Youth Leadership Academy 3155 W. Justice Center Way Orange, CA 92868 (714) 935-7099 View Map
The Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) is a 120-bed, juvenile detention facility operated by the Orange County Probation Department. Centrally located within Orange County, the facility opened in July 2006 and consists of two, two-story modular living units that are designed to each house up to 60 youth. The facility is self-contained and includes laundry and intake/release services. Each building contains a control center, dayrooms, dining, and multi-purpose areas with shared access to five school classrooms and outdoor recreation space. There is a third building that functions as the administration building and includes staff parking.
The Youth Leadership Academy utilizes Evidenced Based Programs and activities that have been proven effective through research which includes a risk/needs assessment, individual motivators, targeting appropriate intervention, rewiring the brain, and increasing positive reinforcement. Thinking for a Change (T4C) and Decision Points are used as an integrated, cognitive approach to changing behavior through cognitive restructuring, social skills development, and problem solving. YLA provides two residential programs, the PRIDE Program and the Youth Leadership Program.
The PRIDE Program is a comprehensive residential program designed for youth who receive extensive local commitments. This program is open to male youth ages 14 to 20 years of age. The program targets youth who would have been formally sentenced to the Department of Juvenile Justice and are sentenced to lengthy commitments at the local level. The program includes a behavioral based phase advancement program and allows transitional services with the Safe Schools therapists that incorporates furloughs and family reunification counseling to aid in a smooth transition to the community. PRIDE also participates in the PAW Program (Puppies and Wards Program). This is a collaborative effort between the Orange County Animal Shelter, a non-profit organization, and the Probation Department. The program pairs shelter dogs with youth serving commitments in the PRIDE Program.
The Youth Leadership Program focuses on preparing youth to re-enter and transition back into the community. This program houses older male youth who are 17 – 20 years of age. The Youth Leadership Program encourages our youth to be leaders in the program and in their communities upon release. There are four levels of leadership for youth to achieve in the program ranging from Level 1 to Level 4. Youth will be given more responsibilities as they promote to each level, which may include off-site schooling, employment, furloughs, and field trips. The goals of the program is to help the youth increase their responsibility and build a sense of confidence, which in turn builds self-esteem, pride, and true control over one’s own life.
Comprehensive academic and special education services are provided by Otto Fischer School, which is operated by the Orange County Department of Education. The Department of Education provides a certified counselor/clinician to provide vocational instruction and employment as well as referral for Wrap Around services. On-site medical services are provided by the Orange County Health Care Agency. Mental health services are provided by the Orange County Health Care Agency, through the Clinical Evaluation and Guidance Unit (CEGU) and include crisis, individual, group, and family counseling. OCDE Safe Schools provides drug and alcohol education, assessments, individual and group treatment, and sober activities. Religious programming, reading skill building, educational tutoring, community service and restorative justice opportunities are provided through the use of volunteers in Probation. Our ultimate goal at YLA is to develop our youth so that they may transform into young men of character, honor, and integrity.
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