Daily recreation, daily group counseling, individual counseling as needed, and a fully accredited school program taught by Special Education Certified teachers from the Berrien County Regional Education Services Agency.

Rational Behavior Training (RBT)

Our programming now includes Rational Behavior Training (RBT) for the youth we serve. RBT is a Cognitive Behavioral program with a focus on making youth aware of their thoughts and actions. The implementation of RBT into the facility has resulted in many positive gains and overall success. In fact, in 2008, the Berrien County Juvenile Center received the National Juvenile Detention Association’s “Award of Excellence” as the “Premier Juvenile Detention Program in the Country.”

RBT Study Groups

Rational Behavior Training consists of different focused study groups which are facilitated by the Youth Specialist staff.  RBT consists of:

  • Anger is My Friend – a look at understanding the emotion of anger and ways to handle it safely.
  • Restorative Justice – Understanding how our actions affect others and how to restore relationships in family, school and more.
  • Moral Decision Making – Learning the different levels of moral behavior in positive, goal-oriented decision making,
  • Risk Management – Understanding the temptations and hazards in risk-taking.
  • RBT 1 -  Introduction to the concepts of Rational Behavior Training. Understanding core beliefs and behaviors with tools to assist in decision making.
  • RBT 2 – Advanced application of concepts in RBT 1. Residents learn to explore their thinking using Rational Self Analysis (RSA).
  • 8 Basic Social Skills – The social basics to teach youth the most appropriate way to interact with others.

Evidence-based programs:

Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is a research-validated substance abuse prevention program proven to reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse, and violence by targeting the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance use and other risky behaviors.  This comprehensive and exciting program provides adolescents and young teens with the confidence and skills necessary to successfully handle challenging situations.

Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) is a systematic treatment strategy that seeks to decrease recidivism among juvenile offenders by increasing moral reasoning. Its cognitive-behavioral approach combines elements from a variety of psychological traditions to progressively address ego, social, moral, and positive behavioral growth.

MRT takes the form of weekly group and individual counseling using structured group exercises and prescribed homework assignments. The MRT workbook is structured around 16 objectively defined steps (units) focusing on seven basic treatment issues: confrontation of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors; assessment of current relationships; reinforcement of positive behavior and habits; positive identity formation; enhancement of self-concept; decrease in hedonism and development of frustration tolerance; and development of higher stages of moral reasoning.

MRT is one of the most widely implemented cognitive behavior programs, implemented in 40 states and several countries. MRT seeks to move clients from hedonistic (pleasure vs. pain) reasoning to levels where concern for social rules and others becomes important. Research on MRT has shown that as clients pass steps, moral reasoning increases in juvenile offenders. Controlled evaluations of MRT indicate that program participants have lower recidivism rates than controls.

In 2005, a meta-analysis of nine published outcome studies detailed the effects of MRT on recidivism. The studies found MRT cut expected recidivism by nearly two-thirds over a time period of six months to over two years. It is designed specifically for treatment resistant clients.

Parenting with Love and Limits® (PLL) was founded in 2001 by Dr. Scott Sells. PLL is an evidence-based system of care that trains agencies and therapists to achieve better outcomes with children and their families in areas of trauma, mental illness and delinquency. The PLL model has achieved national recognition for its outcomes in increasing both parent and caregiver involvement in their child’s treatment. Additional positive outcomes include: improved behavioral health for child behavior issues, decreased trauma levels, reducing out-of-home placement, decreasing lengths of stay and return to treatment.