New Beginning Youth Development Center in Laurel, MD

Call (202) 299-3100 to Contact New Beginning Youth Development Center

Overall Rating

(4.7 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
8400 River Road
Laurel MD 20724

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New Beginnings Youth Development Center is a secured residential treatment facility for convicted juvenile or young adult male offenders. Run by the Washington, D.C., Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) and located in Laurel, Md., the facility treats substance use disorders as well as other mental and behavioral health problems.

According to the its website, DYRS is responsible for the supervision, custody, and care of young people charged with a delinquent act in the District of Columbia. Individuals participating in DYRS programs must have either been detained in a DYRS facility while awaiting adjudication or committed to DYRS by a D.C. Family Court judge following adjudication. In addition to the New Beginnings program, DYRS provides a range of other services geared toward rehabilitating youth, including health and wellness programs, education, case management, and electronic monitoring.

According to a 2017 SAMHSA survey, 4.4 percent of treatment facilities in Maryland are operated by a local, county, or community government. The same survey indicates that 39 percent of facilities in the state offer a program specifically tailored to young adults and 24.5 percent offer a program specifically tailored to adolescents.


Those admitted to New Beginnings receive an initial behavioral health screening within four hours of admission. The average length of stay at New Beginnings is 275 days. According to a 2017 SAMHSA survey, 15.2 percent of treatment facilities in Maryland offer long-term (more than 30 days) residential programs.

Youth participate in the DC Model program, a highly structured program designed to help develop self-awareness, promote positive thinking and community engagement, and improve decision-making and coping skills through behavior modification. In addition to substance misuse counseling, the program provides trauma-based behavioral health care, individual and group therapy, educational services and vocational training, and workforce development.

Family members are contacted by case managers on a weekly basis to review their loved one's progress. Family visits are encouraged and held on Saturdays and Sundays.


According to DYRS's website, New Beginnings has a direct care staff of 155 people. Though there is currently no further information provided by the facility regarding its treatment staff, the single individual polled by to date rated the staff's level of training and experience five out of five stars.


New Beginnings has 60 beds, though the DYRS website notes that the average daily population is 43 individuals. A 2017 SAMHSA survey indicates that treatment facilities in Maryland have an average of 36 designated beds.

According to Turner, the construction company that built the facility, the 93,000 square foot campus is spread out over five buildings that house administrative offices, residence halls, the on-site school, medical facilities, a theater, and a center for vocational services. There is also a freestanding gymnasium with a basketball court and an exercise area, as well as an outdoor running track, a baseball diamond, and a football field.

The lone individual surveyed by at the time of this writing rated facility's accommodations and amenities as well as meals and nutrition five out of five stars. They also gave four-star ratings to the facility's cleanliness and well as its exercise and leisure options.


The sole alum polled by to date gave a positive review, awarding four or five out of five stars to most evaluated metrics, including treatment effectiveness, holistic offerings, family participation, counseling option, administrative and discharge procedures, and treatment of co-occurring disorders. The anonymous alum identified being family-oriented as a strength of the facility and being constraining as a weakness.


The New Beginnings Youth Development Center is funded by the D.C. local government and does not have any associated costs for residents.


According to U.S.A. Today, New Beginning Youth Development Center replaced Oak Hill, a juvenile detention center closed in 2009 that offered little to no education or therapeutic programming. Since its opening, New Beginnings has served as a progressive model for juvenile detention in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Published on October 2018

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Strengths:family oriented Weakness:constraining.

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