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 treatment 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.

Mental Health Services: A specialized mental health unit has a 10-bed capacity. There is one LMSW-level clinician assigned to this unit.  Individual and  group therapy is provided.  Groups include DBT, Sanctuary, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Services provided on the mental health unit include yoga and music to promote self-awareness and development. Two generic units have one clinician on each unit providing individual and group therapy to their assigned youth on a weekly basis.  Services provided on the generic units include DBT and Sanctuary.

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. Curricula such as “Beat the Streets” and HIV Prevention are also provided.





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