Processing through the Admissions Unit is the first step for youth entering placement at STAR Academy. It is here that newly adjudicated and recommitted youth come to receive a medical, mental health, chemical dependency, educational, social skills, and behavioral assessment to determine the best possible DOC program for them to complete.
While in the Admissions Unit, youth begin a exercise program, educational classes, group counseling, life skills classes, and also work on laundry, food service, and janitorial details. Also, they practice self-discipline, self-accountability, and self-improvement through a daily regimented schedule and gain helpful information about living with the other youth and the proper responses to authority while in placement at STAR Academy.
Each new youth to the Admissions Unit receives a medical physical and assessment. Medical staff inform the appropriate program staff of the current status of the youth's medications, special medical needs, and any physical limitations. Two Mental Health Specialists from the Department of Human Services are assigned to STAR Academy to address youth's mental health issues and make referrals for psychiatric or other counseling services and treatment options. Chemical dependency assessments and recommendations for treatment are completed by the Department of Human Services Chemical Dependency staff at STAR Academy. Each youth receives a chemical dependency assessment within 14 days of arrival.
Youth in the Admissions Unit are eligible for weekly phone calls and visitations. Visitations are held every weekend, Saturday 1:00 to 4:00 and Sunday 8:00 to 11:00. Youth receive mail daily and are allowed to write and send out 3 letters per week.
Placement decisions are made after a final staffing that includes participation from education staff, medical staff, mental health staff, chemical dependency staff, program staff, Juvenile Corrections Agent and parental input or participation to make a decision for placement into one of the various programs that STAR Academy has to offer. The average length of stay in the Admissions Unit is 14 days before a program placement decision is made.