The P.L.A.C.E. (People Learning a Cooperative Existence) Program is a community-based juvenile offender educational program. The program serves youth residing in Washington County who are under Juvenile Court supervision. The average length of stay is six months, although some students may attend for an entire school year. Most students will continue to live at home, or in foster care. Students will continue to work toward completing probation supervision requirements which may include: community work service hours, restitution, victim mediation, individual or family counseling services, and skill building educational classes.
The P.L.A.C.E. program has been in existence since 1984. The program is currently located in Cottage Grove. This program is maintained through a collaborative effort with Washington County Community Corrections and South Washington County School District #833. The P.L.A.C.E program accepts court-ordered youth from any school district within Washington County.
Staffing at the P.L.A.C.E. Program consists of: a full time licensed general education teacher, a part-time licensed special education teacher, a probation officer, and a paraprofessional. Several other local agencies provide additional support services and staff assistance.
The P.L.A.C.E. Program offers the following:
- A supportive and strength-based approach to working with behaviorally challenged adolescents.
- Educational assessment and regular academic programming.
- Individualized academic services, based on student skills and abilities.
- Physical education programming through structured recreational activities and exercise.
- Risk and needs assessment utilizing research-based instruments, and individualized probation case planning.
- Cognitive-behavioral and life-skills training through research-based group programming, and individual interaction.
- Support services and referral information for parents, which may include family based counseling.
- Participation in community work service and restorative justice projects.
- Drug testing and follow-up referral.
- Information for chemical dependency services.
- Transitional support and consultation for students completing the program.
- A safe environment that is drug and tobacco-free.
- An environment that encourages learning and caring for others.