General Contact Number: (530) 621-5567

Institutional Services

Juvenile Treatment Center, South Lake Tahoe


The Juvenile Treatment Center (JTC), built in 2004, is a Juvenile Detention Facility constructed to provide secure detention for up to 40 minors. The facility is located in the County of El Dorado Government Center in the city of South Lake Tahoe. The JTC serves the juvenile detention needs of the Probation Department, Superior Court, and law enforcement agencies located in the South Lake Tahoe region of El Dorado County.

Purposes and Objectives

The primary purpose of the JTC is to provide secure detention for minors coming under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court. Detention is defined as the temporary care of a minor in a secure setting pending Court Disposition or transfer to another jurisdiction. Although the primary purpose is to provide secure detention, the JTC provides activities and guidance to contribute to each minor’s social and personal development to enhance his/hers ability to function acceptably in the community. Counseling services are provided to the minors during detention to assist them in initiating the process of rehabilitation and developing positive life goals.

Challenge Program

Challenge is a ranch program implemented in the JTC in 2005. The Challenge Program serves minors committed by El Dorado County Juvenile Courts and neighboring contract counties. The Challenge Program is a six month program with four phases providing ranch program services in a local setting to allow direct involvement of parents, probation officers, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), mental health, public health, and volunteers. The participants of the Challenge Program attend a variety of daily groups that contribute to their positive adjustment back into the community. Prior to completion, a Challenge Program participant is required to complete a Challenge Project that includes a research paper and presentation on a topic relative to his/her life. 

Family Reunification Program

The Family Reunification Program (FRP) is a treatment based program in which minors are committed to the JTC for 120 days. During the commitment, the minor and his/her family participate in individual, group, and family counseling coupled with structured temporary home releases. Acceptable school performance and positive daily behavior is mandatory for successful completion of the program. The main goal of FRP is to reunify the minor with his/her family by preserving family ties, improving communication, developing better interpersonal relationships and reinforcing positive family values.

Substance Abuse Education

The Substance Abuse Turnaround Education Program (STEP) requires a 60 day commitment to the JTC. This educational program includes individual counseling and three groups per week. The program provides education and prevention services to minors in the early to middle stages of alcohol or drug abuse, or chemical dependency. STEP is a psycho-educational group program addressing a variety of relevant subjects and introduces the minors to the concept of recovery with the 12 step program.


The JTC provides a structured program of daily activities. In addition to mandatory school attendance, recreation and exercise are scheduled a minimum of three hours per day during the week and five hours on each weekend day or non-school day. At least one hour of physical activity is scheduled outdoors, weather permitting. During the evenings and weekends, there are additional recreational programs offered at the JTC that include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, church service, movies, visiting, letter writing, book club, arts and crafts, and open recreation periods that include team sports.

Education Services

Blue Ridge School is located within the JTC and IS operated by the El Dorado Office of Education (EDCOE). Minors receive 26 hours of instruction each week. The California Standard/Community Core Standards based curriculum is delivered to all minors by an individual instructional model. Blue Ridge School Course of Study (grades 9 – 12) includes all subjects required for a minor to complete high school course requirements. In addition, the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) is administered five times annually to qualifying minors. Completed coursework and credits are transferable to all schools. Qualifying minors may obtain their high school diploma from their prior school or from Blue Ridge School. Resources are available to all special education minors which accommodate the requirements of their Individual Education Plan (IEP). Preparation for the General Education Development (GED) is available for those minors who qualify. Minors who participate in the Challenge Program are assigned a research project which includes a power point presentation.  

Mental Health Services

Mental health services are provided by the El Dorado County Mental Health Department. Licensed therapists are available on site to work with minors on a regular basis. Minors may requests services or the JTC staff may refer any minor they think may benefit. After regular business hours or when mental health staff is not on site, the Psychiatric Emergency Service unit is available for any mental health crisis situation.

Medical Services

The California Forensic Medical Group (CFMG), Inc. provides the JTC with health services. CFMG is a private medical provider that provides similar services at jails and juvenile detention facilities throughout the state. The medical staff is on site six days per week to administer medications and conduct physical exams of the minors in need of medical attention. Minors can request to be seen by medical staff anytime they are on site. After regular business hours, an on-call medical staff is available to assist JTC staff with any medically related question or concern. Emergency situations are handled at Barton Memorial Hospital.

Anger Management Program

An anger management program is available to minors, including counseling and education in the identification, management, and appropriate expressions of anger. Minors learn to identify triggers and utilize coping tools and relaxation techniques.

Diet and Nutrition

The JTC has an on-site kitchen that prepares three well balanced and nutritious meals daily that meet the California Child Nutrition requirements. A registered dietician reviews and approves all menus, and ensures all special medical dietary needs and restrictions are met. The facility is inspected yearly by the Environmental Health Department and operates under a yearly permit issued by that agency. The Correctional Food Services Supervisor has completed the Food Safety Manager Certification. The facility consistently meets and frequently exceeds the standards set forth by the Health and Safety Code, Title 15 of the California Code of Regulations, and the California Uniform Retail Food Facilities Law.