Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Allegan County Juvenile Detention Center
2243 33rd St.
Allegan, MI 49010
Phone: (269) 686-4630
Fax: (269) 673-5875

Programming/Skill Building 

Youth are involved in structured programs during all waking hours. Daily schedules include the school program, work skills training, personal hygiene, and physical recreation, both inside and outside. All youth participate in Aggression Replacement Training. Training modules include: Anger Control Training, Moral Reasoning Training, Skill Streaming Skills, and Rational Behavior Training (RBT). In addition female residents attend The Girls Circle Group. Trained staff supervise and facilitate all groups and activities with youth.

School Program

The school program is provided through the Allegan Area Educational Service Agency. Classes include core academics geared to each youth’s specific learning needs. In addition the detention program offers GED study and testing for court ordered youth age 16 or older. Instruction for the GED program is provided by the detention center staff. The GED test is coordinated through the Michigan Works program in Allegan County.


The court may order a youth complete the GED if age appropriate (must be 16 to test) and successful graduation is unlikely due to lack of credits. Youth on probation and living in the community can participate in the GED program Monday – Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the detention center. Due to security and safety reasons, personal items are not allowed and clothing must be appropriate and consistent with public school expectations. Youth ordered into the program will be provided with a list of guidelines on the first day of class. The successful completion of GED requires a minimum score of 410 and a combined average score of 450 in the areas of: Math, Writing, Science, Reading and Social Studies. GED study is self paced therefore, the amount of time needed to complete is dependent on the motivation of the individual. The average length of study is 10 weeks. Tests are scheduled through the Michigan Works Agency and are held either at the Juvenile Center, Allegan Alternative School or at the Vocational Center. Youth must receive a passing test score on the GED pre-test before they can be scheduled for the official GED exam.


One of the outcomes expected for youth is that once released they will have new skills and information they did not have prior to their admission. Since the average detention stay is 7 days it is expected that each youth will participate by attending and role playing in the groups that are offered by the detention staff.
RBT (Rational Behavior Training): will give youth tools that will allow them to identify thinking patterns that aren’t working well and demonstrate how to gain control over their own actions and life. Attitudes, beliefs, and thinking patterns guide our feelings and behavior.
Pro-Social Skills: helps youth increase the chance of having successful interactions with people in day-to-day life. Goals in this skill area include better social interactions, problem-solving skills and impulse control.
Anger Control Training: Youth will learn and practice ways to deal with the stressors in life other than losing their temper and resulting in more harm.  Knowledge is power and youth will learn that “getting mad” is a choice that’s made, and not something that simply happens.
Moral Reasoning Skills: help youth understand how thinking, values, and choices affect their behavior and to recognize thought processes that rationalize negative behavior. Strengthening skills in this area involve helping youth find principles to live by and guidelines for making good choices.
Workforce Skills: help youth improve the likelihood of being able to financially pay their own way in life after school is done. This area includes a general set of skills for getting jobs, keeping jobs, and getting promoted. The goal for this area is economic self-sufficiency.
Independent Living Skills: will help older teens, especially those coming out of placement or foster care, to improve their ability to live successfully on their own. Skills in this area relate to topics such as money management and budgeting, educational and career planning, knowing how to get financial aid, housing assistance and medical insurance. The goal for this area is self-sufficient living.
Girls Circle (Just for Girls!): is a group that teaches resiliency and helps girls figure out by themselves what is important to them, developing their own value system that they can carry through life.

School Program