• The DYS programs align resources with the key strategic goals of the agency. All investments and efforts within the Department are guided by the following principles:

    • The right youth is in the right place for the right reason.
    • Youth success is improved through a continuum of services grounded in the most current science and evidenced based and promising practices.
    • After discharge from DYS, youth sustain the gains they made while in DYS custody.
    • Strengthen the operational capacity and physical infrastructure needed to support staff in their work.

    As of July 2016, DYS has 50 residential programs and 22 district community offices which are strategically located throughout Massachusetts. Our programs provide supervision and support to the DYS-committed population who are returning to their home communities after treatment.

    The DYS residential programs provides a service continuum consisting of hardware secure programs with locked doors, and staff secure programs with unlocked doors. Bed placement is determined based by the youth's status on the DYS continuum, which includes detention, commitment, revocation, and risk assessment. There are separate facilities for girls and boys.

    Ranging from staff secure to hardware secure, each residential program has a capacity of 6 up to 20 residents and provides programs that provide a full array of education, vocational, recreation, clinical, medical and behavioral health services including mental health and substance abuse treatment.  

    Five programs are overnight arrest programs which serve the short-term, overnight needs of local police departments by keeping arrested youth sight-and-sound separated from the adult population as required by federal law.  

    DYS community programs provide youth with the most successful transition from residential services so they sustain gains made in treatment. Our community programs provide case management, community services and supervision for up to 400 youth daily who are living with a parent, guardian, foster parent or in a transitional living program.  These programs also help foster positive, pro-social engagement in their communities, work-places and schools beyond their commitment to DYS.

  • For DYS Families

    Families are the backbone of the youth which the system is trying to serve. The Department aims to encourage information for families, support engagement during treatment, and for families to have a voice in shaping their youth’s progress.  Encouraging and incorporating family involvement at every step is important to improve outcomes for youth in DYS.

  • Services Available for Clients - Continuum of Care

    The Client Services unit oversees the delivery of a host of clinical and support services.
  • Clinical Services Provided by the Department of Youth Services (DYS)

    Upon commitment to DYS (within the first 30 to 45 days), youth under the care of DYS receive a comprehensive assessment...
  • Health Services Provided by the Department of Youth Services (DYS)

    The Department of Youth Services (DYS) provides health services to all ot its clients who are in out-of-home placements.
  • Juvenile Crime Victim Services

    The Victim Services Unit provides information, support and notification to victims of juvenile crime whose offenders are in the custody of the Department of Youth Services. This program enables the Department to fulfill the statutory mandates of M.G.L. c 258B s. 3 (t) and contributes to the agency's overall mission of public safety and establishing partnerships with communities.
  • DYS District and Satellite Offices

    Our community programs help provide youth with successful transitioning from residential treatment to life back in the community.

  • Substance Abuse Services for Juvenile Offenders

    Substance abuse prevention and intervention services offered by the Department of Youth Services to their clients.
  • Policies

  • Educational Services

    For youth who are under its care, the Education, Job Training and Employment Services Unit at the Department of Youth Services (DYS) provides a comprehensive and integrated range of services based on the needs, experiences and competencies of youth under its care...