Mental Health


LOCAL WELLNESS POLICY– Revised February, 2018


The Detention Center is a 102-bed facility which houses pre-adjudicatory youth.  The average length of stay for a youth is 23.5 days.  Statutorily, the Detention Center maintains strict adherence to confidentiality regarding Residents confined in the facility.  There is 24/7 on-site medical services and mental health services.  The River Valley Detention Center has year-round school on site.  Joliet Township District 204 teachers are assigned to the Detention Center.  River Valley Detention follows the school calendar for District 204 for school breaks (excluding summer break) and Teacher Institute Days.  As such, the Detention Center has adopted parts of District 204’s School Wellness Policy and incorporated additional parameters site specific to the Detention Center.  Please note that while Residents are in the custody of the River Valley Detention Center, the Superintendent is designated by statute as “parent in loco parentis”.


Resident (Student) Wellness, including good nutrition and physical activity, shall be promoted in the Detention Center’s educational program, school activities, and meal programs.  This policy shall be interpreted consistently with Section 204 of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004.


River Valley Detention is accredited with the American Correctional Association and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.  The Detention Center also abides by Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice standards.




The goals for addressing nutrition education include the following:


·       River Valley Detention will support and promote good nutrition for the Residents;


·       River Valley Detention will foster the positive relationship between good nutrition, physical activity, and the capacity for the Residents to grow and learn;


·       Nutrition education will be part of District 204’s comprehensive health education curriculum;


·       River Valley Detention does not provide food-based commissary items, does not have vending machines in the secured portion of the facility where Residents are housed, and does not generate and/or sponsor any fundraisers; and


·       New for 2018:  Health and Wellness Week which took place in January to kick off the New Year.  River Valley Detention partnered with the Will County Health Department and Joliet Park District to promote and facilitate a successful, informational, and fun learning experience for the Residents.  Components of the week included education on health and nutrition, fitness classes, diabetes, tobacco prevention, sex education, as well as learning about CPR and how to properly perform it.




The goals for addressing physical activity include the following:


·       River Valley Detention will support and promote an active lifestyle for Residents, even during non-classroom hours;


·       Physical education will be taught to all Residents and shall include a developmentally planned and sequential curriculum that fosters the development of movement skills, enhances health-related fitness, increases Residents’ knowledge, offers direct opportunities to learn how to work cooperatively in a group setting, and encourages healthy habits and attitudes for a healthy lifestyle;


·       Unless otherwise exempted, all Residents will be required to engage daily during the school day in a physical education course;


·       The curriculum will be consistent with and incorporate relevant Illinois Learning Standards for Physical Development and Health as established by the Illinois State Board of Education; and


·       River Valley Detention will provide various physical activities during non-school hours and normal school breaks.  There is indoor and outdoor recreation available to youth.  A Program Manager aligns physical activities for youth with Juvenile Detention Officers, including, but not limited to:  basketball and volleyball tournaments; and flag football tournaments.


·       The “River Valley Fit Club” was developed for Residents in June, 2017, and is a growth-focused fitness program that includes weekly progress monitoring of personal fitness.  The program helps Residents develop physical strength and agility, along with providing an opportunity to reduce stress and create positive habits.


·       New in 2018:  River Valley Detention has formed a partnership with fitness trainers from Joliet Park District to conduct high intensity workout sessions and yoga classes for the Residents.  This program has been met with such excitement from the Residents.


·       In addition to physical activities, River Valley Detention also promotes and encourages mindful exercises including weekly creative writing programs, book clubs, team-building activities, and other games. 


·       New in 2018:  Wellness as a whole for Residents is extremely uppermost in River Valley Detention’s plan.  The Detention Center has recently partnered with Joliet Junior College’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.  This partnership will promote, motivate, and educate the Residents on all aspects of higher education.  Joliet Junior College not only speaks to the Residents about the prospect of a college education, but also about the power of making decisions and how those decisions can be life changing. 


·       Community service is also a focus of Resident care at River Valley Detention.  Residents are encouraged to consider the “wellness” of others in the community - those who may be less fortunate than them, even as they are detained in the facility.  The Residents make fleece tie blankets for cancer victims, homeless shelters, veterans’ homes, and other charities to give something back and hoping to enhance someone’s day.  The Residents also create holiday cards throughout the year for the Sunny Hill Nursing Home Residents.


·       The Programs Manager and Juvenile Detention Officers also take a major role in programming conducted at the River Valley Detention Center.  Staff conducts weekly fitness, creative writing, movie nights, and fun gaming activities.  These programs promote teamwork, discipline and allow the Residents’ minds to be taken off of their current situations. 


·       Juvenile Detention Officers also create and conduct their own programming activities three times a year. 




River Valley Detention promotes nutritious foods and beverages to Residents consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Food Guidance System published jointly by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.  River Valley Detention also abides by the rules of the Illinois State Board of Education and the Child Nutrition Programs.  River Valley Detention serves the highest age/grade group meal plan as part of the USDA’s meal pattern requirements.




Reimbursable school meals served shall meet, at a minimum, the nutrition requirements and regulations for the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program.  River Valley Detention does claim reimbursement for breakfasts and lunches served. 




The Superintendent, or his designee, shall meet with the Assistant Superintendent, and Local Wellness Advisory members as applicable, to review these Wellness policies not only to monitor progress, but to also adjust the policy or guidelines if necessary.  Yearly goals will also be part of the Superintendent’s assessment.




The Superintendent, or his designee, shall periodically monitor the policy’s success by reviewing and collaborating with the Assistant Superintendent, Program Manager, Detention Officers and others involved in the implementation of the Wellness Program.  As cited earlier, the Superintendent is “parent in loco parentis” – he is the legal guardian of the Residents while they are detained.  As such, Residents’ parents are not their guardians during detention and cannot participate in a Wellness Board for that reason, nor for confidentiality purposes as specific instances regarding a Resident may be addressed or other causes for concern may be discussed regarding those specific instances.  For parental input, the Wellness Board is comprised partially of facility individuals who have children and who can better understand the strengths and weaknesses that accompany trying to teach children how to eat better, to make good, healthy choices, and to become more physically active in a sedentary, technology-infused world.




Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, PL 108-265, Sec. 204


Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1771 et seq


National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1758


42 U.S.C. Sec 1779, as implemented by 7 C.F.R. Sec 210.11


105 ILCS 5/2-3.139


23 Ill. Admin. Code Part 305 Food Program


ISBE’s “School Wellness Policy” Goal, adopted Oct. 2007


Cross Ref.:4:120 (Food Services)


Joliet Township District 204 & River Valley Detention Center