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Juvenile Treatment Centers & Correctional Facilities

About the Juvenile Treatment Centers and Correctional Facilities


The mission of the DYS Education system is to provide, in a manner consistent with public education in the state of Arkansas as well as the nation, a system of high quality education programs to address the needs of juveniles, who come in contact with the juvenile justice system. To accomplish this mission, DYS will:

  1. Identify and serve each child with a disability in the DYS system.
  2. Improve the individual academic achievement of each child in the DYS system.
  3. Provide an opportunity for progress toward state and local graduation requirements for each high school age child in the DYS system.
  4. Provide an opportunity for post-secondary education preparation for each child that enters with or achieves graduate status while in the DYS system.


The vision for the DYS Education system is enhancement of the knowledge and skills of each child that will produce successful academic experiences and outcomes that will be transferred and continued in the community upon release.


The purpose of the DYS Education system is to insure significant academic progress for each child that we serve in our institutional programs.


The goal of DYS education is to "mesh" not "match" with the public school system in Arkansas. By offering courses in the core subject areas that meet state standards and graduation requirements we offer a consistent opportunity for all of our students to make adequate progress toward graduation. This is primary, due to the short length of stay for most students. Guidance services are in place to properly identify students for grade placement and to advise each student concerning progress toward graduation.

Youth who commit the more serious offenses are separately housed at one of the contract Juvenile Correctional Facilities or Juvenile Treatment Centers located throughout the state. The minimum residential length-of-stay in each program is six months, followed by an Aftercare phase of at least six months.

Overview of Major Objective


The DYS Education System is designed to establish continuity among each of it school sites. The development of curriculum and consistency of textbooks, instructional technology and materials is utilized to bring about uniform construction of the education programs at each site. The primary purpose here is to ensure that our students do not experience an adverse effect on their schooling due to movement within the system necessary to address treatment needs.
Other items that are addressed in obtaining this goal are the sufficient consideration of education need in placement decision, school year calendar, teacher recruitment and retention and professional development.


The major compliance issues related to DYS education are found in the DOJ settlement agreement and ADE compliance monitoring report. The most challenging item listed in the DOJ settlement agreement is granting of diplomas. The Division does not have the capacity to execute this function. Other state established education programs are being researched in order to draft a model that may be suitable to satisfy this item.
On-going "working" meetings are in progress with the ADE to develop a systemic plan that will remedy each area of non-compliance. Joint planning related to these compliance issues should eliminate interpretation differences that have hindered this process in the past.

Teacher Recruitment and Retention

It is imperative that DYS recruit highly qualified teachers while it develops and retains its current teaching force. In order to be competitive adjustments need to be made to the school year calendar and teacher salaries. These adjustments are intended to move us to a "look" that is more similar to public school in this state, yet also meets the needs of our system and children we serve.

Juvenile Treatment Centers & Correctional Facilities


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Colt Juvenile Treatment Center

Built in 1994, this facility represents the first of the state's regional serious offender programs. It's remote location and unique log-cabin construction lends to the wilderness theme formerly used as part of the basis for redirection of delinquent behavior. In addition to traditional education requirements, the program originally promoted wildlife, livestock, and agricultural training. The facility emphasizes the need for juveniles to make self-directed changes, utilizing the development and enhancement of character and values as a basis for personal growth. While the environment still provides exposure to wildlife characteristics, the livestock and agricultural components have been replaced with targeted job skills assessment, training and increased formal education. The center is located in St. Francis County


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Harrisburg Juvenile Treatment Center

This serious offender facility, completed in early 1997, is unique in that it is located very near the downtown area of the city of Harrisburg. As a result, there is increased interaction by the citizenry and local officials, which has been extremely positive. This kind of proximity offers the opportunity to provide greater knowledge and first-hand experience to the public regarding the types of issues facing young offenders, as well as expose the juvenile population to direct community perspectives. The residents of this program are brought together with a variety of groups which include the Senior Citizens Group, city management, and local offices of the Fish & Game Commission, for a variety of projects.
This program emphasizes the value of education, character development and integrity. Utilizing individualized plans, juveniles become accountable for their actions and develop the ability to avoid delinquent behavior. There is no use of punishment disincentives and motivation is encouraged through an intensive staff-support network. The young offenders placed here strive to demonstrate desirable character development and attain specified educational goals prior to consideration for release.  The center is located in Poinsett County.


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Mansfield Juvenile Treatment Center/ Mansfield Juvenile Treatment Center for Girls

This serious offender program opened in 1994 on what used to be a youth home called Johnny Cake Ranch. Sponsored by John and Jan Martin in 1968 as a child study center, the program ended in 1975 due to lack of grant funding. In 1998, the Division purchased the 236-acre property nestled at the base of the famous Poteau Mountains. The rustic buildings include several two-story structures presently being used as the offender residential quarters and education classrooms, as well as a number of large houses located on the lakefront.
The program at this facility utilizes certain aspects of military dress and discipline to reinforce a comprehensive education and vocational regimen. Both male and female offenders are taught the basics of self-discipline, self-respect, motivation, and a host of other building blocks to becoming a successful adolescent and young adult. These juveniles also participate in a variety of community projects and learn the value of making contributions to the community.
This site will become a primary focus as the Division expands its services and capabilities, creating new programs in an environment that is most conducive to helping young juveniles gain a healthy perspective about their lives and promoting opportunity for improvement.  The site is located in Sebastian County.
In 2011, the original rustic buildings were replaced with a modern, green constructed, highly energy efficient treatment complex. The complex includes six dorms and an education/multi-purpose building with a kitchen and dining area. The program at this facility utilizes certain aspects of military dress and discipline to reinforce a comprehensive education and vocational regimen. Both male and female offenders are taught the basics of self-discipline, self-respect, motivation and a host of other building blocks to becoming a successful adolescent and young adult. These youths also participate in a variety of community projects and learn the value of making contributions to the community.


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Dermott Juvenile Treatment Center

The Southeast Arkansas Regional Juvenile Program at Dermott, represents the state-of-the-art in serious offender facilities and has incorporated numerous advances in both construction design and technology. This is also the only one of the 6 serious offender programs that is contained within a security fence, felt necessary due to close proximity to the Delta state adult correctional facility as a means to provide enhanced safety and some limited degree of sight and sound separation.
This particular program utilizes certain aspects of military dress and discipline as a basis for development of self-discipline, self-respect, motivation and a variety of other characteristics necessary for success as an adolescent and young adult. The main emphasis in this program is solid education and vocational training. The center is located in Chicot County.


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Dermott Juvenile Correctional Facility

The Dermott Juvenile Correctional Facility has the capacity to serve 32 males ages 18-21 for eight to 12 months. There are two living pods: One for youth sex offenders who require treatment and one "high risk" males. The facility is in Chicot County.



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Lewisville Juvenile Treatment Center

The center opened in 1994. The facility has a track record for accepting and dealing with the more resistant juveniles who are commonly disruptive in milder settings.
This program, like others, also promotes educational advancement. Military drill and ceremony, together with an early-to-bed early-to-rise philosophy, are among the traditions here. This type of solid and predictable structure provides a good setting for youths who need more than the standard treatment program environment to bring about personal change. The center is in Lafayette County.


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Arkansas Juvenile Assessment & Treatment Center (AJATC)

What is now the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment & Treatment Center (AJATC) was established in 1905 as a Girls Industrial School. In the late 1970s, Youth Services began housing both boys and girls at the center. Today, it serves not only as a treatment center but also as the primary intake and assessment center for all youth committed to DYS. The center’s maximum security dorm serves some of DYS’ most behaviorally troubled and violent youth. That dorm is one of six Serious Offender Programs for youths in the state. The center is in Saline County near the town of Alexander.

Arkansas Department
of Human Services
(501) 682-1001

TTY: 1-800-285-1131 or dial 711 for Arkansas Relay Service

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