TUSCARAWAS ATTENTION CENTER
Administrator - Terry Abrams
2299 Reiser Avenue SE
New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663
24 bed secure facility
Serves males and females
Built in 2014
Located in Tuscarawas County
The Tuscarawas Attention Center is the newest facility in MCJAS. Built in 2013 / 2014 it is a 24 bed locked facility that serves male and female youth under the age of 19. The center is often time used to house the overflow of youth at the Stark Attention Center or when youth need to be separated. This ability to utilize other facilities is just one of the advantages our member county courts have. . The primary goal of the Center is to carry out the mandates of the Ohio Revised Code by providing safe, secure, and humane temporary custody of youth held by the Juvenile Courts, length of stay is determined by the Courts.
A major component of all the attention centers is the Responsible Behavior Program. The Program encompasses seven progressive levels. Youth earn their way to higher levels by demonstrating pro-social behavior and personal responsibility. Each level offers youth more privileges, free time and access to the commissary. Youth can also lose privileges through the program for major and minor behavior violations. Children are provided clear direction and simple rules that identify the strength in each child and emphasize them.
The educational program at the Tuscarawas Attention Center is provided by the New Philadelphia School System. High standards are set for youth and they are often times much more successful in the detention environment. This is largely due to the teachers who work diligently to make sure that each youth’s needs are met regardless of their grade level. A high premium is set on reading and our library gets a lot of use.
The staff at the Tuscarawas Center is what really “makes a difference”. In the past year staffing patterns have been adjusted resulting in more staff on the floor on the afternoon and weekends which positively impacts programming. Staff members are trained in Jason Foundation suicide prevention program which is being incorporated into the afternoon life skills programming.
Life skills are offered to the youth and gives staff members the opportunity to work with the youth in their care on a variety of topics such as filling out a job application or doing a mock interview. Youth also participate in “Thinking for Change” which challenges them to look at their behavior and the consequences of their actions. It challenges youth to think before acting. An enrichment program is also offered that enrichment program that creates a dialog of social issues.
Meals are prepared daily by two Cooks and our Medical Department is headed by a fulltime Registered Nurse.
Local Organizations also provide a variety of programs for the youth. Drug and Alcohol financial awareness program Discussions such as the effect of music and television on society are discussed to encourage youth to think about cause and effect. Compass is also provided that discussed sexual awareness issues.
Fund raisers are also incorporated into the activities of staff to provide special events for the youth in the center which reinforces positive behavior.
Two times during the weeks church sessions are offered to youth so their spiritual needs are met. MCJAS has a wonderful church volunteer program that is a positive influence on the youth and never seems to give up on our young people. Our volunteers don’t judge the youth and acknowledges that we are all flawed and we all have a need to be nurtured and forgiven, a theme that comes across to all of the young people that participate.
Family visitation is encouraged at the center. The importance of family interaction is vital as youth transition back to home.
The Tuscarawas Attention Center is currently working to develop relationships with other county agencies such as the Health Department to lend their expertise to educate youth on a variety of issues that affect them. The staff at the center remain committed to helping youth who enter the center now and in the future.