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D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services

450 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

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DYRS Logo: Red Initials to the right of three stylized youth forming a pyramid reach toward a star.The Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) is the local juvenile justice agency in the District of Columbia responsible for providing safe and stable secure residential and community-based programs to youth who have been committed to its care. The mission of DYRS is to improve public safety and give court-involved youth the opportunity to become productive citizens by building on the strengths of youth and their families in our care in the least restrictive environment consistent with public safety. The DYRS vision has consistently been to achieve this goal by creating decent and rehabilitative secure care and to develop a continuum of community-based care for youth under its supervision that is second to none in the nation. At DYRS, all program and policies are grounded in the fundamental philosophy, principles, and practices of Positive Youth Development (PYD) so that young people are given opportunities to make important choices that affect their lives in structured and safe environments. DYRS seeks to improve the workforce, increase accountability, and forge a new direction - away from a deficit-based, solely punitive system to one of PYD and accountability for youth and staff. DYRS has become nationally recognized for its reform efforts, and in 2007 DYRS was designated as one of the "Top 50" Programs for Harvard's Innovations in American Government Award.

New Beginnings Youth Development Center

Photo of Side of Building Marking New Beginnings Youth Development Center.The New Beginnings Youth Development Center is a 60-bed, secure facility for committed youth. The center is located in Laurel, Maryland on the grounds of the former Oak Hill facility. New Beginnings provides 24-hour supervision, custody and care including residential, nutritional, educational, recreational, medical, dental, and workforce development and mental health services. The facility’s nine- to 12-month behavior modification program, modeled after the acclaimed Missouri approach, serves the most serious and chronic young offenders. The program prepares youth for community reintegration within a home-like environment through the principles of Positive Youth Development and guided peer interaction to promote transformation. The See Forever Foundation operates the Maya Angelou Academy in partnership with DYRS, which provides a variety of academic and experiential programs for youth residing at New Beginnings.

Some of the services youth receive while in our care include, but are not limited to:

  • A team approach to comprehensive treatment planning
  • A six phase behavioral level system
  • Group counseling (including substance abuse counseling)
  • Comprehensive medical and dental care
  • Behavioral Health services under the supervision of licensed clinicians
  • Educational services through the See Forever Foundation
  • Vocational/employment training and readiness
  • Athletics

DC Youth Links (Lead Mentoring Organizations)

The DC Youth Links are local service coalitions that partner with government agencies, local employers, educational entities, financial institutions, and other community-based organizations to provide a network of services, supports, and opportunities for youth reentering their communities. In addition to mentoring services, DC Youth Links provide tutoring, workforce development, job training, arts/music, sports, recreation, parenting support, third-party monitoring, mental health services, and substance abuse treatment.

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