Mclaughlin Youth Center, Anchorage, Alaska
BASICS: MYC is the largest facility in AK, with 160 beds (60 in detention and 100 for committed juveniles) and uses a restorative justice model, implementing the least restrictive placement. The average stay is 9-14 months and there is a two year max. The program tries to involve juveniles in Community Programs as soon as possible and provides both front and back end treatment. At MYC the facility staff and probation staff work as a team. MYC is the only facility for sex offenders and the only treatment facility for girls in Alaska. Distance and family contact are frequently an issue as 955 of the villages in AK can only be reached by boat or plane. The last 90 days of any stay are with a transition unit to help kids acclimate to life on the outside.
PICTURED: J, age 17, born in Hawaii, originally from Indiana, and currently being held in the STX unit under a two year program. He was being held in an Indiana facility, which he described as being more like a prison. He says that there are good people working at Mclaughlin. His father is in prison. He has never had a father present in his life. His whole family is in Indiana. He was living with his older brother, until his older brother left. He says he spent some time in a hotel, and wanted to play sports.