Walter Hopson, Superintendent
P.O. Box 2191
165 Sunset Ave.
Toms River, NJ 08754
Google Map for 165 Sunset Ave
The operational philosophy of the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center is based on the premise that there are no "bad" kids but just kids who do "bad" things.
Juveniles entering the facility are the unfinished products of maladaptive behavior in response to a generally dysfunctional social history.
The behavior is usually grounded in a distorted thought process, rudimentary value system, and very low self-esteem.
The Social Services Unit has the responsibility of evaluating individual needs, recommending specific action plans within the facility, and assisting the custody staff implement the behavior management program.
Our current Social Services team is as follows:
The Center supplements its evaluation process by pursuing discharge summaries, evaluations, and other pertinent information from all agencies and institutions that have had prior contact with the Juvenile, such as school districts, and rehabilitation programs.
In addition, the social workers are a liaison to family, the Court, and other agencies regarding the residents.
Representatives from the State Juvenile Justice Commission, the County Probation Supervision Unit, the State Division of Children and Families, and other involved professionals attend weekly meetings at the Center. This Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) reviews each resident and treatment options and services are presented to the Family Court for consideration in the adjudication process.
The involved agencies have found these meetings to be a unique opportunity to exchange information and express their viewpoint.
Individual counseling is provided for every resident at least once each week by the Social Service staff, although in practice the staff sees the residents every day. Extensive use of local resources is made on behalf of the residents. The Center works closely with the Ocean County Health Department and the local Family Planning organization to provide the residents with information on sexually communicated diseases, including AIDS and HIV.
In addition the Center has reached out to the surrounding community with preventative programs. The Center staff cooperates with the public affairs officers of the local police departments by speaking at community meetings, parents groups, etc.. Tours are also provided to local schools (there is no contact between the residents and the school groups) wherein county adolescents are given a realistic presentation of the structure of a Juvenile Detention program.