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About DYS

About DYS

The Division of Youth Services (DYS) provides effective prevention, intervention, and treatment programs for youth involved in the Arkansas juvenile justice system. Our goals are simple: give youth and families the opportunities and services they need to be successful in a way that ensures public safety.

The purpose of the juvenile justice system is getting youth treatment – not punishment – so that they can flourish when they return to their homes and communities. We use different strategies to help youth become productive and responsible members of society:

  • Prevention and diversion programs based in communities across Arkansas, including the Civilian Student Training Program
  • Residential treatment and correctional programs, including education, for youth placed in State custody by a judge. There are four state residential facilities in Arkansas.
  • Re-entry programs for youth leaving other programs

DYS also works to lead reform efforts and collaborate with juvenile judges, schools, and others working to prevent most youth from ever needing legal intervention and our services. When youth are placed in our care for treatment, we believe it is important that their families have a voice in their treatment and are active in treatment as they are critical to youth success.

Our division is divided into several sections:

  • Service Delivery, Compliance, and Quality Assurance – monitors contracts and ensure vendors, including the private company that handles the day-to-day management of our residential treatment centers.
  • Treatment – assesses every youth committed to DYS to determine their treatment needs, including medical, mental health, and substance abuse issues. The same unit monitors the youth’s progress and adjusts the plans as necessary to allow the youth to successfully return to the community.
  • Education – works with youth and guardians to determine the most appropriate educational programming for youth in DYS care, such as earning a high school diploma, a GED, or post-graduate educational services that will help students meet their academic, college, career, and vocational goals.

If you have an issue or concern relating to the health, safety, welfare, education, programing, or quality of life of the youth at a DYS contracted facility, please email