Denton County Courage to Change
Therapeutic Programs Coordinator: Mindi Malcom
The Denton County Courage to Change Program (CTC) is a long-term (six to twelve months) residential placement facility for adjudicated juveniles. The program is carefully structured to meet the needs of juveniles by providing educational services, counseling, physical education, community resources, secure housing, and after-care. The program is designed to work with residents to achieve success by helping them discover their strengths. Upon completion of the program, the residents return to their communities with the decreased likelihood of re-offending. The POST-Adjudication Facility includes:
- 32 secure individual rooms with the ability to authorize more rooms if the need arises. The rooms include separate sections for boys and girls.
- A day area configured for each section
- An indoor gym and cafeteria
- A library
- Counseling areas
- Indoor and Outdoor recreation areas
To be considered for admission to the CTC program, a child must be adjudicated for delinquent conduct and receive a disposition from the juvenile court. Prior to the disposition hearing and formal placement the probation officer will submit an application to the Therapeutic Programs Coordinator for consideration and suitability of the child to the program. The application packet includes an Interagency Application for Placement, social history, current psychological evaluation, SASSI, and any other relevant documentation. Each application is reviewed by the Treatment Team to determine whether the applicant would likely benefit from the program.
There are four treatment tracks in the CTC program, each designed to meet the specialized needs of the residents adjudicated to our program.
• General Offender: this track is designed to meet the needs of male residents who need to work on making changes to their thinking and behavior, in order to be successful in the community.
• High-Risk Substance Abuse: this specialized track is designed to meet the needs of residents who need to work on their substance abuse issues, in addition to changing their thinking and behavior. This track uses a 12-step approach and each resident receives a course of treatment developed in consultation with our licensed chemical dependency counselor.
• Female Offender: this specialized track is designed to meet the needs of female residents, and focuses on topics related to trauma, self-esteem, healthy relationships and anti-victimization. Female residents in this track also receive substance abuse counseling through our 12-step program.
• Crossroads: this specialized track is designed to meet the needs of residents who have successfully completed the CTC program, and have experienced a relapse of old behavior. This 90-day program offers intensive individual and family counseling to identify the source of the relapse and provide additional relapse prevention intervention.
The CTC program provides intensive counseling and treatment for its residents and their families. We have licensed mental health professionals with various specialties on staff including licensed professional counselors, and a licensed chemical and dependency counselor. Each resident receives weekly individual and family counseling. Group counseling is offered every day, with a variety of topics including aggression management, resiliency, substance abuse, music therapy and relaxation techniques. Our counselors provide trauma-informed care and offer intensive group counseling for survivors of abuse. A monthly parenting class assists the families in building skills, supports the family counseling process and the changes that the residents are making in the program.
Community Resources include two Universities, Denton County Health Department, and various therapeutic/social skills programs. The Universities support the program by providing interns and practicum students that work with Denton County’s highly trained professionals.
The program offers other therapeutic services including field trips and special presentations such as Pet-Assisted Therapy, career day, college fair, human trafficking prevention, and STD/HIV education. Community service opportunities are offered through activities that teach life skills. For instance, kitchen duty and housekeeping, and activities that teach empathy, like visiting area nursing homes to deliver handmade lap blankets.
Residents are provided three meals and one snack each day. All meals are nutritionally balanced based on the recommended dietary guidelines for adolescents.
Clothing and Personal Hygiene
Clothing is provided by the CTC program, and will be assigned to the resident during the orientation process. Residents dress in khaki pants and t-shirts, with colors that correspond to their level in the program. Residents will wear white, low-cut, lace up generic brand tennis shoes provided by their family.
Medical Care and Medication
Parents and guardians are responsible for communicating any and all health care needs of their child to the Health Services Coordinator and intake staff. This communication includes current medical diagnoses, allergic reactions to any medication, or other allergies their child may have. Parents or guardians retain responsibility for their child’s medical care while in the facility. Parents or guardians are expected to work closely with the Health Services Coordinator on their child’s medical needs and any hospital care.
Each child’s prescription medication must be delivered to the facility by the parents or guardians in the original containers with standard prescription labels. Medication must be delivered so as not to allow dosage times to lapse. Over-the-counter medications must also have a physician’s written order. Medications are disbursed by or under the supervision of the juvenile health care staff. Each child’s medication must be refilled and delivered by a parent or guardian in a timely manner. All unused medications will be returned to the parents when the child is released from the facility.
When medical staff determines a situation requires more advanced evaluation or care, the child will be transported to the Denton Regional Hospital Emergency Room or appropriate medical facility. Should this become necessary, staff will notify the parents to meet the child and transport officer, as soon as possible, at the designated facility.
Family contact is an essential component of the CTC program. Residents will have the opportunity for visitation with their immediate family members every weekend, with the length of the visit increasing as the resident successfully moves through the program. Residents may also have contact with their immediate family members through phone calls and mail. On the higher levels of the program, residents earn the privilege to spend time with their family outside of the facility on the weekends.
The education program on our site, the Joe Dale Sparks Campus, is staffed by Denton Independent School District teachers. Academics are provided in the core subjects of math, social studies, English, and science. Denton ISD also provides electives in reading, gardening, psychology, sociology, and art. Special education support and GED preparation is available on an individual basis. The physical education program is a rehabilitative approach which helps the residents develop the need to be physically active, healthy, and become productive citizens. The program provides a variety of activities to demonstrate the benefits of a physically active lifestyle. The program is a collaborative effort of Denton County, Denton ISD, and Texas Woman’s University. The case managers work together with the resident, parents, teachers, and counselors to assist the students in successfully achieving their academic goals.
After successfully completing the CTC program, each resident participates in a graduation ceremony that includes his or her parents, caseworker, counselors, staff, teachers and peers. The ceremony is a celebration acknowledging the hard work of the resident throughout the CTC program. And provides a time to embark on the next phase of their journey in recovery.
Our Passages aftercare program is designed to support the residents in changes they have made upon their release into the community and uses a step-down approach. The students continue to receive intensive individual and family counseling during the first phase, while attending our Denton County JJAEP school. During the second and third phase group counseling, individual, and family counseling are included at a lesser amount until aftercare is completed. The aftercare program is designed to last at least six months and promotes a smooth transition back into the community.
Concerns or Complaints:
If you have a concern or complaint about how a child is being treated in the Courage to Change program or about daily operations, submit your concern or complaint. Please use the Parent and Community Grievance Report to provide the details of your concern or complaint.
No later than 10 working days from the date your report is received, you will be contacted by a staff member who will inform you of what steps or actions have been taken. Completed reports may be submitted by mail, email, or by fax to:
Denton County Juvenile Probation
Attn: Kendra Garner, Grievance Officer
210 Woodrow Lane
Denton, Texas 76205
Phone (940) 349-2400
Fax (940) 349-2471
You may also contact the Independent Ombudsman for the Texas Juvenile System if you are concerned about the health, safety, welfare, or rights of a child in the Post-Adjudication facility.
Read more information on the role of the Independent Ombudsman