Troubled and a threat to the community, 39 teenage boys have been place at Zebulon Pike Detention Center.
Anders Jacobson, Director of Youth Corrections says their mission is to develop coping skills, “We work on reducing risk so we are teaching skills for the young people so they understand how to make better choices in their lives and become productive citizens when they return to the community.”
Most teens know they are at crossroads, succeeding here, they have second shot to a normal life.
“We don’t want to have external control all the time. For the young people we serve, we want to provide them with skills and treatments, so that they can practice those skills.”
KRDO talked to two teens that have been at Zeb Pike for almost a year. We can't reveal their identities, since their underage but both say they’ve learned accountability.
“It taught me how to use my skills, my coping skills like my anger, I used to have real bad temper and now since I have been [going to] these groups, I can control my anger and think about the consequences.
“Not only helping me mature but helped me learn new skills, like victim empathy. I don’t want to be the bad person, I actually want to be the positive influence younger youth look up to. “
Dan Beilfuss, Director at Zebulon Pike says their staff strongly believes in relationship building, “It’s not a guard and inmate relationship. We feel building a positive relationship starts at the facility and carries over after they leave and are back in the community.”
Aside from the programs and community service staff also works to restore their family support system.
“A lot of people don’t trust me in the world. For example my auntie [and family], when I go home, I’m gaining trust with them, getting more opportunities to do stuff that I want to do.”
Over 70 percent of detained teens don’t return after being released, that's according to Colorado's Division of Youth Corrections.
Teens at Zebulon Pike also get the chance to obtain their high school diploma and at times attend college.