Mental Health


The Mental Health Program within the River Valley Detention Center is comprised of a comprehensive mental health team providing services to male and female detained youth ages 10 17.  Almost three quarters of these youth live in Will County, with about one quarter from Kankakee County, and periodically youth are detained from collar counties due to overflow from other detention centers.  A variety of mental health interventions are available for detained youth, including court-ordered psychological evaluations, mental health intake assessments, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, crisis intervention and disciplinary segregation reviews.  Out-of-detention interventions for youth under court supervision or on probation include court supervision or on probation include court-ordered psychological evaluations, behavioral health screenings, individual therapy and family therapy.  Program goals have been to expand our out-of-detention services in both counties to provide continuity of care once youths are released to their communities.  All of the mental health programming is conducted with the use of evidenced-based therapeutic approaches such as cognitive-behavioral individual therapy and group therapy, reality-oriented therapy, supportive and educational interventions such as used in substance abuse and social skills work.  Family therapy sessions are focused on identifying problems and working on solutions.  Treatment plans are developed with an agreement between the youth and his therapist on measurable outcomes. 


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River Valley Detention Center is a 102 bed facility located in Joliet, Illinois. Serving both Will and Kankakee Counties, RVDC is a  temporary placement center for male and female juveniles between the ages of ten and seventeen awaiting court decisions on their cases. RVDC emphasizes access to mental and physical health care, education, recreation, and religious services.  While detained in the secure facility, the youth participate in the Juvenile Education Program, as well as a wide variety of programming conducted by the    juvenile detention staff, the Mental Health Team, religious groups, and community social  service groups.  The Mental Health Team at RVDC is comprised of two licensed clinical psychologists, licensed clinical social worker, post-doctoral fellow, two pre-doctoral interns, and several advanced externs and diagnostic externs. The RVDC mental health team provides comprehensive psychological services to remanded youth.  A large portion of the youth served by RVDC have a history of psychological and psychiatric treatment.  Others have been struggling with a mental health disorder that has gone undiagnosed until they obtain a psychological evaluation by the RVDC mental health team.  Common diagnoses include: mood disorders;  Conduct Disorder; Adjustment Disorder; anxiety disorders; and learning disorders. 



The mission of the River Valley Mental Health Team is to promote the emotional, social, and psychological well-being of residents and to facilitate change within a safe, structured, encouraging environment, while remaining sensitive to cultural and individual diversity.