Division of Youth Services

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The Division of Youth Services (DYS) is the state agency charged with the care and treatment of delinquent youth committed to its custody by one of the 45 Missouri juvenile courts. DYS programs are established to provide the mandated services enumerated in Chapter 219.016 in the Revised Statutes of the state of Missouri. These services include assessment, care and treatment, and education of all youth committed to its care. Toward this end, DYS operates treatment programs ranging from non-residential day treatment centers through secure residential institutions. Additionally, DYS administers the Interstate Compact on Juveniles, operates an accredited school program, and maintains a statewide statistical database of juvenile court referrals. DYS is administratively organized into one central office and five regional offices.

Mission Statement:  The mission of the Division of Youth Services is to enable youth to fulfill their needs in a responsible manner within the context of and with respect for the needs of the family and the community.

DYS Beliefs and Philosophies

DYS Frequently Asked Questions

Articles and Publications about DYS:

This story will shatter everything you thought you knew about juvenile crime and punishment. In Missouri they have no bars in the juvenile detention facilities. No juvenile convicted of crime is locked in a cell. There are no physical restraints, no isolation rooms; in fact, the word "punishment" is never used. In this groundbreaking documentary, Visionaries takes you inside youth facilities across the state of Missouri where you meet young people in the midst of a rehabilitation approach to Juvenile Justice that has produced startling results. You discover that a place built on compassion, group therapy and a profound belief in the inherent ability of young people to change, is not only a much safer place, a startling 70% of the of the young people who complete the program never get convicted of another crime.

For more information about the Division of Youth Services, call our central office at  (573) 751-3324, or send EMail to AskDYS@dss.mo.govSend EMail