Youth Development Centers

The Juvenile Justice section currently operates four youth development centers statewide. YDCs provide mentoring, education and therapeutic treatment to prepare youth for a fresh start when they re-enter their communities.

Youths who are adjudicated for offenses that occurred prior to their 16th birthday may be committed to the Juvenile Justice section and assigned to a youth development center, which is the most restrictive, intensive dispositional option available to North Carolina's juvenile courts. A commitment is typically for an indefinite period of at least six months and may continue until the youth's 18th birthday. The commitment period may be extended until the youth's 19th or 21st birthday if the youth was committed for a particular violent offense. A youth must be at least 10 years old to be committed.

Upon commitment to a youth development center, a juvenile undergoes a comprehensive screening and assessment of developmental, educational, medical, neurocognitive, mental health, psychosocial and relationship strengths and needs. Results from these assessments, in combination with other relevant current and historical data, are used by Juvenile Justice staff, parents/caregivers and community providers/stakeholders to develop an individualized service plan that outlines commitment services, including plans for education, mental health services, medical services and treatment programming as indicated. Assessments also provide a framework for the development of post-release supervision services.

Upon arrival at a youth development center, juveniles are assigned to a service planning team that operates under a child and family-centered model. Each service planning team develops an individualized plan to meet each child's service needs within a month of the juvenile's arrival. The team meets at least monthly thereafter to monitor progress on service plan goals and to make adjustments in the plan when needed. The service planning team consists at a minimum of the juvenile, his or her parent(s) or guardian, a court counselor from the youth's home district, a social worker who facilitates team meetings, a licensed mental health clinician and a school representative. Other YDC staff and community stakeholders (e.g., chaplains, substance abuse counselors, direct-care staff) may also be members of a juvenile's service planning team.

Core programming rooted in a Risk-Need-Responsivity model is offered at each of the state's youth development centers. Core programming is informed by the research literature addressing “what works” with confined juvenile offenders, is rooted in a cognitive-behavioral treatment approach, and encompasses a motivation system as well as focused interventions targeting common criminogenic needs.

The Juvenile Justice section operates as a local education agency, providing education services by teachers licensed by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. The majority of youth in youth development centers are enrolled in standard public school courses. Youth aged 16 and older may enroll in General Education Development study, post-secondary vocational courses or online college courses in cooperation with local community colleges. Required special education services are provided for youth throughout the system.

Each juvenile is assigned to a licensed mental health clinician (LMHC) who develops an individualized mental health treatment plan addressing needs identified during a comprehensive psychological assessment. In most cases, youths receive either group or individual psychotherapy with their LMHC on a weekly basis. Psychiatric services are also available. Where indicated, some youth may participate in substance abuse education and treatment services.

The Juvenile Justice section provides developmentally appropriate health services for youths in youth development centers and detention centers. Licensed medical staff provide screening, assessment and examination of youth and interventions as indicated.

Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center
850 Holshouser Road
Concord, N.C. 28027
Phone: 704-652-4300
Fax: 704-788-9417
Director:  Peter Brown

Originally built in 1909, Stonewall Jackson was North Carolina's first youth development center. It is comprised of 60 structures on about 100 acres of land, but only 23 structures are currently in use, many for storage. Fifty of the buildings are listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Many of the buildings are condemned. A 15-foot tall fence surrounds the 55 acres of the campus that are currently in use.
The Cabarrus Complex, with a capacity of 96 youths, was opened in 2008 as part of the Stonewall Jackson campus. It was one of four centers built to replace aging youth development centers in the state. Stonewall Jackson serves males.

C. A. Dillon Youth Development Center
100 Dillon Drive Butner, N.C. 27509
Phone: 919-575-3166
Fax: 919-575-3173
Director: Crystal Wynn-Lewis

Opened in April 1969, C. A. Dillon Youth Development Center is located on 88 acres of land, 30 of which are fenced. The campus consists of four housing units, a cafeteria, an academic school and an administrative building. C.A. Dillon has a current bed capacity of 90.

Chatham Youth Development Center
Central Carolina Business Park
560 Progress Blvd.
Siler City, N.C. 27344
Phone: 919-742-6220
Fax: 919-742-6291
Director: vacant

Chatham Youth Development Center, located in Siler City, was opened in 2008. A self-contained secure complex, it is the one youth development center that serves females. One of the four 8-bed units currently houses males. The center has a bed capacity of 32.

Dobbs Youth Development Center
3060 Dobbs Farm Road
Kinston, N. C. 28504
Phone:  252-522-0511
Fax:  252-526-4609
Director:  Jameka Patrick

Dobbs Youth Development Center, located near Kinston, opened in 1944 and currently serves males. The operational portion of the campus includes two housing units, a multipurpose activity center, a chapel, a school building, an administration building and a maintenance shop. The Center has updated vocational classrooms in the school to accommodate auto maintenance, horticulture and culinary arts classes. There is a total capacity of 43 at Dobbs.

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