correctional staff members this fall to complete their training before the official opening and launched special recruitment efforts to bring in the very best candidates to staff the remodeled facility. “DJJ recruited only mature, responsible adults with interests in helping young offenders through troubled transitions in their lives,” said Commissioner Niles.
For more information on Juvenile Justice Reform in Georgia, please visit www.djjnewsandviews.org/juvenilejusticereform. To learn more about employment with the Department of Juvenile Justice and available jobs, go to www.djjcareers.org.