Brookwood Secure Center

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Brookwood Secure Center is in the Hudson Valley region of New York State, southeast of the City of Hudson.

The youth served at Brookwood are male juvenile offenders who, while under the age of 16, committed certain violent felonies and were convicted and sentenced in adult criminal court. Depending upon the sentence, youth may remain in OCFS custody up to 21 years of age.

Juvenile delinquents under the jurisdiction of the Family Court may also be placed at Brookwood if they have been transferred or "fennered" from a limited secure facility for violent behavior. Juvenile delinquents may remain in OCFS custody up to the age of 18 depending on their placement order.

Brookwood Secure Center has a maximum capacity of 146 youth. The original facility was constructed in 1963 and consists of four 14-bed living units. In 1997, five more 14-bed living units were added, along with a 12-bed living unit and an eight-bed living unit. The academic/school area consists of a library, a computer room, a gymnasium, a wellness center, a dining hall, a recreation/all purpose room, a print shop, a building trades shop, a horticulture shop, an infirmary, and several administrative offices. Outdoor recreational facilities include four basketball courts, a handball court, two baseball fields, and a football field. In August 2011, the substance abuse program was moved from the annex to the main building; it occupies one 14-bed living unit. All residents housed there participate in the certified Intensive Residential Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Services Program. The program is certified by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services pursuant to Article 32, Title 14 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law. This facility is accredited by the American Correctional Association.


Program Services: A team approach to treatment provides for all aspects of each youth’s needs. The facility’s comprehensive program includes academic, vocational and special education, a youth behavior management system, substance abuse counseling,  medical care and mental health care. Youth receive health and HIV/AIDS education and challenge-based physical education. Specialized training at the facility focuses on anger management, victim awareness, independent living, and computer skills. Staff also ensure that family issues, home issues, and legal concerns are addressed.

New York Model Comprehensive Treatment Approach: The NY Model is values-driven, treatment-based, trauma-focused, and future-oriented. It strives to use treatment modalities and program interventions that are trauma sensitive, trauma responsive, skills-based, and empirically supported to address the interconnected cultural, familial, and individual needs of our youth who often present with mental health, substance abuse, and trauma-related issues. These issues are not only a major focus of treatment, but important to identify as potential impediments to the engagement of treatment itself. By incorporating both the Sanctuary model (to provide a therapeutic and trauma sensitive milieu) and evidence based treatment models such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy or Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, the program’s goals of fostering emotional stabilization and enhancing the likelihood of a youth’s success in both the facility and in the community, can be reached.

Family Involvement: Family members and guardians are highly encouraged to become involved in a youth’s program, and to maintain contact during a youth’s stay at the Facility. OCFS, through the Community Multi-Services Offices (CMSO) provides train and bus tickets twice a month (from the New York City area) so that parents and guardians are able to have contact with their children. Visiting hours are 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with arrangements made through the youth’s counselor. Special/emergency visits may be arranged as needed. Parents and guardians are also invited to their youth’s monthly treatment team meeting. Youth are also eligible to make free phone calls to family members weekly and may receive calls daily from family members.

Counseling and Therapy: Each youth's assigned counselor provides counseling to the youth weekly and on an as- needed basis. The youth's clinician provides therapy weekly, based on the youth’s treatment plan needs. Counseling programs available to all youth include the following: 

Education: The facility provides educational programming for youth per New York State Education Department requirements. State assessments, including Regents Examinations and Regents Competency Tests, are provided to eligible students. The Committee on Special Education (CSE) addresses special education needs for classified students and Individual Education Programs (IEPs) are developed for students with disabilities. Parents/guardians of special education students are advised of CSE meetings, as well as the special needs of their youth that are being addressed at the facility. The facility is a Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC, a national school equivalency assessment test) site that offers the test to youth who meet established criteria. For those youths receiving an equivalency diploma, the facility has entered a partnership with Columbia Greene Community College (a State University of New York school) and offers college-level courses at the facility for those youths who wish to continue their education. Report cards are issued quarterly to youths and to parents/guardians.

Vocational Opportunities: Vocational instructors provide training in building trades, horticulture/landscaping, graphic arts and print shop. In addition to vocational training there are several programs available for youth to earn credentials/certifications:

Health Services: Comprehensive health services are provided by licensed health professionals, including a physician, physician’s assistant and nurse practitioner. Registered nurses are on duty during day and evening shifts seven days a week. Upon admission, each youth has a comprehensive health assessment and an initial plan of care is developed. Immunizations are brought up to date following current public health recommendations. Eye and dental services are also provided on site. Nursing sick call occurs daily. Nurses refer health problems that cannot be addressed via routine nursing interventions to the physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or physician. Health staff initiate or continue needed health services via scheduled follow-up appointments. A discharge plan is established on release to address the youth's routine and specialized health care needs.

Mental Health: Mental health treatment is delivered by psychologists, licensed social workers and psychiatrists. Mental health treatment is available for all youth. Clinical personnel work directly for OCFS. Brookwood has consulting psychiatrists who provide psychopharmacological treatment. Assessment services include mental health and substance abuse assessment, evaluation of sex offense treatment needs, fire setting assessment, cognitive and neuropsychological assessment. Treatment services include crisis evaluation and intervention, individual/group/family therapy, mental health and substance abuse treatment and discharge planning. Facility treatment directors and clinicians facilitate psychiatric hospitalization where needed, and are the facility liaisons to the hospital during the youth’s stay.

Intensive Treatment Unit – Brookwood has a Mental Health Services Program that addresses and treats the needs of secure center youth who, by their behavior and/or history, have shown themselves to be mentally ill as determined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, version 5 (DSM5). This is a 10-bed, self-contained program which is staffed by a part-time psychiatrist and a full time social worker.

Recreational Opportunities: The recreation program offers a wide range of activities from movies to several indoor and outdoor recreation areas. The outdoor areas include basketball courts, handball courts, and baseball and football fields. The indoor areas include a gym, an activity room, a fully equipped Wellness Center, and leisure activities on the living units. Youth participate in intramural sports activities throughout the year with the competition based on the season.

Enhancement Programs: Brookwood Secure Center provides enhancement programming with funds provided by the governor’s office. These programs are designed based on the youths’ interest. Brookwood youth are surveyed every three months and can participate in the program of their choice. Brookwood offers six enhancement programs:


Religious Services: The religious program is a voluntary program that offers youth the opportunity to practice their faith. The services offered are based on the needs of the youth under the oversight of an agency chaplain.

Discrete Substance Abuse Program: The facility has a 14-bed, certified discrete substance abuse program to provide services for the treatment of this special-need population. The program is certified by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services pursuant to Article 32, Title 14 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law. Admission criteria are dependent on, but not limited to, a DSM-5 diagnosis for Substance Abuse. This is a five-to-eight-month program that uses the "Seven Challenges" program--designed specifically for adolescents with drug problems--to motivate a decision and a commitment to change, and to support success in implementing the desired changes. The program simultaneously helps young people address their drug problems, and their co-occurring life skill deficits, situational problems, and psychological problems.

Pre-Release Orientation: Release planning begins at intake. The facility support team members work closely with youths, parents and Community Service Team (CST) members to ensure that youths and their families receive the support needed for a timely and successful return to the community.

Services Following Release: Each youth who is designated as a juvenile offender (JO) or youthful offender (YO) is assigned a parole officer upon release from placement with OCFS. Parole officers assist in the youth’s transition to home, and help access community services to reduce recidivism. These community services may aid with housing, employment, education, substance abuse or mental health issues, family concerns, leisure time activities, and other issues that affect the individual and his family. The parole officer will contact the youth’s parent/guardian to schedule a home assessment and case conference as the youth’s release date approaches. Each youth who is designated a juvenile Delinquent (JD) is “stepped down” to a limited secure OCFS facility as he demonstrates an ability to adjust to a secure center program. There, he will be exposed to a similar variety of services in a more youthful setting.

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