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Division of Youth Services

DYS > About Youth Services The Division of Youth Services

Executive Director,
Division of Youth Services
Mike Dempsey

The Indiana Department of Correction is an agency within the Executive Branch of State Government. The Division of Youth Services was created to serve the needs of those youth adjudicated to the Department of Correction. By statute, the General Assembly defines the qualifications needed to lead the Department or the facilities operated by the Department. The Governor appoints the Commissioner, who acts as the Department’s Chief Executive Officer, overseeing all aspects of the Department. The Commissioner appoints the Department’s Deputy Commissioners, other members of the Department’s Executive Staff, and the Superintendents at each facility.

DYS provides services for all 92 counties in the state of Indiana, providing secure care in the (6) juvenile facilities and providing re-entry services, parole, and community placement oversight. DYS is committed to providing youth services in the least restrictive setting and to continually work towards enhancing the services we provide to the youth in our care, several major reform efforts have been undertaken which underscores our commitment and dedication to assist and foster positive developments in the field of juvenile justice.  Through these efforts and future collaborations with juvenile justice stakeholders throughout the state of Indiana, we will work to improve the level of juvenile services provided to the youth in our care, and assist in improving services throughout all levels of the juvenile justice system. In so doing, we believe wecan improve the lives and futures of these youth, and reduce both juvenile and adult recidivism rates.

With this philosophy in mind, our Division of Youth Services (DYS) will oversee all aspects of Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) juvenile care.  We recognize that impacting the lives of troubled youth requires separate adult and juvenile services. DYS has established a new division logo portraying the words Accountability, Beliefs and Commitment.   DYS has adopted the Balanced and Restorative Justice Model (http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/pubs/implementing/foreword.html) to serve as the foundation and core beliefs in providing juvenile justice services.  The core beliefs of this model will provide the overarching, guiding principle for facility operations, treatment programs, youth development, and community re-entry.  DYS recently established new vision and mission statements and we will always strive to uphold our Guiding Principles and the foundations of our beliefs and to promote youth development in a Calm Profession Respectful (CPR) manner.  

View DYS PowerPoint

DYS Vision

Our DYS vision is to positively impact the future of Indiana’s delinquent youth to foster responsible citizenship.

DYS Mission

Our DYS mission is focused on community protection, accountability, beliefs that foster responsible community living and competency development.

Guiding Principles

  • Safe Environment/Protection from Harm: Above all else, we will work collectively to ensure for the safety of all youth, employees and volunteers to foster growth and development in a safe and secure environment.
  • Do No Harm: Services are provided in the least restrictive setting in a manner that does not cause harm or injustice.
  • Hope: Services are provided to the youth in our care in a manner intended to instill hope. We believe that hope is critical in the positive development of youth.
  • Accountability: Youth will make amends for their crimes by repaying or restoring losses to victims and the community.
  • Learning Organization: We value the importance of life long learning for employees and the youth in our care.
  • Respect: All interactions are based upon caring and thoughtful consideration for basic human rights and dignity.
  • Youth Development: promote positive lifestyle changes and law abiding behaviors through youth participation in treatment programs, education, and job skill development.
  • Family and Community Involvement: Working in partnership with families, counties, and other community agencies to build positive youth competencies.
  • Individualized Treatment: Interventions will be provided based on the individual and collective strengths and needs of each youth and family.
  • Successful Outcomes: All services provided are designed to facilitate positive growth and development of the youth.
  • Integrity: We believe in maintaining the utmost integrity and strive to always meet the highest of ethical standards.
  • Workforce: Build, maintain and empower a diverse, competent and professional workforce.
  • Quest for Excellence: Our Standards of Care shall be continuously improved upon by evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of the services provided to the youth in our care and to promote sound juvenile correctional techniques, best practices, and research.

ABC’s of DYS

  • Accountability
  • Beliefs
  • Commitment

Balanced & Restorative Justice Model

  • OJJDP’s Guide for Implementing the Balanced and Restorative Justice Model:
    (http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/pubs/implementing/foreword.html)
  • Balanced and Restorative Justice Philosophy
    The foundation of restorative juvenile justice practice is a coherent set of values and principles, a guiding vision, and an action-oriented mission.
  • The Balanced Approach Mission
  • OJJDP's Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders provides an overarching approach to addressing juvenile crime and victimization. The Strategy emphasizes prevention and early intervention and the development of a system of graduated sanctions that hold youth accountable and protects communities.
  • The Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) Model is an effective tool for achieving youth accountability and enhancing community safety. BARJ can be used to combat delinquency in your State, county, or city. The three priorities of BARJ -- public safety, accountability, and competency development -- recognize both victim and offender restoration as critical goals of community justice. Achieving these goals leads to improved quality of life and increased safety for individuals and communities alike.
  • Article from INside Corrections: Division of Youth Services: Keys to Success