Resident Handbook

Resident Handbook


Second Chances is dedicated to providing troubled youths a safe and comfortable environment while fostering a positive self esteem and developing the necessary for a successful future.

 Second Chances guiding philosophy; “children are our first responsibility” guides our program based on the following principles

All kids have strengths; by focusing on those strengths we can enhance their abilities to overcome

  • Compassion and caring are within every individual
  • Everyone needs a purpose in life
  • Mistakes can be a learning experience: by focusing on the natural and logical consequences of behaviors with an emphasis on youth taking responsibility of their own actions

 Program Plan

The program plan is designed to help each resident work on individual needs with goals and objectives to measure progress.  The goals will take time and effort on each residents’ part and the willingness to make changes is up to each individual with the assistance from staff, family and professionals involved in each residents’ case plan.  Consistently working on program goals will help each resident change behaviors and develop new habits resulting in a successful and rewarding experience at Second Chances.

 Intake Process:

At the time of admission the following intake process will be explained and administered.

  • shower (supervised by male staff)
  • inventory of items (items not approved will be sent home)
  • room assignment
  • Introduction to staff and other residents
  • Distribution of items (towels, sheets, hygiene etc.) items needed after admission can be requested by asking staff.
  • tour
  • Information gathering/ Resident handbook
  • Screenings: Health, Mental Health, Education, Vulnerability, Sexual Abusive Behavior, Chemical Abuse, Cultural, Gender Specific Needs and Behavioral screen.
  • Truthought

 Facility Rules and Due Process System for Resident

Second Chances will communicate verbally and in writing every resident who is capable of understanding the facility’s rules and the details of the due process system used in the facility.

Definition of Resident’s Behavior’s

Contraband:  Contraband is any item that you are not permitted to have in your possession at Second Chances.  These items include but are not limited to:

  • Pornographic or gang related articles, information, poster or material
  • Poisonous substances or unauthorized medications, including over the counter medication
  • Explosives, fireworks, matches, lighters or any other flammable material to include fingernail polish or finger nail polish remover, bath crystals and Germ X. Cigarettes/tobacco product.
  • False identification
  • Aerosol cans, other similar types of material
  • Weapons or items that could cause bodily injury or knives, brass knuckles, nightsticks, handcuffs or guns. Boys are only allowed to use razors given by Second Chances
  • Drug paraphernalia or illegal drugs and/or alcohol
  • Irons, nail clippers
  • Cell phone, recording/video device and any other communication device

 Cursing in Anger:  Cursing done while angry or upset

 Fighting: Fighting is defined as physical contact with a fist, open hand or a weapon with the intent to hurt someone or provoke him or her into responding physically.  Pushing, shoving, spitting or continuing to verbally intimidate with the intent to aggravate or instigate will be dealt with as if it were a fight.

 Horseplay: Running in the facility, piggy back rides, climbing on things, jumping on furniture and other behaviors that may be deemed inappropriate play.  Any physical contact that is not injurious, or aggressive to another person.

Not following rules or directives:  It has been determined that not following rules or directives occurs when:

  • If within 5 minutes of a task is to begin; the resident has not begun to carry out the instruction
  • The resident is given a reasonable amount of time to complete a task, whatever is reasonable for the particular task
  • The resident does something he is told not to or knows not to do.

Community related stealing: stealing is defined as taking an object belonging to someone else.  If you steal from a store or an individual in the community you may face legal charges as well as the following mandatory consequences:

  • Apology statement or letter to the store or individual

Talking Back: Behavior which reflects a negative emotional reaction such as sassing, this would include verbal demonstration of disrespect.  Talking back will also involve argumentativeness.  This will typically occur when a resident is unwilling to accept a decision to the staff.

When a decision has been made and the resident disagrees, the staff should listen to the resident’s reason for disagreeing.  The staff at that time will make a determination to change their decision or keep their previous decision.  The staff member will explain to the resident the reason for the decision one time.

Temper Outburst: Any intense physical expression of anger or hostility.  Frequently, the primary goal of this behavior is to change the behavior of the staff.

Non-Verbal Disrespect: A physical expression of disagreement of non-acceptance of a staff’s judgment, the intent of which is to evoke a reasonable negative reaction on the part of the staff.

Damage to Property: Intentional damage to Second Chances property or property of others.

Hazing/Humiliation/Bullying: Intentional participation in a behavior resulting in a reasonable negative reaction on the part of recipient.  Definition of this is: calling someone names, teasing, taunting, sarcasm (left open for staff interpretation), and being disrespectful in the manner of which you are talking to another person.

Malicious Behavior/Retaliation: Re-pay or attempt(s) to re-pay a resident or staff for the consequence of a previous incident.

Manipulating: Going to one staff after having been given an answer by another staff in an effort to get your own way.  This also applies to parents, teachers, other peers or visitors.

Lying: Stating something to be fact when the resident knows the fact to be different.

Misuse of Meds: Giving meds to a peer, not taking meds as prescribed, unauthorized Positive U.A. and/or under the influence of an illegal substance.    

 Discipline Policy and Procedure

Second Chances will implement the following offenses taking into consideration the resident’s abuse history, developmental stage, cultural, disability, and gender needs when deciding the action that will be taken.  Second Chances will not subject residents to any type of abuse, punishment for lapses in toilet habits, withholding of basic needs, mail, family visits, nurturing or medical care.  However, any resident who destroys bedding or clothing, or uses these or other items to hurt residents or others may be deprived of such articles according to the resident’s case plan.  Second Chances will also assure that any work assigned is not dangerous and follows residents case plan.

All residents will be disciplined based on his actions and not the actions of others.  Second Chances residents will not have any restrictive procedures but instead will use time out.  The resident or residents will be separated in a public place for no more than 15 minutes at which time qualified staff will de-escalate the situation so the issue can be dealt with in a comfortable environment.  All information related to the incident resulting in time-out will be documented in the residents’ chart and, if necessary, authorized persons will be notified of the details of situation and results

Sexual Behavior Policy

No sexual relationships or sexual inappropriately behavior will be tolerated at Second Chances.  Examples include but are not limited to: 

  • verbal sexual comments
  • kissing
  • sleeping in same bed w/another resident
  • both parties dressed or undressed touching over clothing or under clothing
  • exchanging notes that contain sexual content
  • petting of hair or body parts
  • laying on each other
  • sitting on laps
  • exposing buttocks or frontal nudity
  • under blanket with another resident

Severe Offenses

  • Assault
  • Sexual acts/behavior
  • illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons or dangerous chemicals on Second Chances property
  • Leaving Second Chances property without permission
  • Stealing or receiving stolen property

Major Offenses

  • Throwing objects to cause harm
  • Fighting
  • Refusal to complete admission screenings
  • Suspension from school
  • Participating in illegal activities
  • Use or possession of alcohol, tobacco, controlled substances or narcotics
  • Vandalism, including destroying objects or equipment. Breaking or damaging Second Chances property
  • Refusal to work on case plan
  • Possession of cell phone
  • Making unauthorized phone calls
  • Tampering with or using smoke detectors, cameras, fire extinguisher, window alarms, fire alarm system
  • Refusing group, treatment, school
  • Refusing/missed doctor appointment
  • Self destructive behavior (cutting, tattooing, piercing or helping another to do so, taking another meds)
  • Knowledge of any resident that has information, knowledge or facts about another resident being involved or participating in any activity which is prohibited by Second Chances
  • Missing ride to educational program

Minor Offenses

  • Profanity, obscene gestures
  • Not following directives of care providers or Second Chances staff
  • Gambling on Second Chances property
  • Failure to perform daily responsibilities
  • Entering another residents room without permission
  • Going thru another persons’ belongings
  • Removing screens from windows
  • Leaving lights on
  • Taking food/drink out of dining/kitchen area without permission
  • Tampering or using thermostat
  • Tampering or opening Gene/Brenda’s bedroom door
  • Opening blinds/curtains after dark
  • No using appropriate table manners (eating with mouth open, grabbing food, tardy to meal time)
  • Not following hygiene policy

Consequences for negative behavior

Depending on the gravity of the offense, the following consequences may be applied:

  • Verbal apology
  • Letter of apology
  • Loss of privilege
  • Temporary time out
  • Behavior contract
  • Shortened home visits
  • Temporary move from residence following the no eject policy.
  • Permanent move following the no eject policy.

 For every minor offense a verbal warning will be given. 

 The consequences of major offenses will be determined by the severity level.

 All severe offenses will result in an investigation and will be documented on incident report.  Some offenses as required will be reported to licensing authority.

Rewards for positive behavior

  • verbal praise
  • awards (for example: longer phone calls, special meal of choice)
  • special treats, gifts
  • additional privileges: (for example: later bedtime, additional home visits)


It is Second Chances policy to document all existing piercing(s) and/or tattoo(s) and resident are expected to tell staff upon admission. Please note that no additional tattoos will be allowed after admission.  If you choose to have a new piercing, re-piercing and/or tattoo while on a home visit, Second Chances does not give consent for this to be done.  It is the resident’s responsibility to get consent from their case worker and/or parental consent to have the procedure done.

 Educational Services

Your education is one of the most important factors that will affect your life options.  Therefore, helping you with your education will be a top priority during your stay at Second Chances.  As a resident of Second Chances you are required to attend an educational program on the scheduled school days or be involved in an alternative educational program such as GED.  Second Chances considers school attendance and behavior to be extremely important.  Appropriate behavior and dress are expected, staff will direct residents to change inappropriate clothing, and consequences under the discipline policy will be given.  Examples of inappropriate behaviors include but are not limited to: not attending, un-authorized internet sites, verbal/nonverbal disrespect to the instruction, temper outburst, stealing, fighting, destruction of property/tagging, unexcused absence/leaving class without approval and suspension from school, and cheating.

 Visual recording: 

Upon admission all residents will be informed of the security system in place. Cameras will be utilized in all areas except bedrooms and bathrooms. Private visits will be permitted in conference room.  Residents will also have their picture taken for medication and identification reasons.

Personal property

  • Residents who have jobs outside the facility are allowed to take personal cell phones to work and are to be turned into the office upon return.
  • Resident can hang posters, as long as they don’t contain explicit material; explicit may be described as profane, sexual, or violent
  • May bring own items such as gaming counsel, MP3 players, games, clock radio, etc.
    • Note: any games brought with must not contain any of the following: violence, illegal activity, or sexual behavior and must be approved by authorized staff
  • May have snacks of their own to be stored in the pantry or fridge, residents are encouraged to label these items to indicate ownership as to avoid confusion

Dish rotation

Each resident will be part of the dish rotation which takes place every evening after supper. One person will be on clean up, one person will be on wash, and one person will be on rinse.

Clean up: put all leftover food into the fridge or freezer, wipe off all surfaces such as tables and counters.

Wash: run dish water and wash all dishes.

Rinse: transfer clean dishes from rinse sink to sanitization sink and then to the dish strainer.

 Daily Resident Activities:  This schedule is subject to change if a special event has been planned.  If a resident goes home for the weekend, special arrangements will be made so laundry and cleaning will be completed prior to leaving or when resident returns.

Get up at 7:00 am (make bed and clean up room)

Shower (if scheduled in morning)

Breakfast at 7:30 am

School at 8:10 (school starts at 8:20)

Recreation time 3:30-5:30 pm (eg: exercising, body building, Wii games, horse shoes, basketball, walking)

Supper at 5:30 pm

Truthought 1:1

Leisure time 8:00-10:00 (eg: homework, phone use, writing letters, board games, cards)

Shower (if scheduled in evening) will be done during leisure/rec time.

Bed at 10:00 pm

1:1’s will be completed on an as needed basis


 Weekend Schedule

Get up by 8:00 am

Shower (if scheduled in morning)

Breakfast at 9:00 am

Weekly cleaning schedule to include: laundry, dusting, and vacuuming

Homework (if not completed during week)

Lunch at 12:00 pm

Family visiting/ Recreation time will be from 1:00 to 4:00 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

(eg: exercising, body building, Wii games, horse shoes, basketball, walking)

Dinner at 5:30 pm

Leisure time 8:00-10:00 (eg: phone use, writing letters, board games, cards, homework)

Shower (if scheduled in evening)

Bed by 11:00 p.m.

1:1’s will be completed on an as needed basis


Summer Schedule

Get up by 9 am

Shower (if scheduled in the morning)

Breakfast at 9:30 am

Clean bedrooms

Summer school work (if applicable)

Daily chores (lawn mowing, house cleaning, etc)

Lunch at 12 pm (subject to change)

Family visitation 1-4 pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Dinner @ 5:30 pm

Leisure time 8-10 pm

Shower (if scheduled in the evening)

Bed 11 pm

Note: all personal responsibilities must be completed prior to any recreation or leisure activities take place.

Sunday’s will be a day for getting responsibilities done that were not completed during the week. Family visiting hours will be from1:00 to 4:00 pm.

 Resident Clothing/Dress Code

Second Chances will ensure that a resident has an adequate amount of clean clothing appropriate for the season and based on the approved inventory list completed on admission. The following dress code and appearance is required for each resident while at Second Chances

  • Residents are not allowed to wear shirts with inappropriate propaganda written on them (eg: violent, sexual, gang related or alcohol/drug promotion)
  • Residents are to wear shirts that completely cover their upper torso
  • Pants will be worn at mid-waist and underwear will not be visible
  • Clothes will not be torn or have holes. These items will either be mended or sent home
  • Residents will need to wear socks at all times (except in shower and summertime)
  • Second Changes will not be responsible for lost or damaged jewelry

 Search of Resident/Property

Second Chances staff may initiate a search of property and residents (pat down by male staff only over clothing) at any time for safety or programming reasons.  All discipline procedures per handbook will be followed.


Each resident will be provided an appropriate sized, clean, fire-retardant mattress; two sheets or one sheet and clean mattress cover; sufficient clean blankets to provide comfort under existing temperature conditions; one pillow and one pillowcase that is antiallergenic, if required, to meet a resident’s health care needs. Second Chances will provide adequate bath towels and washcloths. Second Chances staff will follow protocol to assure bedding and linens are cleaned once a week or more often as needed to maintain a clean and safe environment. Second Chances will inspect mattresses for their condition, and bedding, pillows, and sheets to assure that all residents are not given worn out bedding that do not fit.

 Laundry Guidelines

If assistance is needed on how to properly do laundry ask staff member.  Laundry and bed linens need to be washed weekly on assigned day. Clothes must not be left in dryer past 9:00 pm. Do not use more detergent or fabric softener than required. Clothes need to be folded and put away by 9:30 pm on assigned laundry day.


 Community Work

Second Chances residents will be given the opportunity to volunteer and/or be paid for projects in the community if the need arises.  This may include raking, mowing, snow removal and/or projects within the city limits of Granada.  Appropriate behavior will be expected during community work or appropriate consequences will be administered per discipline policy.

 Leisure/ Recreation

Leisure time activities will be daily from 8:00-10:00 pm and will include writing letters, phone calls, board games, reading, and homework.  Recreation will be from 3:30-5:30 and some examples include: walking; horse shoes; hacky sack; basketball games, Wii fit, and lifting weights.  Recreation time activities will take into consideration the season. Recreation activity can also be by resident request (if not violent in nature).


In-coming mail is not read but will be opened in front of staff to assure no contraband is received.  Outgoing mail must be given to staff who will then seal envelope.  Incoming and outgoing mail must be addressed to those on approved contact list.

 Phone Calls

  • No collect phone calls allowed
  • Staff will call approved number and verify person is on approved contact list
  • If call needs to be made due to some type of emergency (family issue) the call will be made in staff office with resident
  • Calls will be limited to 15 minutes (unless speaking with lawyer, case manager, probation officer)


 Unsupervised Off Campus Recreation Time

Will be determined on a case by case basis.  Based on your behavior at Second Chances, at school and your willingness to work at completing goals as outlined on your case plan.


Each resident will be expected to follow the following guidelines:

  • Take a bath or shower every day
  • Brush teeth daily
  • Wash all dirty clothes and bed linens at least once weekly
  • Wear clean clothes each day
  • Use your own bathroom
  • No street clothes to bed or wear the same clothes the next day
  • Return razors after shower
  • No cutting your own hair and/or having another peer cut your hair
  • Keep shower/brushing teeth limited to 15 minutes

Program Description

To best address social and interpersonal skills, Second Chances will be incorporating Truthought, an evidence-based approach designed to help people discard inaccurate values and beliefs and take personal ownership of positive pro-social values and beliefs. We believe that working with dogs can be a positive and rewarding experience.  Studies have shown that involving dogs with boys in a correctional setting teaches; patience, understanding, unconditional love, compassion, kindness and enhances job skills. Our program will allow boys to work with dogs from our local shelters.  Boys who are progressing toward their case plan goals will be encouraged to participate if time within their schedule allows.  Second Chances will foster dogs that are less likely to be adopted, in an attempt to reduce the number of dogs that are euthanized. The residents will at no time be left alone with the dogs to ensure safety and to make sure compassion and kindness is shown toward the dog.

Community Service Hours

Residents who come to Second Changes with court ordered community service hours will be provided the opportunity to complete these hours throughout the duration of their stay. It is a requirement that all effort should be made to complete as many hours as possible.

Sick Day Policy

All school work missed while absent should be made up before any recreational activities take place.

Home Visit Policy

  • Clean urinary analysis test
  • All responsibilities completed
  • Home visit is not meant to be a friend visit, so resident must be at home only visiting family
  • Actively working on case plan goals
  • Second Chances rules and procedures are to be followed on home visits
  • Resident must arrive back from visit on time, however, we understand that life happens, so if going to be late, call at least 30 minutes prior. If no contact is made, staff will attempt to contact the resident. If staff cannot get a hold of resident and he is 30 minutes late, resident will be called in as a runaway.

Safekeeping of personal funds

Any funds that are brought in upon admission along with any money that is earned while a resident will be kept in a zipped bag and locked in secure area. Residents will be required to pay any court ordered restitution prior to withdrawals for personal use.  Each transaction will be signed and dated by the Program Director and Resident.  At no time will staff be allowed to borrow money from a resident, purchase personal items from a resident, sell merchandise or require a resident to purchase items that are to be provided by Second Chances.

 Employment Policy

For those residents who have a goal of gaining employment but lack the skills for obtaining a job the Program Director and/or Direct Care Housing Manager will assist in this area.  In addition, if the resident goal is to discharge to an independent living environment Second Chances will make sure a thorough plan includes a budget, place to live, resources in the community, the skills to act appropriately within a working environment, and follow up by Second Chances staff.  Timelines are critical here and a minimum of three months would be needed to achieve this goal.

Employment Policy Guidelines

  • Approval from residents’ worker
  • Must be working toward or have GED/equivalent
  • Home responsibilities/case plan goals must be maintained
  • Working situations must be approved (eg: not allowed to work anywhere alcohol is sold/served)
  • Must be 16 years of age
  • Resident must be willing to work hours scheduled and follow thru on job requirements
  • Residents attending GED program may work up to 40 hours per work if secondary education is not a goal
  • Residents attending the alternative learning center may work up to 30-35 hours per week
  • Residents attending mainstream (GHEC) may work up to 10 hours per week
  • Resident and program director are responsible for financials.  Including but not limited to, budget training, how to maintain monetary responsibilities if goal is independent living.
  • Resident will turn in money earned for safe keeping
  • Resident is responsible for getting schedule of work hours to staff.
  • Employment must be obtained within 15 miles of Granada
  • Must give two week notice if wanting to change jobs.
  • Money earned will first be used to pay off court ordered restitution and/or other financial obligations.