Robert E. Lewis Residential Treatment Academy was named after the former juvenile judge in Etowah county who served as our Board Chairman for many years, Lewis Academy is a residential treatment program serving delinquent males 14-18 years of age. Serving our six member area, Lewis Academy provides a 90 day treatment program, followed by an aftercare component, for 30 "trainees". Lewis Academy started by serving as a community-based trial program initiated by the Alabama Department of Youth Services, and was one of three programs selected for funding as a "boot camp" in an attempt to divert youth from commitment to the Department of Youth Services (DYS). Lewis Academy served in that capacity from 1994 until 2009. In an attempt to offer a more comprehensive program Lewis Academy was re-licensed by the Department of Youth Services as a residential Treatment Program in 2009.
Today's program is designed for delinquents who have shown themselves to be at high risk for further involvement in the juvenile justice system. It is designed to be used for delinquents who have not been charged with violent or sexual offenses. The program combines physical training, discipline, basic living skills, team-building techniques , individual counseling, family counseling, parent education, equine therapy, academics, and community service.
The program seeks to provide an overall atmosphere which contributes to each youth developing a positive self image. An individual treatment program, focusing on each youth's individual needs, is developed for each youth by Counselors, Teachers, Juvenile Training Officers and Juvenile Probation Officers. The Counselors ensure the goals of each youth's Individualized Treatment Plan is achieved. This effort is continued after release, through Aftercare services, for up to nine months. Aftercare plans are established with the cooperation of court officials, youth family members, Lewis Academy personnel, and the youth. Each quarter, youths provide community service to a variety of locations. The goal is to instill a sense of pride and help foster a sense of community involvement in each youth.