2015 Finalist Spotlight: Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility

Posted by Lisa Martinek
July 08, 2015

Performance-based Standards (PbS) is pleased to announce Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility (CHJCF) in Highland Hills, OH as one of the finalists for the 2015 Barbara Allen-Hagen Award in the correction category. The program was selected as a finalist for their improvement plan on decreasing the amount of time youths spent in isolation.

CHJCF saw a spike in isolation in 2008, the same year a lawsuit prohibited isolation as an immediate punishment. The team at CHJCF also wanted to improve the safety and security for both youths and staff and set out on a seven year endeavor to address isolation. The team made many changes including implementing a strength-based behavior management system and a Special Review Team—a meeting led by a clinician with youths, staff and family to discuss causes of behavior and recommended interventions. After seven years and many changes, CHJCF is now 10 hours less than the field average for duration of isolation!

Angie Wurgler, Site Coordinator at CHJCF, explains that improving communications is necessary for sustaining the improvements, but the key to make the changes is data. “Living our efforts everyday through our data, our trends, and how we react to our data is the key to our success.”

The Barbara Allen-Hagen Award was established in 2007 to honor Barbara-Allen Hagen and her retirement from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Her dedication to improving the quality of life in facilities for young offenders has helped drive PbS to its current success. The award is given to a correction, detention/assessment and community program who best exemplify PbS’ commitment to treating all youths in custody as one of our own by developing and implementing strategic plans to change practices that results in positive outcomes for youths, staff and families.

Winners of the award will be announced the night of the ceremony on Aug. 14, 2015. Stay tuned for more blogs about the finalists.

Youths playing a friendly game of basketball

Outdoor garden space at CHJCF

Taking advantage of the winter weather with some sledding