Youth Services 2020-06-26T18:37:35+00:00

Youth Services

The Division of Youth Services (DYS) administers probation, aftercare services and institutional programs for juveniles who have been adjudged delinquent in Mississippi Youth Courts or are at risk of becoming delinquent.

Programs- DYS

The Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Youth Services administers several types of programs:

The primary goals of Community Services are:

  • To ensure a balanced approach to accountability, competency development and community safety in providing quality services that address the needs of clients, individual victims and the community.
  • To test the effectiveness of community-based programs on reducing commitments to state custody and caseload reduction.
  • To establish multi-agency, cooperative partnerships with local communities.
  • To establish uniformity in DYS services, case management practices and procedures.

Probation and After Care Services are provided to juveniles referred to youth courts in Mississippi. Individual, group and family counseling, intake, pre-court investigation, case management and referral and placement are some of the services provided by DYS counselors.

The Division of Youth Services provides institutional care to delinquent juveniles committed to DYS custody through Oakley Youth Development Center. OYDC is an accredited nonpublic school approved by the Mississippi Department of Education that serves both boys and girls.

The psycho-educational program offered at OYDC begins with standardized admission, intake screening, and orientation assessment. Once assessed, the student is placed into an appropriate housing unit and staff begins developing a comprehensive service plan for the youth involving treatment programs, counseling, recreation, and education.

After mental health, physical, academic and vocational aptitude assessments are completed along with a complete physical exam; students are placed in academic and/or vocational classes, based on assessment results and the cumulative educational records at Williams School, the educational branch of OYDC.

Services offered through Williams School include:

  • Computer labs that provide remedial, job interest assessments and cognitive development.
  • An Interactive Video Network which allows students to interact with each other in GED and gifted classes. The electronic classrooms also give students the ability to take “electronic field trips” and view satellite downlinks of various programs.
  • Library/Media Services.
  • Character education training to develop responsible citizenship skills.
  • G.E.D. preparation and testing for eligible students.
  • A.C.T. Preparation and Testing for students who have graduated or earned a G.E.D.
  • Vocational training that includes classes in welding, carpentry, small engine repair, brick masonry and basic business computer.

Individual and group therapy counseling emphasizes:

  • Reality therapy.
  • Social skills development.
  • Anger management.
  • Sex education.
  • Drug and alcohol awareness.
  • Character education.
  • Sexual offender counseling.
  • Psycho-correctional skills.
  • Diagnostic and evaluation allow staff to gather medical, dental, recreational, educational, vocational and psychological data. Each student receives a complete physical and a full-scale psychological assessment which includes: IQ testing, personality profile, drug and alcohol abuse risk questionnaire, suicide risk assessment, achievement testing and a trauma risk assessment.

Click here to view the Williams School Brochure

Services offered through Williams School include:

  • Computer labs that provide remedial, job interest assessments and cognitive development.
  • An Interactive Video Network which allows students to interact with each other in GED and gifted classes. The electronic classrooms also give students the ability to take “electronic field trips” and view satellite downlinks of various programs.
  • Library/Media Services.
  • Character education training to develop responsible citizenship skills.
  • G.E.D. preparation and testing for eligible students

Significant Accomplishments

  • Expanded the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) to a web-based system so community staff could provide testing and scoring prior to youth committal to Oakley.
  • Partnered with the Administrative Office of the Courts and their MYCIDS program and DYS’s CMS program to combine efforts that expand the electronic filing system capabilities for all youth courts statewide.
  • Established electronic fingerprinting to expedite the DYS hiring process and provide for safety in hiring staff that works with youth.
  • Achieved full academic and vocational accreditation with the Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Accreditation.
  • Expanded mental health contractual services at Oakley to improve the level of treatment.

Counties Served & Policies and Procedures

Division of Youth Services

601-359-4972 | 866-312-7215