Stark Attention Center
815 Faircrest Street SW
Canton, Ohio 44706
Pamela Watkins, Administrator
The Stark Attention Center (SAC) is a 30 bed locked-secure Facility serving pre-adjudicated males and females under the age of 18 years old. Due to the passing of Senate Bill 337, there may be times when youth, ages 18 to 21 years old may also be held if they are still under the umbrella of the Juvenile Court through parole.
The primary goal of the Stark Attention Center is to carry out the mandates set forth by the Ohio Revised Code for Detention Centers by providing a safe, secure and humane temporary custody of youth held by the Juvenile Courts.
The youth at the Center participate in academic education that is provided through Canton Local Schools. Youth attend school during the school year with a variety of classes like math, social studies, art and computer classes. The educational department is outstanding and grades easily transfer back to each person’s home school. The school has been instrumental in helping to build the inventory of the library and they provide six weeks of summer school.
Indoor and outdoor recreation activities, life skills and optional non-denominational religious services are provided. Youth are also taught basic daily living skills like meal behavior, proper hygiene techniques, cleaning and helping with laundry. Through these building blocks we hope to provide some much needed skills to help youth function and be successful upon release.
The Skill Building sessions for the Stark Center are varied and ever changing. Some components are provided by the staff members such as the Jason Foundation curriculum for suicide awareness or sessions about PREA (the components of the Prison Rape Elimination Act). Other Skill Building sessions are provided by outside agencies.
The largest component, used for change at the Detention Center, is the Responsible Behavior Program. This is a cognitive based program based on the “thinking for a change” curriculum that is used in some of our treatment programs. It is based on a level system where youth have 2 points in areas like hygiene, respect for staff, education etc. and it is up to them to maintain the points in each area during the day. When a student loses points, it can affect their overall status and privileges like a later bed time can be taken away.
In 2010, the program was revisited and revised making it more challenging for youth to move through the levels. Our goal is to help youth connect between their actions and the consequences of such by making them think through decisions they make every day. The program is educationally based and not therapy based so our goal is to plant seeds for change while helping them to identify basic problems like Authority, Aggravates Others and Easily Angered. Also used is a curriculum for thinking errors which always leads to healthy and insightful discussions.
The ultimate goal is to provide youth with ways to demonstrate pro-social behavior while taking personal responsibility for their actions.