PBIS at DJJ: Savannah RYDC Ice Cream Party

At the Savannah Regional Youth Detention Center (Savannah RYDC), the motivation for facility youth acting as well-behaved young men and women can manifest itself many different and unusual ways. A good example of simple rewards leading to better life choices can be seen at the facility during New Year's Eve.

While New Year's Eve normally is associated with parties and festivities, for Savannah RYDC youth involved with the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program, New Year's Eve now represents ice cream and fun fellowship with their friends.

The Savannah RYDC PBIS Committee helped organize the New Year's Eve Ice Cream Social sponsored by the programs and mental health department of the facility. Youth without disciplinary reports, refusal free, and special incident report free (along with 200 "positive" stamps and two or fewer cool off periods) were rewarded with a fun evening of ice cream with their friends.  More than fifteen youth participated in the celebration. 

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PBIS is an evidence-based, data-driven framework proven to reduce disciplinary incidents, increase a school’s sense of safety and support improved academic outcomes. More than 23,000 U.S. schools are implementing PBIS and saving countless instructional hours otherwise lost to discipline. The premise of PBIS is that continual teaching, combined with acknowledgment or feedback of positive student over the counter behavior, will reduce unnecessary discipline and promote a climate of greater productivity, safety and learning. PBIS schools apply a multi-tiered approach to prevention, using disciplinary data and principles of behavior analysis to develop school-wide, targeted and individualized interventions and supports to improve the school climate for all students.