On August 1, 1997, Governor Paul Cellucci named Robert P. Gittens as the new Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services. Gittens replaced O'Leary, who left DYS to accept the position of Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services. During his tenure, Gittens succeeded in establishing a network of more than 30 day-reporting and neighborhood centers, which offered a wide range of services for at-risk and court-involved youth including educational services, substance abuse programs, and recreational activities. These centers were established in cities and towns with the highest concentrations of DYS youth.
Gittens also engaged DYS staff from across the agency in a strategic planning process. In November of 1998, the Department issued Youth, Partnership and Public Safety: The DYS Strategic Plan. In it, DYS refined the mission of the agency and set forth four strategic goals and objectives:
- Implement the statewide DYS Comprehensive Strategy by developing a comprehensive community-based model for the delivery of services.
- Develop and implement comprehensive education, job training and employment programming for youth in DYS custody.
- Develop an operating model that provides standards, policies, practices and tools for the DYS Comprehensive Strategy.
- Expand, increase the quality of and improve access to information for decision-making utilizing state of the art technology at all levels of the agency.
On January 14, 2002, Acting Governor Jane Swift named Michael Bolden as the new Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services. Bolden replaced Robert P. Gittens who left DYS to accept the position of Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services.
This information is provided by the Department of Youth Services.