Harrisburg Youth Academy

Harrisburg Youth Academy offers staff-secure, gender-specific treatment for up to thirty-two (32) low- to moderate-risk girls ages thirteen (13) to eighteen (18) who cannot be served in non-secure or community settings. The treatment programming will address behavioral issues, substance abuse, and sexual reactivity. This culture is focused on grounding a foundation for our youth to develop mature decision-making skills, while establishing a mechanism for employability and career goals. Services are provided 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Program services include 32 slots for female youth in a non-secure residential setting. The program will emphasize treatment for behavioral issues, substance abuse, and sexual reactivity. The campus includes 7 buildings, including an administration building (administration, human resources, medical staff); dorm building (3 separate open-bay pods of up to 12 youth each, day room); therapeutic/vocation center (therapeutic programming, computer-based vocation, resident activities, and all YOI Behavior Management System incentives and point store); education building (4 oversized classrooms, teacher work area), nutrition center/cafeteria; game room to incentivize positive behavior; facility warehouse; and outdoor recreational spaces.

This culture will be focused on grounding a foundation for our youth to develop mature decision-making skills, while establishing a mechanism for employability and career goals. 

Harrisburg provides behavioral health services, psycho-educational groups, anger management, victim awareness, social skills, moral development, and gang intervention. The program also provides individualized mental health and substance abuse services in a trauma-focused, restraint-free environment for the youth. 

The anticipated average length of stay is 6-9 months, yet depends on the youth’s pace of success in completing the individualized treatment plan and goals. The program’ goal is to equip youth for successful reintegration into the community to live productive, prosocial, and crime-free lives.

Harrisburg provides clinical/treatment services including Thinking for a Change, VOICES: a program of self-discovery and empowerment for girls, the 7 Challenges (substance abuse), Trauma Focused CBT (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Impact of Crime (a restorative justice, victim impact curriculum). Additionally, individual and family counseling is provided to all youth. Medical/health services are provided by on-site contracted nursing as well as a contracted physician and psychiatrist.

Individuals are provided breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks daily, which are managed by a licensed dietician, with special medical diets and religious diets provided as needed. Youth receive weekly and monthly incentive activities and access to a point store (obtain items based on points earned throughout each day). Input into incentives is provided by the Youth Advisory Board. The facility maintains a 1:8 ratio of staff to youth during the day and evening and a 1:12 asleep ratio. A staff to youth ratio of 1:5 is required for off-site activities.

Harrisburg contracts with Ombudsman Educational Services (OES) to provide education to students. Curricula are provided in a blended model using in-person instruction and instruction via Virtual Arkansas. Vocational opportunities include ServSafe, the National Professional Certification in Customer Service credential (NRF), certified Microsoft Office Specialist, and CPR. 

Harrisburg will maintain CARF and ACA Accreditation

Youth served have been adjudicated delinquent by the Court and committed to the Arkansas Division of Youth Services. The program is contracted through the AR DYS; no additional fees are required from youth/families or insurance providers.

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