Youth Services Center

Interim Director Michael A. Ferstl

The mission of the Bernalillo County Youth Services Center (BCYSC) is to protect and promote public safety.

Youth placed in our custody are provided a safe, secure and humane environment under the principals of direct supervision in accordance with the American Correctional Association Standards. 

The BCYSC is a 78-bed facility that houses male and female residents. The facility offers several programs that include education, recreation, therapeutic group activities, mental health and substance abuse counseling and community sponsored activities.

The center is also committed to promoting diversion programs that offer alternatives to detention. BCYSC is implementing a community based juvenile justice continuum. The collaborative unites the educational, criminal justice and service organizations that exist in a continuum of services, involving prevention, early intervention, and graduated sanctions. 

The continuum of services ultimately helps youth stay in school and out of the juvenile justice system by intervening early and effectively with progressive sanctions. Despite an array of prevention and intervention programs existing in Albuquerque, substance abuse, truancy and violence continue to increase, and many students fail to graduate. 

Several projects are underway to reach high-risk adolescents. The programs include education and computer training, counseling collaboratives, substance abuse education and treatment groups, life and employment skills, mental health services, health and HIV education, alternative sentencing, mentorship, and recreation therapy. These programs assist in reducing the number of juveniles detained in secure detention and reduce their length of stay, without compromising the safety of the community. 

Redirecting juveniles from further incarceration through diversion and graduated sanctions is a priority of the collaborative. In partnership with Albuquerque Public Schools, Juvenile Probation and Parole, Children’s Court, ABQ Weed and Seed Projects, Advocacy Inc, Behavioral Health Research Center of the Southwest, Albuquerque Parks and Recreation, Albuquerque Community Centers, Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, and Albuquerque and Hispano Chamber of Commerce, this project will provide services to high-risk youth in the local Weed and Seed Neighborhoods and keep them from encountering the juvenile justice system. 

Providing a safe environment for juveniles in a secure detention facility and creating effective diversion programs are the focus and priority of the BCYSC.

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