Tuscarawas Attention Center

Administrator: Emily Levering

2299 Reiser Avenue SE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

24 bed secure facility, Serves Females Youth

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 female youth under the age of 19. The center is used to house the female youth of all four-member counties. This ability to house all females in one facility helps keep the staff all focused on a singular group of youth instead of being spread throughout the building with multiple groups. 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 five 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, more phone calls, visits and extra postage stamps. 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”. The staffing team is focused on teaching and helping youth with skills that help them become successful in the program as well as the community. 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.  The youth also are taught about “Criminal Thinking Errors”. This helps the youth learn to take ownership of their actions and correct the thinking errors that have contributed to their delinquent behavior.

Meals are prepared daily by a full time cook and staff members and our Medical Department is headed by a fulltime Registered Nurse.

Once a week church session is 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.