Probation Home Offers Alternative Solutions for the County’s Rising Juvenile Delinquent Population

After postponement of the Santa Clara County’s controversial proposed $1 million dollar expansion of James Ranch, a high risk juvenile offender treatment facility, Unity Care Group, Inc. is responding to the County’s critical need for alternative solutions.  Unity Care has developed Phoenix Home, a residential care improvements to its six-bed probation residential treatment program in San Jose to provide alternative rehabilitation solutions to the county’s rising juvenile delinquent population and overburdened facilities.

Unity Care’s unique probation treatment facility named Phoenix Home is an alternative placement program to current County Juvenile Justice facilities, which serves six at-risk teen boys 13 to18 ages.   The home is located in a quite residential neighborhood and offers a much less restrictive setting versus the Ranch and is still able to provide quality treatment services through competent staff, constant supervision, a highly structured program and positive environment to properly treat youth. The primary component of Phoenix Home is a Co-Occurring Disorder clinic, which will provide substance abuse treatment services for youth through a clinical collaborative including agencies such as Pathway Society and MACSA.

The program serves teenage boys referred by the Probation Department that have a history of drug, alcohol or gang involvement.  Through education, prevention, and therapeutic intervention, the program’s goal is to decrease youth criminal behaviors, recidivism rates, gang involvement, truancy as well as drug and alcohol abuse.  By working closely with each teen and incorporating their families in the rehabilitation process, the program arms them with the adequate tools and the knowledge to develop positive behaviors that will help them successfully transition back into the community.

To address possible cultural barriers to treatment, the agency plans to utilize a high proportion of bilingual staff that are not only culturally competent, but are a very familiar with the population served.  In addition, a culturally competency committee across participating agencies will be created to support ongoing development of culturally competent services.

Finally, the length of stay for youth is determined on a case-by-case basis, and gives staff the flexibility to ensure each youth’s successful completion from the program.

André Chapman, President and CEO said, “Phoenix Home is only one part of the solution for the County’s growing juvenile delinquent population.  The County must act swiftly to address this rising problem even in the midst of difficult economic times.   Supporting alternative culturally competent rehabilitation programs offers more positive long term outcomes versus investing in institutions that continue to fail our youth-our future.”

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