Achievement Award Program

Juvenile Detention Home Reimagines Behavior Management

2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner
Juvenile Detention Home Reimagines Behavior Management
Chesterfield County, Va.

About the Program

CATEGORY: Criminal Justice and Public Safety
YEAR: 2022
Behavior management programs are the cornerstone of a secure detention home’s efforts to provide a safe environment by maintaining order and compliance, while at the same time offering incentives to residents that can ease their stay in a secure residential setting and encourage pro-social decision-making. A good, well-thought-out behavior management program can truly make the difference between a calm, orderly environment, and an environment where room restriction and physical restraints are the norm and not the exception. Chesterfield Detention had already made programmatic changes in 2013 to reduce the number of physical restraints but the use of room restriction remained high. After much research, surveying, and benchmarking, it was determined we could address this issue by 1) providing more, as well as better, incentives for residents and 2) shift the focus from residents “buying” these incentives with points to being automatically eligible for them based on positive, pro-social behavior. By developing and implementing a new behavior management program that centered around incentives chosen by residents and adopting this change in perspective, we saw the use of room restriction decrease 77% and the use of physical restraints decrease 88% from 2017 to 2021.

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