Highland Residential Center

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Highland Residential Center is located in the Hudson Valley region of New York State, approximately nine miles from Poughkeepsie on the west side of the Hudson River. Youth are in five residential buildings. There are four educational buildings on the Highland campus.

The youth served at Highland are male, adjudicated juvenile delinquents, generally between the ages of 12 and 18, placed with OCFS by the Family Court.

This facility is accredited by the American Correctional Association.


Counseling: Each youth engages in specific group counseling based on the support team’s identification of the youth's needs. The counseling program's philosophy and methodology are based on a cognitive-moral approach utilizing psycho-educational curricula such as:

Behavioral modification approaches such as DBT use skill building and therapy.

Education: A highly structured academic program incorporates life skills and workplace competencies. Programs offer special education, academic and vocational instruction. Instruction in math, reading, science, social studies, English, health and physical education are individualized, and conducted in small groups.

Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) and college prep are available. Regents exams in all subjects are being phased in each year by New York State standards.

Vocational Opportunities: Instructors provide trade skills training in technology, computers, keyboarding, building and grounds maintenance and food service.

Health Services: The health care team is comprised of a physician, nurse practitioner, and registered nurses. Nurses are on duty during day and evening shifts seven days per week.  Dental and eye care are provided on site.
Intensive Treatment Unit: These units within the Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth (DJJOY) are designed to provide mental health care and treatment in a clinically enhanced, structured, and therapeutic environment. DJJOY Intensive Treatment Unit services are focused on the assessment, clarification, and stabilization of acute mental health symptoms. This unit that has a 10-bed capacity and has two licensed clinicians. Twice weekly individual therapy and daily group therapy is provided. Groups include DBT, Sanctuary, and psychoeducation groups. Services provided on this unit include yoga and music to promote self-awareness and development. Two generic units have one clinician on each unit providing individual therapy on a weekly basis as well as daily group therapy. Services provided on the generic units include DBT and Sanctuary.

Discrete Substance Abuse Unit: There is a specialized discrete substance abuse unit that implements the "Seven Challenges" treatment-based curriculum, monitored via the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services. There are two licensed clinicians and a CASAC worker assigned to this unit providing individual and daily group therapy for youth admitted to the program. Services on this unit also include DBT and Sanctuary groups.

Recreational: Full-service recreation facilities include gymnasium, athletic fields, outdoor basketball and handball courts and recreation/game building. 

Religious Services: Youth can attend religious services on site. Religious counseling and education are offered through the facility Chaplain and community volunteers.

Special Programs:

Community Involvement: Highland has an active community advisory board that works with volunteers to provide youth with a wide variety of cultural, recreational, and educational activities.

Pre-Release Orientation: To prepare youth prior to their release, a special program addresses relapse prevention. HIV prevention is also addressed.





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